As a senior who is home-bound, what’s better than being on the receiving end of a warm meal arriving directly on your doorstep? Receiving that meal from this month’s Team Leader Spotlight alongside her volunteers, armed with warm smiles and conversation.
Meet Kathryn Sallnow, a Team Leader who recently celebrated five years with New York Cares and three years as a Team Leader with our Meal Delivery at Goddard Riverside program. Three-hundred and seventeen projects later, we are honored to deliver our own message of warmth – this time on her doorstep.
We’ll start back in 2012, shortly before Hurricane Sandy hit and at a time when Kathryn first got involved with New York Cares. Right off the bat, she jumped into disaster relief projects and regularly bused out to the Rockaways to support the local community as they struggled with the devastation of the hurricane.
It didn’t take long for Kathryn to get the Team Leader bug and begin leading these same projects. She managed volunteers as they helped unload supplies, make care packages, and serve meals to individuals affected by Sandy. She took what she learned from those experiences and soon began leading a weekly program at Meal Delivery at Goddard Riverside serving meals to homebound seniors.
But Kathryn’s leadership hasn’t been confined to meal delivery – she’s also utilized her professional skillset through programs like Job Readiness with Henry Street Settlement where volunteers conduct mock interviews and provide resume feedback to adults, out-of-school youth, and public assistance jobseekers.
While that’s quite the resume for a Team Leader all on its own, it’s important to note that Kathryn stands out as a leader not because of the number of projects she’s led or hours she’s devoted. It’s all in her approach. As her Program Manager shares:
"Kathryn always makes sure all bases are covered, arrives early, stays late, and works with all volunteers to make sure they are up to speed on the project goals."
Delightful, attentive, and prepared are just a few of the common descriptors used by her volunteers. Here’s just one volunteer’s account:
“Kathryn was incredibly friendly, personable, professional and just lovely. Distributing meals was rewarding and I enjoyed meeting fellow volunteers who have been on this project for a length of time."
No matter the program or the volunteer group, Kathryn has proven time and time again that she is dedicated to spreading warmth and fostering a caring environment for volunteers.
So, as we're hot off the heels of a celebratory breakfast hosted by Karlene, Program Director of Home Delivered Meals at Goddard Delivery honoring 3 years working together with Kathryn and New York Cares, there's no better time to reflect on Kathryn's leadership. As she shared:
“Karlene calls us her New York Cares family and I think that says it all."
We agree. Thank you, Kathryn, for making projects about more than tasks but more importantly, about community. We are so glad you are a part of ours!