Telephone operator by day, community servant by night, and any other time she’s needed.
That’s Olivene Adams, one of five who answers the main number at EIOH’s Eastman Dental, and who was recently given a Bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award, which recognizes qualified U.S. citizens or residents who have volunteered 100-249 hours of community service. Additionally, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren issued a Mayoral Volunteer Service Award for her outstanding community outreach and volunteerism.
The honor is for Project K, a program Olivene started early last year that helps Rochester families who have lost a loved one to murder. Olivene helps with funeral costs, groceries, or other unexpected costs, and is funded solely by her.
“To date, I have helped three families,” said Olivene, who explained the K stands for Kundalini, which means feminine energy in ancient spiritual Afrikaans, in honor of her late mother. “I’m currently putting money together to pay for a tomb stone that a mother doesn’t have for her 16-year old daughter who was murdered in 2010.”
Olivene was nominated for this honor by Dr. Barbara Singleton-Pradia, founder of Cateva Outreach Ministries, where Olivene is studying, and will graduate early next year as a chaplain. Barbara describes Olivene as a very cheerful, outgoing person, with a big heart, and who is very compassionate, spiritual, sympathetic and empathetic.
“I am really impressed with her compassion and dedication with this outreach ministry,” Barbara said. “That’s straight from the heart when you can do something like that for these families. The love she shows – volunteering her time and resources for people she don’t even know – that’s what chaplaincy is all about.”
“I don’t know these people, but I get to know them, and I end up building long lasting relationships with them, as if they are my own family, because they truly are,” Olivene said. “This city of Rochester is our community and we are all family.”
Aside from reaching out to grieving families, Olivene holds events to help bring the community together where she can educate, minister or help people in need. She lives each day by her favorite motto: ‘step out in faith, and watch what happens.”
The awards included a letter from President Obama, which reads in part, “Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment to your community that moves America a step closer to its great promise.”
For more information about Project K, which is available 24 hours a day, contact Olivene at firstname.lastname@example.org.