Winners of our practice awards are announced at the annual conference in November. Each award includes a plaque, $150 “ReFrame bucks” that can be used for membership renewal or future webinars or conferences, and recognition on ReFrame’s website and in a newsletter.
2016 Best Practice Award Winner: Volunteer/Camper Hospitality
Mountain T.O.P. was the recipient of our 2016 best practice award for
volunteer/camper hospitality. The idea of radical hospitality is a foundational practice at Mountain T.O.P. Simply put, they find ways to say ‘”yes.” If it is within reason and will not contradict the integrity of their programs, they are ready and willing to step outside the lines. This philosophy is explicitly included in their staff-training program and provides the backbone for their organizational culture.
Good Neighbors received honorable mention in this award category for their pre-trip project communication. One of their college volunteers wrote, “The staff believe each volunteer’s mission week has the potential to be a life-changing experience, and hosts activities with this in mind. The preparation, planning, love and focus of Good Neighbors’ staff toward their volunteers is truly felt by all who attend, making the experience absolutely unforgettable!”
2016 Best Practice Award Winner: Management Excellence
Service Over Self was the recipient of our 2016 best practice award for management excellence. A community partner organization nominated SOS for this award. They wrote, “Phillip Walkley, the Executive Director of SOS, is a great servant leader who manages the team at SOS with humility and high expectations. He is extremely organized and has a unique feel for the culture needed to be the most effective and productive. He is aware of threats to organizations like mission drift and is proactive in creating champions within the organization.” Reach Mission Trips received honorable mention in this category for their management of summer staff. One nomination came from a parent of a summer staffer: “My daughter said, ‘You know how people say if you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life? I know what that’s like now.'”
2016 Best Practice Award Winner: Community Partnership
Ozark Mission Project was one of the recipients of our 2016 best practice awards for community partnership. They hold 12 camps throughout the state of Arkansas. In each community it serves, OMP partners with community organizations. We especially want to highlight that OMP partnered with the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance this year. Cooking Matters classes were held at some of OMP camps for OMP neighbors. OMP also built two community gardens.
2016 Best Practice Award Winner: Community Partnership
Rebuild Upstate was the other recipient of our 2016 best practice awards for community partnership. They partner with other nonprofits, schools, churches, and businesses in a number of ways. We want to specifically highlight the fact that this year, the City of Greenville, South Carolina contracted with Rebuild Upstate to manage its entire home repair/home rehab program. Rebuild Upstate also partners with three area agencies on aging to provide minor home repairs for seniors, the state Housing Trust Fund to provide larger repairs for residents, and the Greenville County Redevelopment Authority to provide home rehabilitation to county residents.
2015 Best Practice Award Winner: Volunteer/Camper Hospitality
Raise the Roof Project was the recipient of our 2015 best practice award for volunteer/camper hospitality. One of their volunteers nominated them and co-director Jan Bailey elaborated for us, “At Raise the Roof Project campers and their leaders are vital to the projects. We have no paid staff except for our summer college interns who are paid a nominal stipend. Our incredible volunteers are giving their time as an offering to God and we are ever so grateful. We send handwritten thank you note to every person who gave of their time and resources to help the camp run smoothly and make the campers feel welcome. Our volunteers are very much a part of the Raise the Roof family. We are one body, working together in the Name of Christ to help those who cannot help themselves.” Ozark Mission Project received honorable mention in this award category for their “drivers’ den” for adult campers. They provide snacks and a staff person to answer questions. It’s a place for them to unwind and talk with other adults.
2015 Best Practice Award Winner: Innovative Home Repair Methods
Appalachia Service Project was the recipient of our 2015 best practice award for innovative home repair methods. ASP volunteers nominated them for the award. Dennis Burley, ASP’s Home Repair Coordinator, accepted the award. “We focus on energy efficiency, with the goal of reducing costs for the homeowner,” he explained. One system the organization has adopted for mobile homes has shown a 50 percent reduction in energy bills according to the homeowners. This innovative structure-wrapping technique not only saves money for the homeowners, it is cost-effective, easy for volunteers to complete, and the finished project is almost maintenance free. Milford Housing Development Corporation received honorable mention in this award category for their oversight committee that determines potential program participant’s eligibility and assesses the emergency nature of the work requested. Committee members represent a cross section of the county’s population and include at least one person who is a former program participant.
