"A retired educator, Barbara Olsen (with the support and assistance from her husband Ralph) has led the efforts to provide 100 underprivileged middle and high school students with heavy duty backpacks filled with school supplies. It is heartwarming how appreciative the students and parents are to receive this generous gift. For the last three years, Barbara has also led the effort to provide students with much-needed Chromebooks. These two projects helped students stay in school and succeed. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, these students needed these supplies even more for distance learning. Barbara Olsen is extremely deserving of the Community Champion recognition!"
With the challenges that COVID-19 brought this year, there are so many unsung heroes in our communities who respond to the call of action by helping others in need. Community Champions are those individuals who offer their courage, strength, and self-sacrifice in the service of our neighborhoods.
Starting November 27, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. PT, nominate a Community Champion who has made a difference in our community this year. Weekly winners will receive special recognition and a gift from the Oakland A's. Entry ends on December 30, 2020, at 4:59:59 PM PT. See Official Rules
"Ms. D started a nonprofit called House of Loving Hands. Her services are dedicated to providing resources, services, and care for survivors of domestic violence. Most recently during the pandemic, her organization has helped dozens of families with food and made Thanksgiving meals to deliver. She has done so much for her community in the Richmond area! I am honored to know such an amazing woman and her nonprofit continues to help so many people."
"Damon has always been a selfless and tireless community advocate who has spent his entire career in the service of marginalized communities. After COVID-19 slowed down his primary businesses, Damon joined the Oakland Black Business Fund as a volunteer! As the Head of Community Relations, Damon connects on a one-on-one basis with every black-owned business that applies to the fund and works to help address their immediate needs to survive pandemic-related business slowdowns. He spends over 40 hours a week reaching out to black business owners in Oakland and doing everything he can to help them thrive in spite of the pandemic. If his number is in your phone book, you are NEVER without resources! He is such an amazing advocate for those who look to improve society."
"I'm nominating Diana because she has been the most consistent glue that has kept North Oakland Mutual Aid going since it began in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Her energy has not waned in making sure that 500 hygiene and food kits get distributed to our unhoused neighbors every month. At the end of the day, Diana has been the one who does a majority of the invisible background work of NOMA to ensure that this grassroots project continues sustainably. And not only has she been putting so much energy into this, but she also plays a key role at our partner organization Oakland Bloom, a non-profit that empowers immigrant and refugee chefs with resources toward cooperative business models. Diana is amazing!"
"Hannah Daugherty is a Community Champion because of the tireless work she does as a social worker. She works on behalf of those needing services to keep their families strong, and together. It's not uncommon for Hannah to drive three hours to bring a child school books, or take a child's guitar and stuffed animal to their safe place to stay. Amongst the pandemic, Hannah is an essential worker and has to show up daily to work on her families' cases and conduct home visits; she puts herself on the front line to serve her community. She is devoted and tireless in her service to children and families of our community and she is the finest example of a Community Champion".