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Chandler Volunteer Recognition Awards

City of Chandler, the Chandler Non-Profit Coalition (CNPC) and For Our City are excited to present the 2014 Chandler Volunteer Recognition Awards in honor of the tremendous impact and contributions volunteers bring to our community.  

Faith-based groups, non-profits, schools, businesses and any other group with volunteers are encouraged to nominate individuals for one of seven Chandler Volunteer Recognition Awards.

Although winners have already been selected for the seven major awards, new this year, we are allowing the public to vote online for this year's People's Choice Volunteer Winner.  The winner will be announced at the breakfast on February 5.

The 2014 People's Choice nominees are:
A. Al Cote, Chandler Police
Al was one of CPD's first volunteers and has been with our VIP program since 1993, where he has donated over 6,000 hours to the Chandler Police Department. He immediately jumped into the new volunteer program as a motorist assist and has made a tremendous impact on CPD staff and the community.  Al has established a great relationship with the officers and his fellow motorist assists. He exemplifies qualities of a dedicated volunteer and is a true pleasure to work with.  Al's positive attitude and loyalty has helped to develop the motorist assist program to the program it is today.  Over the years, Al has provided a helping hand whenever asked.  He has helped with calibrating fleet, at special events, with data-entry in field operations, and with the DUI task force.  His service has saved countless hours and his dedication to the Chandler Police Department has exceeded any expectation. Al has set a level of dedication that we should all admire and hope to achieve both in our professional life and our personal lives.

B. Ines Honne, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
Ines Honne has been a VITA volunteer for about 10 years. She is a greeter/screener for the program and is the perfect person to be the “first contact” when people walk into the sites. Each year she volunteers roughly 150 hours to the City of Chandler’s VITA Program. Ines and I have worked together for about 10 years. Of all the VITA program greeters I have worked with she is the best. Ines has a smile for everyone, she is excellent at organizing customers so they are handled in the order they arrive or at the time of their appointments. Many customers have become acquainted with her over the years and know that she will be fair, but firm with them. She helps the site coordinator at the end of a session to account for everyone who has signed in to either have a return appointment or to have a return completed and submitted to the IRS. In addition to all the organization of the site, she is bilingual. Her Spanish is as good as her English. Customers who either don’t speak English or have difficulty with English are helped greatly by her translating ability. I think her quote that sums up her help to the Spanish speaking clients best is, "If you don’t fully understand something, don’t shake your head up and down, ask for more help!" VITA just wouldn't be the same without her upbeat personality and warming smile.

C. Helen Jacobs, Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods (ICAN)
ICAN is pleased to present Helen Jacobs as a nominee for a Volunteer award. Helen is a phenomenal asset to ICAN and the at-risk youth in our program.  She started her volunteer work with us in August of 2012, and has served our program and youth an average of six hours a week since!  Helen directly serves our youth through her work as a Check-In Monitor - by helping to manage the inflow of children as they arrive from school; as a Program Aide by supporting staff and engaging youth in programming such as Steps to Respect, Too Good For Drugs, Sports, Science, Civics and Music Appreciation; and as a Homework Tutor by assisting children with a variety of subjects from math to science to spelling and reading.  Not satisfied with stopping there, Helen helps us set-up, prep and staff special events and holiday activities for our youth and their families. Her cheery, easy going style is always appreciated by staff, other volunteers and of course, our youth! We are richly blessed to also have Helen serve as an active member of our Program Committee, for which she has provided strategic direction and expertise in the areas of program development and implementation, quality assessment and program evaluation. Her commitment to ensuring quality programming for Chandler's at-risk youth shines brightly in her work on our Program Committee. Helen, while small of stature, is big of heart!  Her generosity, friendly smile, quality of work and educational expertise are invaluable to our organization and the many aspects she serves in.  Helen is truly exceptional and we are so very grateful to have her on our team!
D. Valerie Nobles, Chandler Library & Chandler Fire, Health & Medical
Val started volunteering at the Library after moving to Chandler from Arkansas in 2012. She has been an asset to our used book fundraising from day one. Her “dig in and tackle” attitude and organizational skills have contributed to the success of the department and the annual used books sales. Val suggested creating a database for all the rare and collectible books donated to the Friends of the Library. This was a monumental task! Even after finding a full-time job, she still came in on Saturdays to track and record the books received. She assumed a lead role in training other volunteers and is always willing to help when additional volunteer hours are needed.

