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Volunteer Awards

This award recognizes and celebrates outstanding contributions by a volunteer in an adult day center. The individual demonstrates exceptional commitment and exemplifies the spirit of service for the center.

Inez Young, Family Alliance, Inc., Woodstock, IL and Anatole Crane, Family Alliance, Inc., Woodstock, IL

Inez Young

Inez Young

Family Alliance, Inc. has offered services and programs to assist families for over 30 years. The generous and essential peer-to-peer caregiver education and support contributed by volunteers Anatole Crane and Inez Young have no doubt contributed to the success of the adult day center.

Over 25 years ago, Anatole Crane found Family Alliance when he found himself as a caregiver to his spouse, for whom he cared for 15 years. With his generous and open heart, Anatole began participating in support groups, gaining valuable insight that he would in turn share with others. By 1998, Inez Young had joined the support groups as well, finding herself a caregiver to both her husband and mother at the same time. Later that year Inez lost her mother in September and her husband in November. Four of the family caregivers who established a support group specifically for spouses during that time continue to meet in 2014 on Friday nights for dinner, just as they did over 15 years ago.

In 2005 Anatole co-authored Dementia Caregivers Share Their Stories: A Support Group in a Book which told the stories of fellow caregivers’ experiences such as himself and Inez Young. He continues to facilitate a monthly support group, and also volunteered on the Family Alliance Board of Directors from 1995-2008. Inez facilitates two support groups per month, one of which she started in the community for residents of Del Webb Sun City. Every meeting, without fail, Inez provides a cake baked personally with love for caregivers in her groups. Like Anatole, she has also volunteered her time on the Family Alliance Board of Directors. Anatole and Inez are role models for how members of a community can take care of one another.

Anatole Crane

Anatole Crane

“Anatole is a shining example of volunteerism at its purest form by applying his own life experiences and providing an endless energy and willingness to help others through their own caregiving journeys,” said Andy Kerwin, President of Arbor Village of Geneva Crossing. “He drove over an hour to attend support group meetings and provide much appreciated knowledge and perspective from his own caregiving journey. He navigates the journey along with fellow caregivers with the utmost respect, compassion, charm and wit.”

“Inez possesses all the inherent qualities of a caring, compassionate moderator for the two caregiver support groups she leads,” said Jay Iyer. “With an easy approachable demeanor, she welcomes each member and encourages them to become active participants. She facilitates her meetings with open discussions interspersed with articles drawn from several publications that provide up-to-date information on current topics relevant to caregiving. Her presence is catalytic and extremely motivating. This is evident by the growing numbers in her support groups.”

Due to the longevity and presence in the organization of both volunteers, it was impossible to recognize one of these essential Family Alliance volunteers without the other.

Posted in NADSA Awards