Today we would like to recognize one of our Kmart managers, Felicia (Towe) Pittman, for receiving the 2015 Presidents Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor, from the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) volunteer awards program. The PVSA recognizes United States citizens who have achieved the required number of hours of service over a 12-month time period or cumulative hours over the course of a lifetime. The Lifetime Achievement award is for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime.
Along with the ultimate honor of presidential recognition, recipients receive a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion or coin and a congratulatory letter from the president of the United States.
Below is Felicia’s story:
I currently manage two stores in Dayton, Ohio and have been working for Kmart for the past three years. I have been volunteering as far back as I can remember starting at school as a child. Whether it was in the library, during breaks or tutoring as requested, participating in school fundraisers and festivals annually, I was always involved. As I got older, I also participated in our community program, “Keep Cincinnati Beautiful.”
Currently, I am a member of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and my time with them has contributed to accredited volunteer hours. The MRC is a national network of volunteers, who are organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises nearly 1,000 community-based units and over 200,000 volunteers located throughout the United States and its territories.
MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds. The MRC units engage volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities and build community resiliency. We prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks.
I also created and facilitate a public community program called “Aspire to Be” dedicated to supporting “heroes” from all around the world in their fight against cancer. My goal is to assist in the fight for a cure by raising awareness through the stories of survivors, fighters or those who have lost their battle to cancer while offering support to cancer patients and their families.
I take great pride in recognizing and rewarding their milestones such as; recognizing them as official heroes in the cancer community; celebrating birthdays; recognizing the number of survival years since being diagnosed; or an anniversary of being cancer free.
I often hear people say they wish they had the time or energy to help. But just as you do as a parent (proud mother of four), you make time and you put forth the energy. The reward you receive by helping others is much larger than money, a certificate or any other award. Seeing a smile from someone you helped, receiving a thank you, or a hug/handshake is in my opinion the highest level of achievement anyone can strive for, and that is why I do what I do. I want to be a better me, and giving back is my way of achieving that goal.
I challenge you to make time to volunteer an hour each month. It will really inspire and humble you as it has for me. I encourage you all to “aspire to be inspired.”
Felicia Pittman is a Multi-Unit Asset and Profitability Protection Manager and a member of Sears Holdings’ Emergency Response Team.