Sister Kathleen Kelly was puzzled when she was encouraged to attend the Tender Mercies annual meeting last October – and she was shocked when she was given the first Sister Kathleen Kelly Award at the meeting.
The award recognizes Sister Kathleen’s 25 years of service to Tender Mercies, a Cincinnati agency that provides housing, resources and outreach to homeless who are mentally ill. The award will be given to an employee or volunteer who meets three of the four following Tender Mercies criteria: community partner, neighborhood partner, employee of the year or volunteer of the year.
Sister Kathleen began working for Tender Mercies in 1987 and spent much of her career there as a human services coordinator. She retired about five years ago and has worked as a full-time volunteer since. She normally volunteers in a building housing 12 women, helping them with appointments, transportation and other needs.
The award embodies Sister Kathleen’s commitment to the agency, said Laura Kohus, development manager for the Tender Mercies. It also sets a high standard for future recipients of the award.
“Sister Kathleen has given of herself not only to residents, but to staff and volunteers,” Kohus said. “The award was created out of the commitment and contribution Sister Kathleen has given to Tender Mercies as a past employee, community partner, neighborhood partner and volunteer for more than 20 years.”
Story by Dave Eck