South Carolina Department of Mental Health

2007 Volunteer of the Year Nominations

Outstanding Individual Volunteers

Lenora Brunson Bonaparte
Nominated by James Starnes
William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute

Lenora Brunson BonaparteMinister Lenora Bonaparte, a native of Marion, South Carolina, is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a B.S. degree in Community Health Education and is employed with the U.S.C. School of Medicine with Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.

At present, she is working on her Master’s degree in Divinity at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.  Minister Bonaparte recently completed a Clinical Pastoral Education class offered through the C. M. Tucker Nursing Care Center.  As a part of this class, she interned at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute where she said that the Lord led her to start a church school for the teenage residents.

WSHPI is proud to honor this remarkable woman, who always finds the time to serve the Lord and her fellowman.  She is an amazing example of what you can accomplish with hard work, dedication, perseverance and a love for helping others.  She truly thinks of others first and is always reaching out to help those who are unable to help themselves.  Minister Bonaparte’s life motto is, “If I can help someone as I travel along, then my living will not be in vain.”

Sarah Carroll
Nominated by Nancy Woods
Waccamaw Center for Mental Health

Sarah CarrollThe Neighborhood Family Psychosocial Rehabilitation Program recognizes and applauds Sarah Carroll for her invaluable volunteer service to the program.  Her inspirational work and dedication as a volunteer are most admirable.  A retired teacher, Mrs. Carroll has been an active volunteer for the past seven years and renders her service to the program three days a week for three hours.  Mrs. Carroll has often stated, “Volunteering my time gives me a sense of belonging, and it helps keep my mental health in good condition.  I just enjoy helping others.”

Upon her arrival, she greets the clients with a warm smile before she begins assisting in the daily operation of the Neighborhood Family Program’s psychosocial activities.  Among her numerous duties, she assists with providing guidance and encouragement to the clients in an appropriate manner as they complete activities, unit performances, and paperwork.  In addition, Mrs. Carroll is excellent in assisting with the preparation of nutritious meals, as she likes to focus on the importance of a healthy diet.

The program’s staff and clients all agree that she is an efficient and caring individual who plays a vital role in the success of the program.  They are proud to have her as a part of their volunteer team.  In a life characterized by service, Mrs. Sarah Carroll defines the true meaning of volunteering.

Eileen Davis
Nominated by Jenifer Sharpe
Lexington County Community Mental Health Center

Eileen DavisEileen Davis knows what it is like to experience hard times.  After all, this spry 97 year old has lived during World War I, World War II, the Korean conflict, Vietnam, and the Gulf Wars.  She knows what it means to make sacrifices for others, to pull together and support each other during difficult times, and to endure and overcome challenging situations. 

The LCCMHC recognizes Mrs. Davis for her 10 years of unselfish service and valuable contributions to the community clients.  Over the years she has undertaken the task of collecting needed items for donation to the center, by building a network of seniors, assisted living community staff, and family and friends from Wisconsin to Florida to gather clothing, household items, books, and other needed materials to help those in need.

Ever humble, Mrs. Davis says, “I know it is not much, but it is what I can do.”  Mrs. Davis exemplifies a loving and creative outreach to the community, and her dedicated efforts have truly made a difference in the lives of many individuals.  She has been a blessing to many throughout her life and continues to be to the Lexington County Community Mental Health Center.  Mrs. Davis is an inspiration to everyone.

Micah Roland Lattanner
Nominated by Sandra Jamison
Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital

Micah Lattanner, a Psychology major at Clemson University, began his internship in May 2005 at Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital.  Upon the completion of his required 70 hours, Micah enthusiastically continued to volunteer at least ten hours a week, helping with patients and activities.

When Micah learned there was a need for male volunteers to visit with the patients on “G” Lodge, he immediately accepted the challenge.  But he did not stop there - he recruited other volunteers, who now come weekly in the evenings to play bingo.  The Harris staff applauds him for his successful recruitment, which has provided volunteers for four consecutive semesters to interact with the patients on both “G” and “K” Lodges.  Micah has set an outstanding example of character, and he encourages these students to continue the volunteer program after his graduation.

