Director of Volunteer Helping Hands
As one of the founders of CaringMatters (founded as Hospice Caring in 1989), Penny’s spirit, energy and passion are present and felt in every program. Over the past thirty years, she has served in nearly every role – volunteer, board member and staff – across all of the organization’s programs.
Penny believes that people are drawn, for a multitude of reasons, to the special work of this organization. For Penny, it was the sudden and traumatic loss of a dear friend, which led her to seek volunteer work as a caregiver at a volunteer hospice in Frederick County. Penny found comfort, purpose and inspiration in her volunteer work. That inspiration led her to realize that Montgomery County needed a volunteer hospice of its own to support its growing and diverse community. She reached out to eight people in her community, inviting them to her home for what became the organization’s first Board of Directors’ meeting. From that day, the organization evolved and grew into a treasured and respected member of the county’s nonprofit community.
Penny is known as the organization’s “resident angel” for her sweet nature and her ability to connect and unite people. She insists that there is a “star” over the CaringMatters Cottage that guides the right people, at the right time, with the necessary resources to help people when they need it the most. Her deep understanding of the human spirit, together with her personal experience as a family caregiver and knowledge of Montgomery County, allows her to provide empathy and guidance to individuals and families who come to CaringMatters in need of support during times of serious illness or near the end of life.
Her personal touch benefits the organization in many ways. She interviews all prospective volunteers and personally welcomes them into the CaringMatters family. Penny is known for having a sixth sense that guides her in successfully matching volunteers and clients in the Volunteer Helping Hands program.
Penny has been recognized for her volunteer work and leadership many times over the years. Her awards and special recognitions include:
Gaithersburg Chamber of Commerce, Citizen of the Year
W*USA TV, Channel 9’s One and Only Nine Award
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Award
Ruby Award from Soroptimist International of Upper Montgomery County Maryland
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award