Montgomery Serves Awards 2020

Congratulations to the 2020 Montgomery Serves Awards honorees. These individuals, businesses, and groups have demonstrated remarkable commitment to direct volunteer service in our community, earning them Montgomery County's highest recognition for volunteerism.

Volunteer of the Year

Recognizing outstanding volunteer service performed by an individual in 2019 
 

John Frizzell photoJohn Frizzell

John Frizzell is the current president of Rockville Meals on Wheels (RMoW), a nonprofit organization providing meals and daily social contact to homebound residents in the Rockville area. This  chapter has remained an all-volunteer organization since its founding over four decades ago. 

While many Meals on Wheels chapters opt to pay full-time staff to run day-to-day operations, John’s dedication to RMoW has enabled it to continue to remain staff-free (and thus more funds are available to fulfill the needs of clients). Each week, in addition to his “day jobs,” John typically volunteers 15- 20 hours of his time, leading a team of 70 volunteers who deliver meals to over 50 clients. 

John began volunteering with RMoW in 2014, first delivering meals and then working as one of the  “Chairpersons of the Day." In 2016, when both the president and vice president stepped down, John  rose to the occasion and accepted the role of president. 

 2019 marked a turning point for the RMoW organization. John volunteered over 1,000 hours of his time to RMoW and transformed the organization from limping along to running smoothly. He improved volunteer morale, not only with his approachable leadership style and sense of humor, but also by filling the volunteer shortages through new volunteer recruitment and job reassignment. When faced with a $10,000 deficit after funding was cut and subsidized client obligations were up, John worked to resolve the issue through fundraising and negotiation. Furthermore, he moved the organization into the 21st century by implementing software to assist with routing, managing clients and tracking volunteers. This eliminated the need to spend countless hours writing turn-by-turn directions on index cards by hand and prevented the circulation of spreadsheets with incorrect or outdated information. John’s leadership, especially over the past year, has restored the organization to a healthy, vibrant, uplifted state, primed to address the needs of the Rockville community. 

Perhaps the most impressive quality about John is his ongoing willingness to help. Whenever. Wherever. And with a sense of humor. Dead mouse in the sink? He removed it. Cleaning out 50-year-old kitchen cabinets? No problem. Scrubbing the floors? By himself. Got a question? He’ll respond within the hour. Add to that his ability to listen, really listen. Patiently. Attentively. With humility. When asked about what inspires him, he said it is the example of RMoW volunteers who continue to show up day in and day out, not because they have to, but because they choose to. 

In the words of one Meals on Wheels volunteer, “John has shown a special determination to take something on and see it through with patience for those who came before him and an eye toward those who come after.”  
 
—Nominated by Michelle Perera 

 

See all of this year's honorees

 

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