On May 2, 2022, Governor Doug Ducey recognized individuals and groups committed to meeting critical needs across Arizona through service and volunteerism at the 19th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards.
The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards honor exemplary individual and organizational volunteer efforts that have strengthened communities and improved quality of life for Arizonans. Awardees have dedicated their hearts, hands, and minds to their communities.
2022 Governor's Volunteer Service Awardees
Lifetime Achievement (25+ years of service)
Judy Goddard, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona
Judy Goddard has volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Arizona for the past 34 years, and has had a hand in serving nearly 15,000 families. In that time, Judy has filled nearly every role imaginable, including house manager, kitchen manager, receptionist, housekeeper and even chauffeur! During her time with the Ronald McDonald House, her husband and 5 children joined her to support gift wrapping, handing out presents and decorating for the parties during the holiday season. For her, no task is too big or too small and every task is tackled with enthusiasm and love.
Now, at 83 years old, she still serves faithfully two days a week - greeting families, answering phones and writing ‘thank you’ notes to donors and other volunteers - many of whom became involved with Ronald MacDonald House because of her commitment to the work.
Ronald MacDonald House is often called “the House that love built” and Judy has become the heart of that home. It is impossible to measure the impact of a lifetime of kindness, but it is easy to recognize in those that serve.
Inspired Adult Leadership Awardees
Lauri Wong, Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers of Navajo County
Lauri Wong serves with the Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers of Navajo County and also as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and CASA Ambassador for Navajo County. Dedicating over 2500 hours to the Sheriff’s Auxiliary last year, Lauri supervises 5 Units, 2 committees and nearly 90 volunteers. Together they organized a holiday gift drive which served several hundred children, delivered food to residents on Navajo Nation, organized welfare checks for homebound individuals and developed a youth First Responder Program. As a CASA, she is the voice in the courtroom for abused and neglected children and as a CASA Ambassador, encourages others to participate in this much needed work.
Darlene Stubbs, Short Creek Running Club
Darlene Stubbs has dedicated over 750 hours serving an estimated 7,000 individuals in her community through various avenues in Colorado City. As the town has worked to overcome the devastation wrought by Warren Jeffs, Darlene has emerged as an unofficial town ambassador, earning the trust of her community and inspiring others toward productivity and healing. Recognizing a need to encourage healthy living, she started the Short Creek Running Club, hosting various runs and triathlons and will be featured in Runner's World Magazine. She started a farmers market where residents can access healthy food. Concerned with economic opportunities, the farmers market hosts local producers and Darlene created an online portal where jobseekers can identify local job opportunities. Darlene has also brought celebration back to the town in the form of an annual Independence Day Parade and Halloween Trunk or Treat, as well as an annual Cemetery Cleanup project which instills pride and a connection to heritage for community members.
Inspired Youth Leadership
Avi Agarwal, Avi’s Sweet Treats
Only 2 years ago, in the middle of a global pandemic, Avi founded a charity bakery. In that short time, over 5000 cupcakes were baked and served at organizations like the Phoenix Dream Center and Sunshine Residential Orphanage and to frontline workers like the Union Hills Fire Department. Additionally, profits from bakery sales raised over $10,000 for various organizations including sponsoring 25,000 meals at St. Mary’s Food Bank. One might think that delivering sunshine and smiles in the form of cupcakes might be enough for a single person, however in the midst of baking, Avi recognized the negative environmental impacts of nonrecyclable materials used regularly. In response, he developed edible cupcake liners!
In addition to the bakery, Avi leads the BASIS Peoria Youth Policy Assembly, tutors other students at his school, is a member of the City of Peoria Youth Advisory Board where they chair the Outreach Committee, and serves on the Punjabi Youth Council.
