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Image by Thor Alvis


Congratulations to our All-Star Volunteers: Wayne Steiner, Karen Lewis and Erik Mills!

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Wayne Steiner joined the THRIVE team in September of last year to work an afternoon shift. Soon, Wayne began arriving at THRIVE each day to help with any task. He's become one of the resident handymen when lightbulbs need to be replaced or painting needs to be touched up. You may also see him at our back door receiving donated items because he is often ready to help you with a smile. His warmth and energy is felt by all the staff and volunteers who work alongside him. So far in 2023, Wayne has clocked over 900 volunteer hours at THRIVE. Recently he was selected as a Virginia Local Hero Award Winner from Wawa! He was one of twenty-five volunteers across the Commonwealth to receive this honor. He dedicates this award and his abilities to the Lord who gives him strength and allows him to serve in this way. Glory to God!  Amen!

Karen Lewis, a retired Command Master Chief in the US Navy, played a crucial role in this project. She organized tasks like installing switch covers, painting, coordinating painters, organizing and ordering supplies, and always keeping the project moving forward. Karen always went the extra mile to ensure everyone was having fun, fostering teamwork with homemade treats and meals for the volunteers. Karen ensured everyone stayed hydrated and happy. Her presence was marked by a contagious smile and a cheerful "can-do" attitude, effectively keeping the team engaged and motivated. Karen consistently went above and beyond, clearing her calendar, setting her alarm, and arriving at the building at or before sunrise on numerous days, often being the last to leave. Her unwavering commitment served as a pillar of support for the THRIVE mission, allowing THRIVE staff to address other tasks confidently. Handling logistics as the on-site lead is rarely a volunteer role, but Karen's contributions, both in time and effort, were truly invaluable. THRIVE will be forever grateful for Karen's dedication and impact on the project.

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Erik Mills, currently a Senior Project Manager at WM Jordan, heard about some of our initial challenges with zoning and offered to help. Erik was quickly named the Chief Project Manger and oversaw and coordinated the many contractors, volunteer groups, using a mix of standard and donated items as for our new building. Though balancing all of the different groups and donors has been a unique challenge, Erik says it's been a treat to see the passion each group has, coming together to build something for the community. His time and talents have been deeply appreciated by the THRIVE staff who can focus their efforts on offering current services at a high level and planning programs and new processes for the new space. Thank you, Erik for all the ways you are building a brighter future for the Peninsula!

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