Last spring Val began assisting with Chandler Fire, Health & Medical (CFHM) Department’s Senior Smoke Alarm Program. CFHM was looking for someone to schedule home visits. When Val took over the scheduling, appointments were being made when an older adult called in and asked for assistance. Val suggested adding a proactive component to the program. She combed through over 10 years of records to create a database of all program participants. Val then began to contact each person on this list, which included several thousand names. Because of Val’s innovation, CFHM’s smoke alarm program now has a working list of people to contact every month.

E. Kay Pratt, Clothes Cabin
Kay has been volunteering with Clothes Cabin even before it WAS Clothes Cabin. She is one of the original members of the group that started what eventually became One Small Step, over 13 years ago. She has seen the growth of this organization and been a part of the volunteer team every step of the way. Kay's philanthropic spirit and concern for others is inspiring. She is committed to making Clothes Cabin a better place for those we serve and follows through with that commitment week after week. Kay welcomes every person who comes through our doors with warmth, wit, and wisdom. She truly is a special person and great friend.

F. Melanie Slate, St. Mary's Catholic Church & Fiesta Bowl Active Ambassador
Melanie Slate knows a thing or two about volunteering. Since the fall of 2009, she has served as a Special Blessing Volunteer at St. Mary's Catholic Church. She volunteers as an instructor for a special needs religious education class where she actively participates in order for the children to understand and grow in the Catholic faith. Since 2012, she has planned and implemented the 8th grade graduation retreat as a member of the 8th grade retreat team.  Melanie is also a Fiesta Bowl Active Ambassador, responsible for raising funds and volunteering in support of the administration, players, and guests from the four teams that come in for the Cactus Bowl and the Vizio Fiesta Bowl. She serves meals at the Ronald McDonald House, helped refurbish a room there, and serves on the Queen of Court Scholarship Committee.

In additional to her work at St. Mary’s and the Fiesta Bowl, Melanie volunteers with Team 905, adopt-a-family, Family Support Group, W. Steven 911 Toy Drive,  ICAN Festival of Trees and is on the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) Committee.  Melanie also participates as a volunteer for a number of one-time events such as 'Eat Your Art Out', Chandler Center for the Arts hostess and numerous Compadre Branch Boys & Girls Club holiday events.  Melanie approaches every assignment with a cheerful attitude, one that is highly contagious. She knows what is important in volunteering: drive, dedication, reliability, and a huge heart for service. 

Click here to vote for a People's Choice nominee!!
Nominations will be open until Wednesday, February 4 - 5 p.m.

Winners will be awarded at the annual Volunteer Recognition Breakfast on February 5, 2015.  Email invites to this invite only breakfast will be sent out the second week of January 2015.  Seven official awards (already selected by Awards Committee), Mayor's Choice Award and People’s Choice Award will be given out at the event. 

Did you volunteer a large number of hours in 2014?  The City of Chandler and CNPC would like to recognize volunteers by sending those with over 1,000 hours a special lapel pin and certificate signed by the Mayor.  Volunteers with over 100 hours will also get a certificate signed by the Mayor. Please talk to any faith-based group, Chandler Non-Profit Coalition, school, business or City Department where you volunteer and make sure your name is on their list to receive a certificate and/or pin.

If you have any questions about the awards or nomination process, please email


Looking for places to volunteer

  • For a list of current volunteer opportunities through For Our City - Chandler, click here.  

Volunteer programs like For Our City–Chandler have the purpose of helping coordinate service needs of the City of Chandler and non-profit organizations with the service resources of faith-based communities, employers, business groups, and others in the Chandler area. To learn more about For Our City, visit

  • Want to volunteer at the City of Chandler?  Click here for a list of Department contacts.
  • Click here to visit the Chandler Non-Profit Coalition web site.

Traditional Days of Service

Even small contributions of time and effort can make a world of difference in the lives of others.  Please look for community projects or ideas of ways to volunteer on the following days of service:

• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – January 
• Cesar Chavez Day – March
• 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance – September 11
• Make a Difference Day – October 


Stay Informed

If  you would like to be included on the For Our City mailing list, in which you can get up to date information on events and volunteer opportunities, please contact