Multiplying Good Recognizes Local Volunteers for Outstanding Public Service at 2019 Jefferson Awards in Washington, D.C.

NEW YORK, NY, June 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Multiplying Good, the nation’s leading nonprofit focused on fueling personal growth and leadership through public service, recognized local volunteers from across the country at its national award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on June 18, 2019.

“Our annual gathering of changemakers from around the nation is a true testament to the continued and growing importance of public service,” said Hillary Schafer, Multiplying Good CEO. “By using our prestigious recognition platform, combined with our education and partner programs for grassroots, corporate and student leaders, we're able to empower future volunteers to drive positive impact in their communities through service to others. This year's class of honorees is truly remarkable, and we know their stories will inspire others.”

Grassroots awardees from all over the country were honored alongside notable national winners for their public service efforts and initiatives:

  • Von Miller, Denver Broncos linebacker and founder of Von's Vision, received the award for Outstanding Public Service in Professional Sports. Miller’s commitment to Denver youth through Von’s Vision provides low-income children with the eye care and corrective eyewear they need to be their best in the classroom and in life. His organization works with partners to donate their time, optometric and ophthalmological services, and frames and prescriptions to benefit thousands of children annually.  
  • Patagonia, represented by the company’s environmental advocate Avi Garbow, received the award for Outstanding Public Service by a Corporation. As an American outdoor apparel company, Patagonia has long been on the leading edge of sustainability in the industry. The organization has donated more than $100 million to nonprofit environmental groups and conservation efforts since its founding in 1973.

As part of the Multiplying Good Media Partners program, five community leaders received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting Local Communities:

  • Tim Arnold of Cincinnati, OH: Nominated by the Rotary Club of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer, and WKRC-TV, Local 12, Tim founded Lawn Life in 2008 after personally learning how a job opportunity and a second chance can change a person’s life. Starting with the hiring of one homeless young man who was begging at a gas station, Tim is now operating in three states and has touched the lives of 839 young adults. Lawn Life's mission is to provide at-risk youth with their first real job, teaching them the value of hard work and instilling in them the motivation to strive for a better life. 80 percent of those in Lawn Life stay in school or enroll in a trade school, and fewer than ten have recommitted a criminal offence after graduating.
  • Wayne Bisek of Madison, WI: Nominated by WKOW 27, Wayne knows what it means to go hungry. He grew up in poverty and has spent more than two decades making sure no families feel that pain. Through the organization he founded 23 years ago, Buckets for Hunger, Wayne has raised more than $2.3 million dollars for food pantries around the state of Wisconsin, totaling about 14 million pounds of food for families. He got help from famous athletes like Kareem Abdul-Jabaar and Bart Starr right away, as they came to fundraisers, celebrity basketball games, held sports clinics, and signed memorabilia to be auctioned off. The impact has been massive and saved many food pantries in rural areas that otherwise would have been forced to close.
  • Renee Fahey of Albany, NY: Nominated by the Times Union & WNYT, Renee wanted to help the homeless in the Capital District-area and began providing soup and sandwiches in late 2016. Since then, efforts have evolved into the Street Soldiers program. Renee is the heart and soul of this group. Every week on different nights in Albany, Troy, and Saratoga Springs, they deliver needed essentials – hot and cold food and drink, clothing, and outdoor survival needs to up to 80 people per day. Renee is personally dedicated to family members in need: regular check-ins, helping them secure housing, and providing hotel rooms to those still on the street during inclement weather.
  • Dr. Kit Ford of Quad Cities, IL/IA: Nominated by WQAD-TV News 8, Dr. Ford founded Argrow’s House in 2017, following a traumatic and violent sexual assault. She realized that there was a need for a safe space where women who had been assaulted could seek refuge and heal. Services provided include support groups, bibles studies, financial classes, cooking lessons, and holistic services like art therapy, massage, yoga, and more. Argrow’s House is also a social enterprise – a bath and body business where women healing from violence and abuse create beautiful bath products and earn a living wage in a safe space that celebrates who they are. The products are handmade in the kitchen of Argrow’s House, then sold online and in stores across the area.
  • Christan Rainey of Charleston, SC: Nominated by WCIV ABC News 4, Christan is a captain with the North Charleston Fire Department and founder and CEO of Men Against Domestic Violence. Rainey has made it his life’s mission to stop the cycle of domestic violence following the deaths of his mother and four siblings at the hands of his mother’s husband. Five years after his first Stop the Violence rally, Rainey’s reach is extensive. He speaks with middle and high school students about the dangers of teen dating violence. He recently stepped outside of his comfort zone and shared his story at a Charleston TED Talk. He also held his first domestic violence conference, which brought victims and victim advocates together with experts in the medical and counseling fields.

