Russ Berrie Awards 2017 Part 1
As part of Make a Difference Week, during this two-part special, Steve Adubato goes on-location to the 2017 Russ Berrie ""Making a Difference Awards"" to talk with extraordinary individuals who change lives of New Jersey residents through community service.
Gilman Choudhury, Community Outreach, Paterson Public Schools; Katelyn Darrow, Founder, Angels of God Community Outreach; Lorna Henkel, President, Board of Trustees, First Friends NJ & NY; Joe Brown; Marlene Salomon Ceragno, Brief Babe, Adult Care Brief Bank; Danielle Gletow, Founder & Executive Director, One Simple Wish; Bonnie O’Brian, Executive Director, Transition Professions.
"Hi, this is Steve Adubato. Welcome to a very special half hour. You're about to meet some extraordinary people. They don't seek attention. They don't want attention. But they deserve our recognition, our respect. This is the 21st year of the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award, honoring New Jersey heroes. The people you'll meet do extraordinary things. They give of themselves. They change people's lives. They don't do it for recognition. They don't do it for money. But I'm confident that you will be inspired, you'll be motivated, you'll be changed in this half hour, and hopefully you too will ask yourself how you can make a difference in the life of someone else. This half hour is gonna make a big difference. We are speaking with one of our honorees, Gilman Choudhury, from beautiful Paterson, New Jersey, making a big difference in your community. Talk about the work you're doing in your community and why you got so involved. Well I work for the Paterson Public School District for the Department of Family & Community Engagement. My boss is Director "Kemper" McDowell. I work as the Community Outreach and Special Projects Coordinator for the district. And what we do is we do a variety of different services. We run many hospitals throughout the schools. We do citizenship drives, community clean ups, we help parents support their needs to become college graduates, get their high school diploma if need be. We support a variety of different family services from homelessness to social support, anything from applying for Section 8, to food stamps, we're there to help the parents. And also to be effective parents for their children. But Gilman, beyond the activities, there's a commitment. And as I read about Gilman, growing up in Paterson, there's a deep sense of commitment to this city, to the people who are struggling and suffering in this city, and you told folks that if people do not get active, then the city we live in would fall deeper into decay. Why are you so committed to the city that you grew up in and love so much? It's the city that I know. I've been going to the school district there since I was in kindergarten. And from all the people I've met, from my neighbors, this is all we have basically. And if we don't pull together and help..."