Senators Dole and Daschle Announce 2012 Caring Award Winners

Senators Dole and Daschle Announce 2012 Caring Award Winners

October 22, 2012 02:48 PM


For additional information:

Barbara D. Woolley
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
(202) 547-7424

Washington, D.C. (October 22, 2012) – Senators Bob Dole and Tom Daschle, Co-Chairs of the Caring Institute today announced the 2012 Caring Award winners. These six amazing adults and six extraordinary youths are being acknowledged for their efforts to give back to society. They will be commemorated at the Caring Awards Ceremony at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida , where they will be inducted into the Caring Hall of Fame.

“On behalf of our Board of Trustees, it is a great honor for us to pay tribute to these extraordinary people who have used their lives for the betterment of others,” said Senator Dole. “They are wonderful role models who inspire us to be the best we can be,” added Senator Daschle.

The winners were chosen by the prestigious Board of Trustees of the Caring Institute. The following will receive awards on Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center.

2012 Caring Award Adult Winners include:

  • Wynona Ward , President, Have Justice – Will Travel of Vershire, VT, who provides free legal service to low income women and children who are experiencing domestic abuse;
  • Linda Smith, Founder and P resident, Shared Hope International of Vancouver, Washington, this former Congressional Representative is working to shut down child sex trafficking in the US;
  • Amy Palmer , COO, Operation Homefront, San Antonio, Texas, as a disabled veteran, military spouse and mother, Amy started organizing volunteers after 9/11 to provide critical assistance to the families of newly deployed service members;
  • Bruce Charash , F ounder, Doc 2 Dock, New York City, NY, is medical doctor that wanted to use the thousands of tons of unused medical supplies that are thrown away daily in the US, to save lives in other countries; and
  • Most Reverend Bishop Jean Marie , Fraternite Notre Dame, Chicago, Illinois, who started the Fraternite Notre Dame, an order devoted to charity and brotherly love after seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.

2012 Annual Caring Award Young Adult Winners include:

  • Alec Urbach , Founder, Giving from the Ground Up, Roslyn Heights, New York who at age 16 produces science curriculum videos and provides basic medical and dental supplies for needy children in Ghana and El Salvador;
  • Kendall Ciesemer , Founder, Kids Caring 4 Kids, Wheaton, Illinois was moved when at age 11, she saw a show about African orphans and inspired 7,000 kids in the US to adopt 7,000 kids in Africa, raising over one million dollars, all while battling a rare liver disease herself;
  • Kylie Kuhns , Founder, Kelsey’s Dream, Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania started a Foundation after her older sister lost her battle with Leukemia, with the goal of making life brighter for children in need. At just 14, she helps children diagnosed with cancer, providing a snack pack program for children undergoing chemotherapy and a blanket program for children undergoing bone marrow transplants;
  • Neha Gupta , Founder, Empower Orphans, Yardley, Pennsylvania found a passion for orphans after visiting them with family in India at age 9. She wanted to help them feel love and have an education and has since established four libraries, set up computer programs and conducted eye and dental clinics for 360 children; and
  • Rujul Zaparde & Kevin Petrovic , Founders, Drinking Water for India, Plainsboro, New Jersey had a flash of insight when visiting India and seeing women and girls walking miles to get water. They have raised $1000 to build a well for the village and in less than four years, have built 47 wells that help over 80,000 people.

2012 Mother Teresa International Caring Award Winner includes:

  • His Holiness the 14 th Dalai Lama of Tibet for dedicating his life to promoting the values of caring, compassion and public service. His Holiness the 14 th Dalai Lama was already presented with the award in a special ceremony, but will accept by video statement.

“It amazes me each year how caring and compassionate people can be toward humanity in their willingness to change the world for the better, ” said Val J. Halamandaris, founder and executive director, of the Caring Institute. “I am so proud of our 1 2 extraordinary winners and the great work they do here in the United States and all over the world.”

About the Caring Institute

The Caring Institute’s mission is to promote the values of caring, integrity, and public service. It was founded in 1985 by Val J. Halamandaris after a meeting with Mother Teresa, who told him there was a poverty of the spirit seen in the developed world that was much worse than the poverty of the body seen in the third world. When she directed him to do something about it, he founded an awards program that identifies those who give back to society in outstanding ways and then holds them up as role models for all. The Caring Institute is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible by law. For more information, visit