It pleases Micah to put smiles on the faces of the patients, “The patients and staff have helped me to choose my career path.”  Micah has truly touched the lives of the patients and staff with his compassion, positive attitude, humor, and genuineness.  Volunteers like him are the key to building a stronger community and meeting the critical needs of that community. 

Bob Lorish
Deborah DiNovo / Sherri Dangerfield
Charleston-Dorchester Community Mental Health Center

The Charleston-Dorchester Community Mental Health Center was most fortunate to meet Bob Lorish via Family Services, where he serves as Board Chairman.  This introduction opened the door to a rewarding relationship between the Center and Mr. Lorish.  He brings with him an array of valuable experience and immeasurable knowledge in the mental health arena.

Mr. Lorish donates at least 20 hours a week performing a multitude of needs services: acting as a consultant to the Charleston-Dorchester CMHC senior management team, attending senior management meetings and facilitating annual strategic planning retreats.

He researches national trends, brings relevant articles and resources for review, and conducts a weekly Leadership Academy for the Center’s identified up-and-coming senior management.  Further, he conducts a monthly introduction to leadership training for entry-level managers.

The Charleston-Dorchester Community Mental Health Center is extremely grateful for the service Mr. Lorish provides to the Center, as it could never afford to pay him what his talents and resources are truly worth.  Center staff members consider themselves unbelievably blessed that Mr. Lorish has chosen to share his time and expertise with the Charleston-Dorchester Community Mental Health Center.

Grace Lovell
Nominated by Maria Barrera
C. M. Tucker Nursing Care Center

Grace Lovell came to the C. M. Tucker Nursing Care Center as a Clinical Pastoral Education student.  She remained as a volunteer and has continued her work with the residents for the past ten years.

Grace joined the Pet Therapy Program, brought her two dogs to the evening activity twice a month for several years, and would visit residents on the unit afterwards.  She also began assisting with Sunday worship services and faithfully attends one Sunday morning each month.  In addition, she leads services on additional Sunday mornings when necessary.  She is an inspirational preacher who always delivers a word of hope in her message, which has a positive impact on the residents at the Center.

As an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and a mental health counselor for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Grace always brings a message of good news.  In her kind and loving manner, she has the gift to uplift and encourage the residents.  Grace has been an invaluable link for clients making their transition from the community to life at the Center, while maintaining a nurturing relationship with them.  Tucker Center thanks Grace for the love and devotion she extends to the residents through her volunteer service.

Johnnie Phelps
Nominated by Judy Hassam
Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center

Johnnie PhelpsJohnnie Phelps is a dedicated and dependable volunteer at the Daybreak Center for Recovery in Anderson.  He has not missed one day since he began as a volunteer van driver in 2003.  He transports the Daybreak members anywhere they need to go: doctor appointments, the drug store, the Post Office, the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles or to work.

Mr. Phelps is an attentive listener and enjoys eating with the clubhouse members after he has concluded his driving duties.  A patient and gentle man with a positive personality, Mr. Phelps has a way of making everyone feel loved and important.  He enjoys that the Center depends on him, remarking, “I love it - they are all just a very great crowd.” 

The Daybreak community is extremely thankful to have such a caring and dedicated volunteer as Mr. Phelps, who devotes so much of his time to helping ensure the quality of life for others.  He is an instrumental part of the Daybreak Center for Recovery.

Jeanette Lynn Smith
Nominated by Alyce Kemp DeWitt
G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital

Jeanette Lynn SmithThe entire G. Werber Bryan administration pays tribute to Associate Chaplain Jeanette Lynn Smith for her seven years as a volunteer chaplain.  She is committed to volunteering and willingly gives her time and devotion to help those who are less fortunate.

Jeanette serves as Chaplain two days each week from 8:00 a.m. until noon.  However, one can often find her at a lodge any given day or hour ministering to a patient in need.  The combination of her work and the love she provides is impressive, but even more so is the impact of her encouraging and positive spirit on patients and staff.  The sincere affection she has for others is humbling, and her willingness and desire to help has no limits.  She is there when a patient needs extra encouragement, understanding or just a hug.

