CHD honors community partners, donors and frontline staff with annual awards

Recipients recognized for dedication and impactful contributions during 2020

CHD recently announced the honorees for the organization’s annual awards, which celebrate members of the community and partners to the organization for their major contributions in helping carry out CHD’s mission.

Each year, the awards recognize individuals and collectives who, over the course of the previous year or in tandem with longstanding contributions, have made a significant impact in bolstering CHD’s work.

Typically awarded at an in-person donor appreciation event, the 2020 awards were shared with recipients individually in light of continued efforts to practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are the honorees for CHD’s 2020 awards:


The Key Award

CHD’s Key Award recognizes an individual, family, community or corporate partner that has made a life changing gift to CHD or a CHD program. For 2020, CHD awarded the Key Award to Theodore Kmiecik.

While Kmiecik has made many contributions to CHD over the years, including years of service on the organization’s Board of Directors and Finance Committee, his generous gift to CHD’s COVID-19 Relief Fund in 2020 had significant value to the organization during a time of unprecedented challenge.

“Because of Ted’s action and investment, CHD was able to procure critically needed personal protective equipment for our frontline staff, as well as people and families served in our shelter, addiction recovery, elder care, disability, transitional youth and adult mental health residential programs,” said CHD Vice President of Community Engagement Ben Craft.


Volunteer of the Year Award

CHD awarded its 2020 Volunteer of the Year award to Deb Napier, a longtime volunteer for CHD’s Family Outreach of Amherst (FOA) and CHD’s Not Bread Alone (NBA) community meal program in Amherst, in recognition of her significant and positive impact on both programs and in the lives of their participants.

Throughout 2020, Napier has helped support both programs in a number of ways, including bolstering fundraising efforts and sourcing hard-to-find supplies. Napier has also become a weekly fixture in the NBA kitchen, which comprises a majority of volunteers to provide a high quality meal to members of the community every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday.

In its 30-year history, volunteers for FOA have been a vital asset to helping the program serve as a safety net to more than 600 families each year. Recognized by FOA Program Director Laura Reichsman for her longstanding support and ‘unfailing willingness to help,’ Napier’s dedication has been a critical resource to CHD’s Hunger, Housing and Family Support services in Hampshire County during a time of challenge and change.


The Founder’s Award

Each year, CHD awards the Founder’s Award in recognition of an individual or community partner whose contributions and efforts embody CHD’s mission to promote, enhance and protect the dignity and welfare of people in need.

In the year 2020, CHD honored its entire frontline staff with the Founder’s Award in recognition of their continuous devotion to helping children, adults, seniors, and families facing challenges that destabilize their lives amid an unprecedented year.

Since the pandemic began to impact the community, CHD frontline staff have adopted the use of personal protective equipment and other measures to ensure the health and safety of the thousands of individuals and families served in the organization’s behavioral health, homelessness services and diverse array of residential programs.

“CHD’s colleagues have been a critical lifeline for many in the community whose struggles were compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jim Goodwin, CEO and president of CHD. “Our team carried on caring without missing a beat, and in the face of so much challenge, to stay connected during a time of distancing and isolation. We couldn’t be more proud to shine the spotlight on our dedicated teams of caregivers.”

In tandem with the award, CHD will provide gourmet treats to each member of its nearly 1,800-person staff as a token of appreciation for their work over the last year.


Ascent Award for Government Partnership

CHD recognized West Springfield Mayor William Reichelt with the Ascent Award for Government Partnership.

Mayor Reichelt and his team were nimble and responsive to CHD’s needs to respond to the pandemic and keep services up and running, facilitating COVID-19 testing for human-services staff and temporary program modifications in West Springfield.

In addition, with enthusiastic support from Mayor Reichelt, CHD’s Cancer House of Hope was able to relocate their 2020 Luminaria, an annual fundraising event featuring hundreds of candles dedicated to those whose lives have been affected by cancer, to the West Springfield Town Common.

In addition to providing important supports that ensured the health and safety of event attendees, Mayor Reichelt helped champion Cancer House of Hope’s mission of delivering care, wellness and connection to people in the community who are in any stage of their cancer journey.

“We thank Mayor Reichelt for his advocacy and congratulate him on his efforts to make our community, in every sense, a brighter place for all,” Craft said.