2015 Best Practice Award Winner: Management Excellence
Sierra Service Project was the recipient of our 2015 best practice award for management excellence. Megan Walsh, SSP’s Program Director, accepted the award and explained that their five-person central staff is involved in a variety of courses and meet-up groups through the local Nonprofit Resource Center. SSP pays for these courses and covers a portion of college courses for employees pursuing degrees. SSP also hires 42 summer staffers, offering online pre-training followed by 10 days of hands-on classroom training with a variety of outside experts and resources included. Each summer staff person is required to take Sabbath time which is four hours each week away from work duties. This past year, SSP offered a Leadership Academy for some returning summer staff “to study best leadership practices and how these practices relate to their personal faith.”
2015 Best Practice Award Winner: Innovative Fundraising
Alabama Rural Ministry the recipient of our 2015 best practice award for innovative fundraising. ARM replicates poverty housing by having their director and other community members live in “shacks.” These are small houses big enough to put a mattress; they sit in downtown Auburn. Lisa Pierce stays for a week and sleeps in the shack at night. They also do poverty workshops on the AU campus. Last year the shack raised $64,000.
2014 Best Practice Award Winner: Volunteer/Camper Hospitality
Rippling Hope was the recipient of our 2014 best practice award for volunteer/camper hospitality. Their nomination said, “Rippling Hope is all about hospitality. Carl and Robin Zerweck, along with their long time volunteers and interns, help to make every volunteer experience top notch. Food is made by Robin every day, showing the importance of nourishing the workers. While we served with them this year, she graciously helped teach one of our youth who was interested in cooking and food prep. Carl is a jokester, and his light-heartedness often shows in his attention to detail in getting to know each individual on a trip to serve with R.H. It matters not if it is a middle schooler, high schooler, or adult, Carl wants to hear about their day each evening and get to know about their lives back home. And he remembers those learned tidbits for years to come.” Thanks for being a great example of what it means to serve those who are serving, Rippling Hope!
2014 Best Practice Award Winner: Innovative Home Repair Methods
Sierra Service Project was the recipient of our 2014 best practice award for innovative home repair methods for providing tool training for youth. A former SSP employee who nominated them said, “Sierra Service Project has been innovative in incorporating hands on tool training to youth volunteers. Since the age range of volunteers varies greatly, Sierra Service Project has integrated an in depth, fun, hands on way of teaching youth volunteers proper practices. This means volunteers whose projects don’t necessarily use a power tool, still get an education on proper use of them. This provides a fun, innovative lesson that can be integrated into other parts of the youth’s life.” What a great idea! We hope that other organizations will implement this best practice as well.
2014 Best Practice Award Winner: Management Excellence
Reach Mission Trips (formerly Reach Work Camps) was the recipient of our 2014 best practice award for management excellence. One of their nominations said, “I worked for Reach and it was the most life changing experience ever. I received so much guidance and encouragement from the staff.” Another nomination said,“The summer staff is all brought together at the beginning of the summer for a two week period of training. During this period they are given a place to stay and all meals are paid for. The staff is trained and challenged in ways that allows team building and lasting friendships between summer staff and full time staff members. Each staff member is trained together and individually by full time staff members who are caring and attentive to any needs.” Great job, Reach! Keep up the excellent work!
2014 Best Practice Award Winner: Electronic Marketing
ReWiGo Ministries was the recipient of our 2014 best practice award for electronic marketing. Their nomination said, “ReWiGo, through their partnership with Engenius, produces consistent content using e-mail marketing to engage with supporters and maintains a top-notch responsive website to quickly and easily convey its mission. ReWiGo also self-manages its Facebook page and posts a combination of organization-specific posts (such as photos of completed projects), relevant news posts, and inspiring messages throughout the year to keep ReWiGo at the top of mind among volunteers, supporters, and the community.” Be sure to follow ReWiGo Ministries on Facebook and check out their website. Congrats, ReWiGo!