Chaplain Smith has the gift to communicate in a sincere and positive manner, and her compassion, understanding, and listening skills provide immense comfort and reassurance to individuals in mental distress.  The staff is grateful for her faithful service, which continues to be a blessing to many individuals who are in need.  Her commitment as a volunteer has made a tremendous difference in the lives of the patients and the staff at Bryan Psychiatric Hospital.

Outstanding Volunteer Groups

JOY Sunday School Class – Concord Baptist Church
Nominated by Sandra Jamison
Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital

For seven years, the JOY Sunday School Class from Concord Baptist Church has helped to precipitate recovery for the “K” Lodge residents at Harris Hospital through their joy, love, hope, laughter, hugs, prayers, singing, and devotionals.  The group has twice received the Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital Volunteer Group of the Year Award because of the consistent JOY they bring to the residents.

During the holidays, these women become Santa’s little helpers to ensure that Harris Hospital’s clients are not forgotten.  In addition, they provide warmth by donating eighty-eight sweatshirts to the residents.  During the year, they send greeting cards to residents reminding them they are special and loved.  Improving the lives of these individuals, supporting their recovery, and simply loving them – what a difference a little JOY can make.

The administration and staff at Patrick B. Harris Psychiatric Hospital are pleased to recognize and honor the JOY Sunday School class for the many hours they have dedicated to serving the mental health community.  We applaud these volunteers for their unselfish service and contributions to individuals in need.  Their loving hearts shine through in everything they do for the residents at Harris.

Kilbourne Park Baptist Church – Love in Action
Nominated by Maria Barrera
C. M. Tucker Nursing Care Center

Kilbourne Park Baptist ChurchThirty-four years ago, a group of twelve women from the Kilbourne Park Baptist Church decided to put love into action and began making colorful lap robes, small pillows, squeeze balls, beanbags, and storage bags for wheelchairs and walkers – and they are still sharing their love today.  Their beautiful creations can be found throughout the Tucker Nursing Care Center, making residents more comfortable and their rooms more decorative.  The group, comprised of eight members whose ages range from 60 to over 80 years, have even mended clothing for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Nursing and Social Work Services staff.

Love in Action is innovative with their projects and always attuned to the needs of residents.  One such idea was to make warm, cozy cardigans out of sweatshirts.  In addition, many hours of hard work, creativity and love have gone into the design of Raggedy Ann type dolls, which make ideal birthday or Christmas gifts.  Much love, care and time go into all of their projects, and it shows in all of the beautiful items made for the residents.  Love in Action exemplifies a generous and loving heart and devotion to the mental health community.

Lexington Baptist Association
Nominated by Sheila Arnold
Columbia Area Mental Health Center

Lexington Baptist AssociationIn 1994, the Lexington Baptist Association chose Mental Health as one of their ministries and targeted Lexington and Columbia Area’s Centers as recipients of hygiene packages, which contain   toothbrushes, towels, soap, and other necessities.

Basic hygiene items are needed year-round; clients who receive treatment in the Emergency Service units and the Impact Program receive many of these healthcare packages. The Association has increased their donations to the centers each year, and last year the number rose to 1,100!   The Association’s Mental Health Ministry has donated 7,800 hygiene packages to the Columbia Area Mental Health Center over the years.  The Columbia Area Mental Health Center values this longstanding and invaluable relationship.

Maggie Smith Missionary Circle – Bethlehem Baptist Church
Nominated by Alyce Kemp DeWitt
G. Werber Bryan Psychiatric Hospital

Maggie Smith Missionary Circle - Bethlehem Baptist ChurchBryan Hospital commends the Maggie Smith Missionary Circle of the Bethlehem Baptist Church for their love, dedication and exceptional volunteer service.  For thirteen years, they have been a part of the Adopt-A-Lodge Program and have made regular monthly visits and attended on other occasions to meet special needs.

The group initially adopted Lodge “C,” providing a monthly party.  When the lodge closed, they immediately adopted Lodge “H” without missing a month.  In addition, they collect clean, quality items for the patients’ Clothing Closet.  Bethlehem Baptist Church goes the extra mile to fulfill patients’ needs for “little extras,” by providing things like holiday theme parties.  These folks believe everyone is important and deserves a bright future – one not marred by stigma but glowing with hope.