Two individuals whose companies participate in Multiplying Good’s Champions program received awards for Outstanding Public Service by an Employee:

  • Dr. Sandy San Miguel of West Lafayette, IN: Nominated by Purdue University, Dr.  San Miguel is a rural swine veterinarian and professor at Purdue University, an unexpected career path for a first-generation college student and Jewish city kid from Baltimore. She currently works with students from kindergarten to veterinary college to encourage them to pursue their dreams. She established and leads a NIH, NIGMS, SEPA-supported role model program, This Is How We “Role,” where veterinary medical students mentor children in kindergarten through fourth grade. The program is being delivered in 19 states through veterinary colleges and their community partners. She remains deeply grateful for all of the counselors, teachers, and coaches who supported her through this journey.
  • Michael Simon of Pittsburgh, PA: Nominated by Highmark Health, Michael is a nurse with a background in government service who works with at-risk youth throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Passionate about community service, Michael has served on the board of directors of the Southwest Pennsylvania Organization of Nurse Leaders 2017-2018 and the City of Pittsburgh as the Emerging Nurse Leader. Michael also founded Picnic in the Park, an annual event which provides health screenings, clothing donations, and a BBQ lunch for homeless community members living on the North Side of Pittsburgh. Michael designed Picnic in the Park to help local nursing students develop their nursing and leadership skills while providing proactive health care to populations in-need. Over the past six years, Picnic in the Park has served more than 500 homeless individuals.

Additionally, four schools involved in Multiplying Good’s Students In Action program were honored at the event. The winners of the Students In Action National Competition are:

  • Fishers High School of Fishers, IN – National Ambassador Students In Action Team: Each year, the Fishers High School Students in Action team sets out to expand their service. This year they challenged themselves to see how far their reach of service could go and were able to impact over 21,000 lives. Their two main projects were the creation of a service leadership conference that led to a year-long shoe drive in eight different school districts and the goal of collecting 80,000 pairs of shoes. Their second large project was Creating Actions Through Service or CATS, to help spread the ability to do service by leading professional development days, creating materials for teachers, and working with elementary school-aged students on passion driven projects. As a club, they led many other initiatives, including an awareness night about human trafficking, pajama collection drive for foster kids, and raised $32,000 to help a family whose daughter has cancer. 
  • Lexington High School of Lexington, SC – Gold National Banner Students In Action Team: Recognizing that the negative effects of cancer create a shared connection between students, staff, and community, the Lexington High School Students In Action team made it their mission to address cancer. They raised money for local organizations to support those fighting cancer, educated students and staff about cancer prevention, and expanded and celebrated service opportunities in the Lexington community. They began a movement called “Linking Lexington” to multiply good within their community. The team raised a total of $12,450 for Cancer of Many Colors (a local organization that financially supports cancer patients in Lexington) and the St. Baldrick’s Pediatric Cancer Foundation. In addition, the team impacted 13,233 people in the community through various events, collected 885 toys and supplies for Toys for Tots and The Children’s Hospital, and made 30 blankets for a local children’s shelter.
  • Champlin Park High School of Champlin, MN – Silver National Banner Students In Action Team: Homelessness made headline news in Minneapolis this past fall as tent cities took over downtown areas. Champlin Park High School’s Students In Action team, as part of the Leo Club, decided to address the issue and engaged their peers to assist the homeless in their community. They focused on four large projects: a clothing drive, survivor fundraiser, packaging care kits, and making sandwiches for the homeless. The team collected 451 clothing items, raised $5,600, packaged 161 care kits, donated $4,600, and made 1,000 sandwiches helped those in their area who are struggling with homelessness. Through their many service projects, the Leo Club has created a lasting impact in their community by engaging 1,161 students, accumulating 5,160 service hours, and impacting thousands of individuals.
  • An-Noor Academy of Piscataway, NJ – Bronze National Banner Students In Action Team: Over the past 3.5 years, the An-Noor Academy SIA team has grown in number and impact, while still focusing on their original intent to make a difference in the world. During the 2018-19 school year, the team engaged 86 percent of the student body in over 20 service projects that have impacted an estimated 7,000 individuals. Their primary focus this year was hunger. The team devised a two-pronged approach to address this issue, partnering with the community center's outreach program each month on their sandwich drive, which feeds 250 people. Through their research on hunger in NJ, the team realized that there were homeless individuals not being served through the regular channels, so the team developed a second project called Feed the Homeless. Each day, community members sign up to make food, which is then delivered to 40 food-insecure individuals. The service positively impacted members of the community and has taught the team valuable life lessons such as organization, time management, and planning.

The 47th annual Jefferson Awards presented by Multiplying Good took place at The Mayflower Hotel and was made possible by the generous support of Clearsight Advisors,  The Community Foundation of New Jersey, Joyce Cowin, Deloitte, Denver Broncos, Grafik, National Football League, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, United Steelworkers, and Vodafone’s America Foundation.  

For more information about Multiplying Good and the Jefferson Awards, visit

About Multiplying Good
Multiplying Good is a national nonprofit that channels the power of public service to unleash potential in individuals. For nearly 50 years, they have honored those who build better communities, trained young leaders, and activated individuals and organizations to multiply the impact they can deliver. Through a continuum that starts with engagement and culminates in recognition, they fuel personal growth and multiply the power of service to others. Through recognition, they inspire individuals and those who hear their stories to deliver greater positive change. You can learn more about the organization by visiting or engaging with their online communities via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


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