Charity in Action Awards to Honor Compassionate Commitment of Esteemed West Virginians
WEST VIRGINIA—Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2019 Charity in Action Award. The honorees are Dick Ash of Huntington, W.Va., Sandy Koncir of Elizabeth, W.Va., and Donna Smith of Vienna, W.Va. These individuals have performed meaningful service and demonstrated deep compassion for others and will be honored at the Charity in Action Awards Luncheon on October 25, 2019. “At Catholic Charities, we are on a mission of love to end poverty, one family at a time,” said Beth Zarate, CCWVa Chief Executive Officer. “We are blessed and inspired by many partners who walk this journey with us, and we’re honored to recognize three of these dedicated individuals.” Dick Ash is a retired engineer and lends his time and skill helping others increase their literacy, numeracy and higher-level academic skills. Recognizing that education is one of the first steps on the ladder of self-determination and independence, Ash donates several hours of his time each week at Catholic Charities’ Center for Community Learning and Advancement in Huntington. Ash is also a volunteer for DNA NPE Friends and Cabell Huntington Hospital. “Dick has a way of putting learners at ease by allowing learners to set the pace of instruction and he has the ability to explain the most complicated math terms in a way that is accessible and easy to comprehend,” said Emily Robinson, CCWVa Western Region Director. “These qualities, in addition to his unconditional positive regard for each learner, make Dick a person that lives Charity in Action every day.” Sandy Koncir has been an active volunteer with the Catholic Charities Mobile Food Pantry since its inception in 2012. The mobile outreach van brings healthy food assistance to low-income families in rural communities classified as food deserts. Koncir helps manage the inventory of food and supplies, and also helped create procedures for the program overall. “Sandy has the passion for assisting and aiding people who do not have the basic needs of life,” said Deborah Schaffer, Parkersburg resident and retired former CCWVa Parkersburg Region Director. “She has compassion for people of all walks of life. She treats everyone with dignity and respect.” Donna Smith is a champion for refugee families in West Virginia and is a dedicated volunteer for the Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services program. Smith was instrumental in the resettlement of a large refugee family by providing cultural orientation and helping the family get acclimated to their new city. She is also very active in her community, and is a member of the Board of Governors for West Virginia University at Parkersburg, the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation Board, the Parkersburg Catholic Schools Foundation Board, Altrusa International of Parkersburg West Virginia Foundation Board, and several other organizations. “Donna’s work with our Parkersburg family is invaluable,” said Elizabeth Ramsey, CCWVa Migration and Refugee Services Director. “She is truly our ‘boots on the ground’ there and the family would not have had such a successful resettlement without her. Donna has welcomed the stranger with open arms and has been a true friend to the family and Catholic Charities.” The honorees will be recognized at the Charity in Action Awards Luncheon in Charleston, W.Va., on October 25, 2019. Proceeds from the event will benefit programs and services in CCWVa’s Western Region. Sponsorships and tickets are available at www.CatholicCharitiesWV.org.