Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center Volunteer Receives Governor’s Service Award

WHEELING—Hot meals and a warm heart have been two of the things Jerry Morris has provided to Wheeling residents for the last 18 years through assistance programs at Catholic Charities Neighborhood Center (CCNC) on 18th Street in Wheeling. On Sept. 14, Gov. Jim Justice honored Morris’ dedication to service at the annual Governor’s Service Awards dinner at the Culture Center at the State Capitol. According to Volunteer West Virginia, the Governor’s Service Awards have been presented since 1995, and honor individuals, families and organizations that exemplify outstanding dedication to volunteerism and community service in West Virginia. Morris received his award in the Lifetime Achievement category. Morris came to know of the services at neighborhood center in 1999 when his wife, who was seriously ill, received home delivered hot meals. After she passed away, he was encouraged by Sister Constance Dodd, then director of the center, to volunteer and deliver the very meals that had helped his wife through her difficult illness. As a former postal delivery person, Morris took to his route with zeal and delivered 6,500 meals in the first year. “He takes the time to brighten the days of some of the most vulnerable people served,” said Grant Coleman, program assistant at the center. In the last 18 years Morris has delivered about 70,000 meals in Wheeling, spends time with clients in the day room and offers his assistance with other tasks at the center. Coleman went on to say, “It’s impossible to count all the other ways Jerry has helped especially through his hopeful and infectious humor and singing.” The Governor’s Service Awards are administered by Volunteer West Virginia, the state’s Commission for National and Community Service. A volunteer review committee reads and selects the recipients based on achievement, community needs, continuing involvement, innovation and impact of service.