Montgomery Serves Awards 2021

Congratulations to the 2021 Montgomery Serves Awards honorees. These individuals, businesses, and groups have demonstrated remarkable commitment to service and volunteerism in our community, earning them Montgomery County's highest recognition for their contributions.

Volunteer of the Year

Recognizing outstanding volunteer service performed by an individual in 2020


John Frizzell photoTheresa Testoni

Service is the heart and soul of who Theresa Testoni is. Her lifelong passion for serving others is evident by the time, endless effort, talent, commitment, dedication, initiative, and leadership this Silver Spring resident has devoted to many organizations over the years. There is no project too small or too big for Theresa. She’s been described as “an endless ball of energy.” 

At the start of COVID-19 closures in March 2020, Theresa began volunteering at Rainbow Community Development and typically was the first to reach out to find out what she could do to help.  

Theresa delivered groceries to over 48 households and helped prepare bags of groceries for over 6,000 households. She served as a Spanish translator for clients. She recognized the tremendous need in the community and organized fundraisers to help secure funds and wrote grants to sustain Rainbow’s programs. She recruited and trained 38 volunteers. 

As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, Theresa created Black Lives Matter signs, sold them in person and online and recruited companies to advertise the signs. This effort raised $3,000 for Rainbow. 

On her own initiative, she took grant-writing courses and secured three grants totaling $11,000. One of these grants, which was Theresa’s idea, made it possible for Rainbow to hire two part-time drivers who had lost their jobs due to COVID-19.  

When Rainbow started a pilot program to help keep four restaurants open, enabling them to keep staff employed while providing more than 1,800 prepared meals to vulnerable populations, along with 380 prepared sandwich meals for students and their families, Theresa managed the entire program. She coordinated menus with the restaurants, the apartment complexes, and parent/teacher coordinators, and facilitated deliveries at each location. She created intake forms to capture demographic data required for reports and tracked the spending for this project. Theresa captured pictures and stories for Rainbow to share with funders. As a result of her hard work, this project has become a model for others.  

Theresa’s vast knowledge of the nonprofit community helped connect Rainbow to Community Bridges, where she also volunteers. Rainbow now provides groceries to Community Bridges clients weekly. 

Theresa’s volunteerism knows no bounds. She has served on the Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism and the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County, and is a member of Leadership Montgomery. She has volunteered with the YMCA, the Downtown Silver Spring Rotary Club, A Wider Circle, Manna Food Center, and the Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless—to name just a few. 

Theresa is not only a valued volunteer, she’s a leader who inspires others to get involved. Whether she is providing direct services, engaging in advocacy, fundraising, or connecting organizations with resources, Theresa leaves a lasting impact, making life better for those in need.


—Nominated by Patricia Drumming 


See all of this year's honorees