Service to Community Awardees
Green Valley Fire Corps Volunteers
Green Valley Fire Corps Volunteers have contributed over 5,000 hours supporting the non-emergency fire response needs in their community in the last year. They have installed over 1,600 new smoke detectors while replacing batteries in nearly 5,500 additional detectors. They installed 663 lock boxes on the homes of seniors or adults with disabilities, which will allow first responders to access the property in the event of an emergency. They contributed nearly 600 hours to community outreach and education efforts. Additionally, this group served over 325 hours at local vaccine clinics and in transporting nurses to residences so homebound individuals could receive the vaccine. These combined efforts resulted in $120,000 in savings to the town and was instrumental in keeping response times low for real emergency situations.
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones
Parents of Addicted Loved Ones has served Arizona since 2015. The organization consists of a group of parents helping other parents navigate the challenges that substance abuse presents through weekly support groups using an evidence based curriculum. The pandemic presented some unique hurdles in continued service delivery including how to take sessions online. This group was able to navigate the changing landscape, hosting over 1,300 meetings virtually and in person in 2021. With fewer than 40 volunteers, this group dedicated over 3,200 hours serving over 10,000 individuals last year.
National Service Volunteer Awardee
John Yost, AmeriCorps Seniors program at Interfaith Community Services of Tucson (ICS)
John Yost has been engaged with the AmeriCorps Seniors Program at Interfaith Community Services (ICS) Tucson since 2018. In this role, he drives two mobile meal routes ensuring that seniors and individuals with disabilities have access to nutritious meals. He also serves with the Workforce Development Program, assisting job seekers with various skills and the Home Sweet Home Program, helping seniors stay living independently. Serving as a leader on the AmeriCorps Seniors Task Force for the last 4 years, he has instilled an ethic of service in the community by organizing road clean-up efforts and diaper/wipe distributions with extensive community participation. As the liaison between ICS and St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, John organized a food collection drive during the pandemic that resulted in over 40,000 pounds of food gathered, as well as the annual peanut butter drive which resulted in 1,851 jars of peanut butter collected this year (the largest single source donation). And if caring for people wasn’t enough, John took on ownership of a new initiative between ICS and a local pet food distributor, personally ferrying over 26,000 pounds of pet food to the ICS Food Bank for distribution.
Pandemic Response Awardees
Isaac School District
Isaac School District quickly shifted their programming in response to the COVID pandemic to meet the rapidly changing needs of their community. Early in the pandemic, they served over 200,000 meals to area families and distributed over 10,500 Chrome books with free internet access to children and families to support continued learning at home. As schools resumed in-person instruction, the district began opening their doors at 6:00 AM, providing 12 hour school days to both mitigate learning loss as well as provide a safe place for students as their families navigated various economic challenges such as job loss and housing insecurity. Other efforts to mitigate familial challenges from the pandemic included opening a community pantry to distribute food and sanitation supplies to over 10,000 individuals. Isaac School District also served as a source of public health access for the community providing free testing, immunizations and community education. Through these efforts, approximately 5,300 children received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 80% of the employees are fully vaccinated.
Valley of the Sun, YMCA
Valley of the Sun, YMCA has been a pillar of support for youth and families throughout the pandemic. They brought programming into people’s homes through virtual service delivery, providing nearly 12,800 virtual family events including crafts and games, as well as filming over 500 virtual workout sessions so that adults could stay active at home. More than 7,800 seniors in the community received check-in calls and more than 6,800 children of essential workers received care. Additionally, 620 opportunity youth served more than 22,000 hours while exploring new career paths and learning essential skills for employment.
Sun Jones, Sun Wright
As practitioners and co-founders of the Arizona Korean Nurses Association, Sun and Sun quickly recognized the need to connect with the Asian community as language and low technology proficiency would hinder ability to access the COVID vaccine. Over a ten month period, they organized 10 community clinics in the East Valley. These sisters worked closely with the Maricopa County Public Health Department to secure vaccine doses, communicated with Asian and Hispanic community organizations to ensure registration forms and volunteers were available in up to 10 different languages, and connected with grocers and retail centers to secure a comfortable and familiar location where community members could access vaccines. Together, they spent over 1,000 hours organizing and executing these events and leveraged an additional 4,000 hours from other volunteers in order to vaccinate over 2,300 individuals.