January 2017 - Portland, Oregon
For over 20 years, Lisa Benson has volunteered cooking meals at Our House Neighborhood Housing and Care Facility, which serves low-income people living with HIV.
Kathryn Siebert, Director of Volunteers at Our House, provided the following information in her Silent Servant nomination of Lisa Benson:
"Lisa Benson has been cooking Friday dinners for the residents of Our House for over 20 years. She originally came to us in 1996 to offer her services as a licensed massage therapist, but because our need for cooks was great, she graciously accepted. She has been flexible and 100% reliable over all of these years, weathering the challenges of new volunteer teams and kitchen managers as well as a revolving door of increasingly more complicated residents. Invariably, her humor and dedication, as well as wonderful cooking skills, have won their hearts - often through their stomachs.
Lisa takes her commitments incredibly seriously, as evidenced by her long tenure and willingness to weather changes, some of which have not been easy. She does this out of the deep compassion she feels for our clients, along with bonds of friendship and our shared mission to "help people with HIV to live well." She has been an integral part of this mission for almost our entire organizational history (since Our House was founded in 1988). She has received certificates and hugs, weekly thanks and public appreciation at our internal recognition events, but this award seems perfect for someone with her level of love and commitment."
To learn more about Our House, visit www.ourhouseofportland.org.