Volunteer of the Year: Hannah Woodruff

Posted On October 30, 2017 By | No Comments on Volunteer of the Year: Hannah Woodruff

The Wilma Rayta Volunteer of the Year Award is given each year in memory of longtime COTS supporter, Wilma Rayta. Wilma is the only person in COTS history to be honored twice with the Volunteer of the Year award for unquestioning commitment and hard work.

IMG_9233 (1)This is always the most difficult award to decide because COTS has so many incredible volunteers. This year, however, we honor one of our longest volunteers, and that’s pretty incredible given her young age.

Chris Bohjalian for a 2015 Idyll Banter column in the Burlington Free Press wrote that Hannah Woodruff of Waterbury and her classmates had been asked to “change the world. Or, at the very least, they were supposed to try.”

Hannah decided she would accept that challenge and began volunteering with COTS to help people who were homeless. That was 2006, and Hannah was just 12 years old, over the years her connection to – and longstanding relationship – with COTS continued into her college years at the University of Vermont and now in medical school.

Over time, Hannah has volunteered to do a little bit of everything to support COTS, including being a regular at the COTS Walk. Most recently, you would have seen her reading and engaging in fun activities with children in our family shelter, where COTS staff, not surprisingly, said she was a “joy” to have around.

Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Hannah did, in fact, change the world; she’s actually done it one child at a time, starting with herself.

Categories: Children, Events, Families, Homelessness, Volunteers
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