Volunteerism and service improves lives in Ohio every minute of every day. The impact of everyday citizens who reach beyond themselves to help their neighbors and communities – transforming themselves and others – shapes who we are as a state. We give, we learn, we serve, we grow. The ServeOhio Awards, made possible through support from corporate Stewards of Service, Honda of America Mfg., Inc. and AEP Foundation, recognize outstanding people, groups, and initiatives in each region of Ohio who make great contributions to their communities through service and volunteerism. A cash award of $1,000 is issued to support the organization which benefited from the winner’s service. The awards will be presented in the volunteer’s local community during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21, 2018. OHGo – Kendra Faulkner & Christine Boesch, Sandusky Northwest Ohio Two years ago, Christine Boesch and Kendra Faulkner had the idea to get some Christmas trees, some trucks and a few volunteers, and deliver the live trees to families in need of some holiday cheer. The love and joy they felt during “Project Christmas Tree Share,” was life-changing for both the women and the communities they served! While they both had experienced volunteering with children in their churches and schools, they began to wonder what they could do to really make a difference. They knew that the children they wanted to reach had no way of coming to them, so they decided to form a mobile nonprofit, “OHGo,” and travel right into the heart of the neediest neighborhoods in Erie County, spreading kindness and hope throughout the community. In addition to “Project Christmas Tree Share”, Kendra and Christine have implemented “Project Book Give”, “Free Food Pantries”, and “One K1nd Act”. Every time they pack up the truck to leave a neighborhood, they say “we’ll be back!” and true to their word, they return in a few weeks. H2O – Help to Others, Lakewood Northeast Ohio H2O connects Lakewood youth with volunteer opportunities to develop a strong desire to serve the community, learn valuable skills, and grow into more engaged citizens empowered to make an impact in the world. A true community-wide effort, H2O, a program of the City of Lakewood, engages middle and high school students to complete service and philanthropy projects. In 2017 alone, 618 students contributed over 7,000 hours of service to the Greater Cleveland community and raised over $11,000 tosupport local community organizations. Robert Lentz, Sr., Columbus Central Ohio Robert Lentz started volunteering with Habitat for Humanity-MidOhio in 2009. Since that time, he has served 5,132 hours on 70 Habitat projects - including new home builds, rehabs, and home repairs - impacting 239 individuals, 145 of which are children. While Robert loves being on a construction site, his true joy comes from serving families. Two years ago, after discovering that one of his recent homeowners was diagnosed with cancer, he made it his duty to fulfill her dream of having a fenced in back yard for her two young sons to play. With the help of his church and other volunteers, he raised the money to build a privacy fence at her home and even had enough donations leftover to pay one month’s mortgage for the family. Brian Hiles, Cincinnati Southwest Ohio Brian Hiles has been a passionate volunteer since high school when he organized international mission trips and started a Random Acts of Kindness program at his school. In the years that followed, Brian has been involved with countless organizations and volunteer initiatives in Cincinnati including the Cincinnati Neighborhood Games, an Olympic-style event which brings all 52 City of Cincinnati neighborhoods together. As a neighborhood captain, board member, director of volunteer recruitment, and ultimately the President of the games, Brian works with hundreds of volunteers and the Cincinnati City Council to plan and organize this city-wide community event that brings together thousands of residents in Cincinnati. Libby Brisker & Lyvette Mosley, Portsmouth Southeast Ohio Lyvette Mosley, a lifetime athlete, wanted to do something to change Scioto County’s status as the unhealthiest county in Ohio. She happened to meet Libby Brisker, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) Coordinator in Scioto County, and a dynamic partnership was born! They put their heads together and in 2016 built the Southern Ohio Senior Games from the ground up. This Olympic-style event engages senior citizens in athletic competitions to improve their physical health and provide important social interaction opportunities. In just two years, the Southern Ohio Senior Games has become a 3-week event that engages 180 athletes from across the U.S. and Canada and brings much needed income to Southern Ohio businesses.