Every volunteer should be celebrated and acknowledged, as they are the backbones of most nonprofits. Some volunteers go the extra mile and exceed expectations. Carol Lingenfelter is one such …
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The Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award is a program of Spark the Change Colorado. The award was conceived by the Commission on Community Relations to recognize and promote volunteerism by honoring an individual each month whose contributions are constructive, unique and outstanding.
To learn more about this award, donate or nominate an extraordinary volunteer, visit website www.minyasui.org.
Every volunteer should be celebrated and acknowledged, as they are the backbones of most nonprofits. Some volunteers go the extra mile and exceed expectations.
Carol Lingenfelter is one such volunteer. And for her exceptional work with the Central Visitation Program, Lingenfelter was recently honored as a Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award recipient.
Lingenfelter has been a volunteer with Denver’s Central Visitation Program since 2002. For the past 18 years, she has served on its board of directors, assisted with fundraising, volunteered with families and supervised interns.
The Central Visitation Program is a unique nonprofit that provides the metro-area with a much-needed service. Families can fracture — divorce, separation and restraining orders can wreak havoc on a family. In many of these situations, the courts want to make certain that children are safe, but are still able to maintain a relationship with their parents. The answer is supervised parenting time. Yet, this can be expensive and many families with limited resources can have difficulty finding an affordable program.
To meet that need, the Central Presbyterian Church, 1660 Sherman St. in Uptown, provided the seed money and established the Central Visitation Program in 1993. The Central Visitation Program provides the space and the oversight, enabling low-income families the opportunity to see their children, make exchanges in a safe, supervised setting and maintain a comfortable familial relationship with their children.
Lingenfelter was a social worker in Chicago, and she constantly received calls from attorneys who were working on difficult divorces and needed someone to assist with supervised visits with the children involved.
Upon moving to Denver, Lingenfelter was thrilled to find a volunteer opportunity with the Central Visitation Program. She played a critical role in the development of Central Visitation Program’s internship program, using her experience to work with students gaining intern experience with the Central Visitation Program. She created an intern handbook and offered countless hours of supervisory time to ensure the interns’ time was meaningful, productive and provided a positive learning experience.
Lingenfelter demonstrates extreme compassion and empathy in difficult work, and she challenges her interns to think in the same way.
“I cannot think of anyone that embodies Minoru Yasui’s values of vision, integrity, passion, courage, perseverance, advocacy, inclusion and compassion more than Carol,” said Kristen Knaak, one of Lingenfelter’s interns.
Lingenfelter has served on the Central Visitation Program’s board of directors since 2002 and was recently re-elected as its board president.
“Carol has been instrumental in helping guide the organization through its growth,” said Brad Wood, executive director of the Central Visitation Program. “Her expertise has been invaluable in helping the Central Visitation Program grow, and its success.”
Cindy Piggott is the chairperson of the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award Committee.
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