Maggie Smith Missionary Circle has selflessly given thirteen years of extraordinary service and dedication to the mentally ill and has made the clients at Bryan feel loved and special.  They have set an outstanding example of character, and the staff at Bryan honors them for their kindness.

NAMI – Anderson, Oconee, Pickens
Nominated by Judy Hassam
Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center

Michelle Ready of NAMI-AOPNAMI-AOP is an instrumental part of the AOP Mental Health Center.  Members are active partners in the center’s mission, providing support, education, information and referral to individuals with serious mental illness and their families.  The group plays a crucial role in helping free them from the stigma and discrimination.  Their advocacy presence offers a valuable resource in improving not only how services are provided, but also in determining areas where services can be enhanced.

During the Fall of 2006, this compassionate group assisted with the development of a new child therapy playroom at the Oconee Clinic.  The fundraiser, donations of toys, craft supplies, books, games, paint, and love further demonstrated their wholehearted outpouring of support and sponsorship of the project.  The group, in partnership with the Anderson Center employees, also made the holidays very special for some severe and persistently ill TLC clubhouse members with gifts and a dinner.

AOP sincerely appreciates NAMI-AOP for their longstanding commitment to the community.  Their ability to educate, witness, and listen not only to those who have an illness but also to the professional care providers is essential for the continuing success of the center.  For these reasons, and the many wonderful things they continue to do for the community, AOP Mental Health Center is thrilled to nominate NAMI-AOP for the Outstanding Volunteer Group award.

Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Patricia Connor-Greene
Nominated by Judy Hassam
Anderson-Oconee-Pickens Mental Health Center

Dr. Patricia Connor-Greene is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Clemson University.  She is a passionate advocate for awareness and understanding of mental illness, and is especially passionate about the social context of mental illness, the inclusion of creativity, art and narration, and celebration of those variables that promote resilience.

Dr. Connor-Greene has volunteered at AOP since 1999.  She was instrumental in working with the center to promote The Green Shoe Project during preparation for the 2002 Mental Health Awareness Walk.  In addition, her work with the residential members of the Village Community Care Center has been invaluable.

Dr. Connor-Greene aims for people to envision life without stigma or boundaries.  For her respectful and loving “hands-on” approach to teaching and for her significant contributions to the community, Dr. Patricia Connor-Greene is most deserving of the Distinguished Service Award.

From Richland with Love
Nominated by James Starnes
William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute

From Richland with Love is a group of generous Richland County employees who give their time, talents and resources to help the less fortunate citizens of Richland County and the surrounding area through different community projects.

During the holiday season, the youth and adult clients at William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute take center stage.  The Giving Tree Project, implemented by From Richland with Love, brings the holiday spirit into the lives of these individuals.  Each client hangs a tag, listing a special item he or she would like to receive as a gift, on the tree.   Richland County offices decorate their trees with tags, and employees select them to make holiday magic for someone special.  All of the employees who participate take great care in shopping to make these special gift requests a reality for the clients.

WSHPI is most fortunate these dedicated Richland County employees have been a part the “family” for more than five years. Administration and staff are proud of From Richland with Love for their inspirational work and the many volunteer hours they give. 

Piedmont Dental Center
Nominated by Jenifer Sharpe
Lexington County Community Mental Health Center

Karen Satcher of Peidmint Dental CenterThe Lexington County CMHC has great pride and admiration for the Piedmont Dental Center and its six locations. Piedmont Dental Center was the first business to come on board when the Irwin Phillip’s Emergency Fund began in 1999. Finding resources to help with the dental needs of adult clients is extremely difficult.  Piedmont Dental Center stepped forward when no one else would and offered a 20% discount to all SCDMH clients.  Since the discount program began, the Phillips’ Fund has saved an estimated $12,000-$15,000 in dental work costs for the clients.

The Lexington County CMHC would like to applaud the care and consideration given to their clients by Piedmont Dental Center staff and commend them for giving DMH clients the same respect given to all of their dental patients. The center appreciates the significant contributions the Dental Center has made to clients statewide.