I was very proud a few weeks ago to accept on behalf of the entire Wayne Township staff the Barnabas Award from the Associated Churches of Fort Wayne. Wayne Township received this award for our contributions to A Baby’s Closet, one of the ministries of Associated Churches.
A Baby’s Closet is a wonderful program, which encourages at-risk pregnant women to get the pre-natal care they need for their babies and for themselves. The program also helps educate these women concerning preventable causes of infant mortality and pre-term births.
In exchange for participating in these programs, the pregnant women earn coupons, which they can spend at A Baby’s Closet to obtain items they need for their new babies. Wayne Township’s contribution to A Baby’s Closet has been to provide diapers for the program’s two locations at First Christian Church on South Calhoun Street and Trinity United Methodist Church on Putnam Street.
The Barnabas Award is given each year to unsung heroes who do good works but often do not get the recognition they deserve. When I accepted the award on behalf of the Trustee’s Office, I asked one of the many unsung heroes on the Trustee’s Office staff to accompany me to receive the award.
That unsung hero is Dennis Powell. Mr. Powell has worked for the Wayne Township Trustee’s Office for the last six years, as well as working for the Trustee’s Office for two and one-half years in the early 1990s. Mr. Powell is our Community Resources Specialist.
As Community Resources Specialist, Mr. Powell assists clients who are ineligible for Township Assistance, but still need help. He might work with the client’s landlord or utility company to work out a payment plan. That way the client might not lose housing or utility services. If the client is eligible for assistance from another agency, Mr. Powell will refer the client to that agency.
Dennis Powell genuinely cares about others. He listens to people and makes every attempt to help them. Yet, he is humble and does his work without expecting reward; clearly making him an unsung hero.
Mothers’ Day is coming soon; and, without a doubt, our mothers are unsung heroes too. I am very blessed to have had four mothers in my life. Those include my Mother, my Grandmother and my Aunt, all deceased now. I owe so much to these great women. I will never be able to repay them other than to put into practice those life skills they imparted to me. The fourth mother, of course, is my wife, Carol, the mother of my beloved sons.
I want to take this opportunity to wish all mothers and mother figures a very happy Mother’s Day. And, I want to thank all the unsung heroes for the contributions they make everyday to better our lives and our community.
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee