Delaware Opportunities honors Helen Lewis
The Delaware Opportunities Board of Directors and staff formally recognized Helen S. Lewis on June 16 as Helen retired from voluntary service on the board of directors after 32 years, serving many of these years as an officer of the board of directors, including eight years as board president.
The board celebrated her years of service with a cake and a pin as a token of appreciation, and staff members contributed toward plants.
At the ceremony, Helen said “It is my honor to have been a longtime member of the Board of Directors of Delaware Opportunities. My father was former Middletown Town Supervisor Eldred Shaver, and he was involved early in the affairs of Delaware Opportunities. He and my mother brought me up to believe that everyone deserved a chance, or another chance, and that if you were nonjudgmental and believed in people you could help them believe in themselves and much good would come of this. I’ve believed this all my life. I’ve found this same spirit in Delaware Opportunities and I can tell you it’s true.
“I’ve seen Delaware Opportunities live up to its name, helping people help themselves. And it’s literally thousands of people a year, during my 32 years, who have overcome problems. People who are hungry have had food to eat. People in domestic violence situations have found safety. Homeless families have found shelter. Young children have been given a head start to enter school ready and eager to learn,” she noted.
Helen added, “Senior citizens have found a place for recreation, socialization and a good meal and other senior citizens have been able to remain in their homes because of home delivered meals. People have found jobs and moved into the mainstream of the county’s economy. Adolescents have found safe and nurturing foster homes. Parents have learned better parenting skills and children have returned home from foster care. Homes have been weatherized and families have received HEAP, both reducing the burden of energy costs. Families have obtained health insurance so their health needs can be met. Families have obtained rental assistance and repairs to their homes so they have a safe and affordable home. And much more.
“I am indebted to those who have served with me on the board of directors, and I am thankful for the committed staff who have carried out the policies and direction of the board. I leave with some regret, although it is time for me to move on. There will always be a part of me that lives with Delaware Opportunities.”