Erich Schroeder (center) was named Fairbanks' 2018 Volunteer of the Year.

Fairbanks honors its 2018 volunteers

January 25th, 2019

Fairbanks honored its top volunteers of 2018 during a special recognition dinner Jan. 23 at The Willows in Indianapolis.

In 2018 Fairbanks had 272 volunteers contribute 9,940 hours, which equates to almost five full-time employees. Based on $13 an hour, they saved the organization almost $130,000.

Erich Schroeder (pictured above, center) was named Volunteer of the Year. He started volunteering for Fairbanks in January 2018, serving three shifts weekly in the Fresh Start Café. He also filled in as a sub many times, picked up and unloaded several merchandise orders for the café, volunteered in Fairbanks’ gift shop and recruited many other volunteers for the organization.

Also honored are volunteers who demonstrate one of Fairbanks’ core values through their volunteerism. The 2018 recipients are:

Courage – Donna Scrim
Hope – Kyle Morris
Serenity – Diane Karski
Wisdom – Rusty and Patricia McKay

The Fairbanks departments utilizing volunteers were:

  • Fresh Start Café (coffee shop) – 3,227 volunteer hours
  • Gift shop – 2,590 volunteer hours
  • Support groups – 2,200 volunteer hours
  • Staff assistants (medical office, gym, front desk, clerical) – 1,002 volunteer hours
  • Saturday morning panel – 290 volunteer hours

Those in attendance at the dinner represented 503 years of sobriety.

“Fairbanks is incredibly fortunate to have such a strong team of volunteers who are passionate about recovery and carrying the message of hope to the newcomers,” said Kathleen Gill, Fairbanks alumni relations officer. “Whether a volunteers gives one hour a month or 100 hours, they each make a significant impact on our organization and the lives of our patients.

“Recovery is about learning to ask for help and then being willing to pay it forward, and our volunteers are ready, willing and able to help,” Gill added. “Thank you to each and every Fairbanks volunteer! You help make Fairbanks a great place to begin the journey of recovery and freedom from the bondage of addiction.”

Fairbanks President and CEO Barb Elliott noted that volunteers fuel an important part of the organization’s new strategic plan – strengthening and expanding its alumni association.

“Each and every one of you is our best ambassador for Fairbanks by volunteering in the gift shop or coffee shop, leading groups, being a sponsor to other people in recovery or encouraging other people in the community to get help. But most of all helping us to continue to stand up to stigma,” Elliott said.

“Alumni and volunteers are one of our greatest assets. Besides volunteering, you are a referral source and a link to the recovery community. I can’t express how grateful we are to have such dedicated volunteers at Fairbanks. I see many of you helping patients where you are making a huge difference in the lives of other people.”