November 22, 2011 at 9:51 am , by Amanda Wolfe
We’re so proud to highlight the women who won our second annual Ladies’ Home Journal We Volunteer Awards, a partnership with WE tv. Our goal was to find rockstar volunteers who are quietly making a big difference in their communities, and these three amazing ladies do not disappoint. Tessa Wehrman (left) volunteers with two groups to help disabled kids and adults, Holly McKay (center) has taught “mad scientist” lessons at her local elementary school twice a week for years, and Alison Bearman (right) volunteers 5 to 6 days a week at her local animal shelter, helping to find loving families for rescue dogs.
We honored these amazing women at our annual awards luncheon (with fabulous presenters Andie MacDowell, Sara Gore and Diann Valentine) and it was a seriously inspiring—and tear-inducing—day. Learn more about our second place and people’s choice award winners below, and read about grand prize winner, Tessa, in her magazine feature.
Holly McKay is a parent volunteer from Jacksonville, Florida who has gone (way) above and beyond in her volunteer work. Know at her local elementary school as “Mad Scientist McKay,” she has developed more than 40 custom lesson plans and teaches a full day of fun, interactive science lessons twice a week—in her mad scientist costume. Says one parent: “In a world where most of the school curriculum is devoted to the state standardized test given and where the teachers struggle just to make sure the children are prepared for that test, it is no easy task! She loves science and math and realizes that all of our children need to be exposed so that they can learn to love the subjects early.”
Alison Bearman has been volunteering 30 to 40 hours per week at the Atlanta Humane Society in 2002. To help the rescue dogs who are often sick or injured and desperate need of some TLC, no job is too big or small. She walks between 15 to 20 dogs each day, cleans kennels, gives baths, comforts the animals and even picks up poop. Her goal is to help these animals become great candidates to be adopted by a loving family. Says a fellow volunteer: “One of Alisons’s favorite ways to help the animals is by taking pictures of them to put on the AHS website. In this way, she speaks for the animals who have no voice. Alison is tireless in her efforts. She never complains about the hard work and never brags about her good deeds.”
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