Hibiscus Children's Center Honors Volunteers at Special Luncheon

Congratulations to the Hibiscus Children’s Center 2016 “Volunteer of the Year” winners! (L-R) Isabel Engel – Thrift Store, Angel Pietsch (Little Birthday Angels) – Community Organization, Denise Way – Village, James Arthur – Shelter, Pam Gardner – Martin County, Linda Teetz – Indian River County, Andi Brennan – Shelter, and Kori Benton – St. Lucie County.  Not pictured:  Sharon Laskey – Student Intern.


Treasure Coast, FL  – Hibiscus Children's Center had the privilege of honoring its wonderful volunteers at a special luncheon held recently at River Walk Center in Ft. Pierce.   During this special time, it was the perfect opportunity to say thank you to these incredible volunteers who make a difference every day in children’s lives.   We thank you from the bottom of our hearts – every single volunteer is important. Following a lovely lunch, the highlight of the afternoon was definitely the awards program; however, every volunteer deserves to be recognized and profusely thanked for their dedication. 

Hibiscus is delighted to share our Volunteer of the Year winners: 

Hibiscus Village Volunteer Denise Way.  Denise has been serving at the Village for nearly three years where she tutors teens twice weekly and assists teens who have an interest in learning Spanish and has even helped staff members who are enrolled in Spanish classes!  Denise’s patience and positive attitude is very encouraging to our youth and staff.   Denise also supports many of our events and donates to the activities and other needs at the Village.   She truly is a shining light!

Hibiscus Shelter Volunteers  -  James Arthur and Andi Brennan.  Mr. James”, as the children call him, is a Guardian Ad Litem that has been humbly serving Hibiscus for a year.  He is a dedicated volunteer who works alongside staff to help provide a second set of hands and eyes.  He volunteers at least three times per week on eight-hour shifts each time.  James helps with meals and clean-up and then joins the children on the playground.  He is a true asset to the children and staff.

Miss Andi” is a dedicated volunteer who washes and folds laundry for all 36 children - almost daily.  She also assists in housework, feeding and cleaning-up after our toddlers. In the year she has been  volunteering, Andi been instrumental to our daily operations and it is obvious why the staff greatly appreciate her help!  She is also an active member in fundraising with the Hibiscus Guild.

Hibiscus Treasure House Volunteer – Isabel Engel Isabel has been involved with Hibiscus for many years helping out in a variety of ways.  She has been a tremendous asset to the Hibiscus Thrift Store by running the cash register and helping with sale of items that directly benefit our programs.  Isabel also volunteers in the Administrative Office helping with phones and lending a hand to the staff wherever needed.  She is a dedicated volunteer who is always willing to help out. 

Hibiscus Student Intern Volunteer Sharon Laskey.  Sharon is the true definition of selfless.   During her internship at the Shelter, she was always ready to work and be part of the team.  You would also find Sharon at the Shelter on the weekends just to lend a hand and provide supportive counseling to our children. The relationships she formed with the children and the staff will have lasting effects.  Even though Sharon’s internship has ended, she graciously continues to volunteer at the Shelter. 

Hibiscus Indian River County VolunteerLinda TeetzHibiscus is very fortunate to have Linda as a member of the Indian River County Guild.  Linda is known as an excellent organizer who accomplishes incredible tasks and never seeks any recognition.   Her dedication and loving spirit of our youth is evident in her tireless fundraising efforts to ensure every Hibiscus event is a success. Whether at a special event or at the Village, Linda can be found quietly working hard for Hibiscus and the youth.   

Hibiscus Martin County Volunteer Pam GardnerOn November, 18, 1992, Pam hosted the newly formed Martin County Guild.  From day one, Pam has been a vital member of the Guild and an incredible volunteer who has devoted her time and energy to ensure that abused children are safe.  Pam has hosted numerous meetings and chaired and participated in countless fundraising events. Her love for the children is evident in her over two decades of selfless volunteerism.

Hibiscus St. Lucie County Volunteer Kori Benton Kori is a dynamic volunteer who is willing to help wherever he is needed.  He has been a tremendous advocate for the needs of our children in the community.  He shares the mission of Hibiscus and has recruited wonderful new supporters and volunteers to help our cause.  He has provided great leadership with the St. Lucie Board and chaired our annual golf tournaments. Hibiscus is blessed to have Kori as part of our family. 

Organization Volunteer of the Year -  Little Birthday Angels.   Little Birthday Angels is a local non-profit organization on the Treasure Coast that has provided birthday gifts and celebrations for over 60 youth living at the Hibiscus Village.  Brian and Angel Pietsch, and their two young sons, created the organization to celebrate birthdays for homeless and impoverished children in our community.  What a wonderful way to share love and kindness with children and families in need. 

If you would like information about volunteering for Hibiscus Children’s Center or our services, please visit us at HibiscusChildrensCenter.org.