The Loudoun Human Services Network on Friday put the spotlight on some of the most impactful volunteers, nonprofit professionals, and philanthropic businesses in the county.
Keynote speaker Lynn Tadlock, deputy executive director of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, said that despite Loudoun’s wealth, its nonprofits may face a growing challenge—in large part because of government tax policy.
“We hear our jobless rate is low, and we hear we’re on an economic turn, but we all know there are people who are feeling the impact of state and federal budget cuts,” Tadlock said. “We all know that there’s been tax law change that will have a tremendous effect on individual charitable giving. How are we going to react to that?”
Tadlock came from a background of government service, particularly in parks. She said that—and her experience since then working as a nonprofit and charitable leader—informed her theory of the “three-legged stool” of healthy communities: The social sector, business, and government.
“Coming from government, I knew government couldn’t do everything that it’s supposed to do, because what do we see? We see demand going up and taxes going down,” Tadlock said. “Or the taxes might go up, but they don’t go up in line with what the needs are. So I knew the government needed help.”
The solution, she said, has to involve collaboration among Loudoun’s nonprofits and planning for their future.
“I ask each of you, what can you or your organization do to make Loudoun County the epicenter for collaboration?” Tadlock said.
The ceremony recognized people and organizations in several categories.
The Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award went to Shreyaa Venkat, a junior at Broad Run High School who has logged more than 250 volunteer hours. She created an organization called Newer Environment Starts Today, or NEST, to help the homeless, in part through distributing freshly cooked meals and care packages to homeless shelters. In three years, NEST has grown to more than 150 volunteers.
The Outstanding Adult Volunteer Award went to Kelly Aldorisio, the executive director of It Takes a Village, Baby. Under her leadership since 2017, the organization has distributed more than 77,000 diapers and more than 200 car seats to 460 families to make sure each newborn is provided with all the essentials and comforts for their first year of life.
The Outstanding Paid Nonprofit Professional Award went to Lisa Daniels, a forensic interviewer with the Loudoun Child Advocacy Center. In her work, Daniels sees children coming from abusive situations, working with them over the course of time.
The Outstanding Family Unit Award went to Denise and Mike Forgione, who volunteer with Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers. Denise has worked as the money manager coordinator for Loudoun Volunteer Caregivers since 2011, during which time the program grew exponentially to help dozens of low-income, intellectually and physically disabled adults manage their finances. Denise has suffered from Multiple Sclerosis during that time, experiencing decreasing mobility. Mike began driving her to the office, where he stayed and volunteered. The two also started, and continue to run, a small charity, A Child’s Joy, that collects donated toys, candies and handmade Christmas stockings for distribution to less fortunate children across Northern Virginia.
The Outstanding Large Business Partner Award went to K2M Group Holdings, which has worked to employ people with disabilities through ECHO. Through a partnership that began in ECHO’s mailroom in 2005, K2M now employees up to 29 people with disabilities. K2M Senior Vice President of Global Operations Dave MacDonald accepted the award.
The Outstanding Small Business Partner Award went to the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber offers a discounted rate for nonprofits to join, hosts the annual Small Business Awards, and partnered with the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier Counties to launch the Nonprofit Academy, offering low-cost training for nonprofit leaders. The Chamber also recognizes a nonprofit leader during its annual leadership awards and has launched a grant-making program in the Loudoun Chamber Foundation. Chamber President and CEO Tony Howard accepted the award and served as emcee of the event.
The Outstanding Faith-Based Leader Award went to Pastor Alain Noriega of Community Church in Ashburn. Under Noriega’s leadership, the church completely made over the kitchen, living room, dining room, children’s playroom and outside landscaping of the Loudoun Abused Women’s Shelter. The church also donated new kitchen appliances, living room furniture and dining room furniture and helped paint, clean and donate new toys. Noriega and his congregants also host toy drives for kids at the shelter.
And the Legacy Award, awarded to a person who made a lasting impact on Loudoun, went posthumously to Sissy Grimm. Grimm dedicated 25 years of service to Loudoun Hunger Relief, as well as volunteering with other nonprofit organizations. She was an elementary teacher at Catoctin Elementary for 42 years. In the last 16 years of her life, she also participated in walks and runs to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, and volunteered with Capital Caring in Aldie.
During the last four years of her work at Loudoun Hunger Relief, working as the Thursday night shift leader, she sometimes served her own former students and their families. She made sure they felt comfortable and normal about coming to the food bank. She earned the President’s Volunteer Service Award, which marked her 25 years at Loudoun Hunger Relief.
Grimm died in March of breast cancer. Her husband, Aaron Grimm, accepted the award.
The Loudoun Human Services Network is a coalition of nonprofits advocating and collaborating to ensure access to human services for Loudoun residents. It serves as a collective voice for its members, and seeks to provide a comprehensive system of care, resources and benefits for Loudoun residents in their times of need.