Sister Donna Markham OP, PhD, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), announced today that Steve Hanlon of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been named the CCUSA Volunteer of the Year for 2020. (Click here for a brief video featuring Hanlon and his volunteer ministry.)
“Steve is an example of what volunteering is all about – he truly reflects the Good Samaritan,” Sister Donna said. “He shares his talent for fixing cars and, by doing so, helps others become independent and live dignified lives.”
For the past 12 years, Hanlon has coordinated a car care ministry for Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma’s (CCEOK) Transitional Living Program residents. Hanlon works directly with residents to coordinate necessary car repairs to get them back on the road to jobs, classes, group sessions and other important off-campus activities.
While Hanlon’s ministry officially happens just once a month, he spends countless hours finding supplies, recruiting volunteers, maintaining records and ensuring funding. He can often be found working on a resident’s car in the parking lot of CCEOK whenever issues pop up between monthly car clinic dates.
“We are blessed with great volunteers like Steve Hanlon whose commitment to serving those in need truly exemplifies how love changes lives,” said Deacon Kevin Sartorius, chief executive officer of CCEOK. “We are grateful to Steve for helping Catholic Charities of Eastern Oklahoma fulfill our mission to be Christ’s merciful love to those who suffer.”
When informed that he had been named volunteer of the year, Hanlon reacted with gratitude, pointing out others who had helped him: “I am greatly humbled by this award. While I started the car work, I had help developing the funding, and we were fortunate to use the University of Tulsa garage for seven years. I also had help from all the mechanics that give of their time and talent. Most of all, I am grateful to my wife Tricia for her sacrifice and support that kept me going.”
The CCUSA Volunteer of the Year Award, given annually since 1998, is granted to an individual who embodies the mission of CCUSA to provide critical services to those in need, advocate for justice in social structures and call the entire Church and other people of good will to do the same. Catholic Charities agencies across the U.S. nominate candidates for the award from nearly 300,000 volunteers.