Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Multiplying Good hosted the awards online for the first time in its 48-year history

New York, Sept. 25, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Thursday, September 24, 2020, Multiplying Good, the nation’s leading nonprofit fueling personal growth and leadership through service to others and recognition, held its first-ever online 2020 Jefferson Awards. The organization honored the public service work of Actress and Activist Kristen Bell, Youth Villages CEO Patrick Lawler, humanitarian brand TOMS, youth, and local, grassroots, unsung heroes who have made an extraordinary impact on others through service. 

CBS Evening News anchor, Norah O’Donnell co-hosted the event with Kimberly Holmes-Iverson of WBOC, Sharon Chin of KPIX, Dean Stephens of WCIV, and Angie Sharp of WQAD. The full show is available for viewing at

“For nearly 50 years, we’ve used recognition to inspire everyone to find a way to serve others,” explained Hillary Schafer, CEO of Multiplying Good. “By celebrating service on a national stage, we elevate the spirit of America, the resiliency of its people, and the good that is all around us.”

Kristen Bell (Frozen, The Good Place) received the S. Roger Horchow Award for Outstanding Public Service by a Private Citizen in recognition of her years of service to those who need it most. The award is named in honor of the famed American retailer and Broadway producer who died earlier this year. Horchow was a longtime supporter of Multiplying Good and the Jefferson Awards. Previous recipients of the award include Oprah Winfrey, Harry Connick, Jr., and Professor Elie Wiesel, among others.

“Most awards celebrate an individual’s capacity for performance, but this award celebrates an individual’s capacity for growth,” Bell said in her acceptance speech. “There’s a misconception that giving comes with sacrifice…and it’s not true. Giving doesn’t have to come at a price.”

Patrick Lawler received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting the Disadvantaged for his work with Youth Villages. Under Lawler’s leadership, Youth Villages has transformed from a small residential program into a national leader in supporting foster children’s mental and behavioral health.

“We appreciate that the Jefferson Award is shining a light on these important issues and solutions,” Lawler said. “We believe that our country is on the cusp of real transformative change in children’s systems that has been years in the making.”

Amy Smith, Chief Strategy and Impact Officer accepted the Jefferson Award for Outstanding by a Corporation on behalf of TOMS. Known for being the original one-for-one brand, TOMS has expanded its business to include improving the overall health, safety, and well-being of people around the world.

“As an organization that has existed to serve and empower others, we’ve been able to do a lot of good,” Smith said. “We’ve made the bold decision to uncouple our impact from our original one-for-one model. Now for every three dollars we make, we give one dollar away.”

In addition to honoring national figures, Multiplying Good gave awards to individuals who participate in its Media Partner, Recognition, and Youth programs. Five community leaders received the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Outstanding Public Service Benefiting Local Communities. The recipients were nominated for the top award by their respective media outlets.

Nancy Abraham (WKOW, Illinois), a lifelong mental health advocate, was honored for her work as the creator of NAMI.

Major Etta Reenae Gray (FOX24/ABC16, Macon Georgia) is a police officer and youth advocate, honored for her service work benefiting children and youth.

Lisa & Mike Irvin (KSNT-TV, Topeka Kansas) were honored for founding Flint Hills Foster Teen Camps.

LaDaye Johnson (The News Journal, Wilmington Delaware) is a community advocate recognized for his ongoing service to his Delaware community.

Doug McNeil (KPIX, San Francisco, California) is a resilient engineer on a mission to give electricity to those who need it most through is organization Lighting for Literacy.

Two individuals received the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Employee.

Anne Carelli (The Coca-Cola Company) is an advocate for foster care youth who was recognized for her work with Up3, an organization she founded

Jacqueline Cassagnol (Pace University) is a nursing administrator who was honored for her commitment to educating and training first responders through her organization Worldwide Community First Responder Inc

Multiplying Good honored three youth service teams for service work conducted as part of Multiplying Good’s Students In Action program. After competing in Multiplying Good’s Public Service Pitch Day against other SIA teams in their respective communities, the winning teams were eligible to receive either a Bronze, Silver, or Gold Award.

Andover High School, Andover, Wisconsin, won the Bronze Award for their service initiatives focusing on climate change.

Sage Oak Charter School, Glendora, California, was the Silver Award winner. Its team, The Hopeful Hands, was recognized for their for its in-depth research-based solutions to supporting foster care youth.

Greenville Technical High School, Greenville, South Carolina, received the Gold Award in recognition of their service benefiting students battling mental health issues.

During an 'In Memoriam' segment narrated by Multiplying Good's co-founder Sam Beard, the organization paid tribute to past Jefferson Award recipients Kirk DouglasJustice Ruth Bader GinsburgCongressman John Lewis, and supporter S. Roger Horchow, all of whom died this year.

“Jefferson Award recipients represent the highest level of service to others,” Schafer explained. “By telling their stories, we encourage them to do even more and inspire others to make a difference through service.”

In addition to the award presentations, the event included an Instagram Live pre-show featuring interviews with all the award recipients as well as Multiplying Good's CEO, board members, and past Jefferson Award recipients.

The 2020 Jefferson Awards was supported in part by the generosity of The Coca-Cola Company.


About Multiplying Good

Multiplying Good is a national nonprofit that uses service to others and recognition as tools to unleash potential, inspire individuals, and transform lives. It has offices in 11 communities across the country, delivering on-the-ground impact where it is needed most. Founded in 1972 by Sam Beard, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Senator Robert Taft, Jr., the organization has recognized the extraordinary public service of thousands with its Jefferson Award. Additionally, Multiplying Good fuels personal growth and leadership development through a continuum that starts with engagement and culminates in recognition. Visit or follow Multiplying Good on FacebookInstagramYouTubeLinkedIn, and Twitter to learn more.



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