Dr. Lisa Namikas of Baton Rouge has been named the 2022 Catholic Charities USA’s Volunteer of the Year. Namikas was honored at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge’s annual meeting on Thursday, June 23. A video highlighting her contributions to CCDBR can be found here.
“It is the committed, compassionate service of volunteers like Lisa that allows Catholic Charities agencies to provide such an exceptional level of care and to uphold the dignity of our sisters and brothers in need,” said CCUSA’s President and CEO Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD. “Thank you, Lisa. You represent the best of all that we stand for.”
“Thank you for this special award,” said Namikas. “I am truly honored to receive this award. Volunteering with Catholic Charities means so much to me and my family and this award gives us the opportunity to express our deep faith in its mission and work. Catholic Charities is an amazing organization, and we love and cherish its place in our community.”
Namikas is an associate professor at Baton Rouge Community College and has been volunteering with CCDBR for many years. She has welcomed and helped resettle countless refugees that have come to Baton Rouge.
“Our time volunteering has given us a greater sense of purpose and adding so much meaning to our life and relationships, from playing soccer with new arrivals from Eritrea, helping Syrian children with tutoring, planning training sessions with Afghans, or onboarding other volunteers,” said Namikas.
“Within the quiet demeanor of Lisa Namikas lies a well of strength and energy to serve families fleeing persecution and death,” said David Aguillard, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. “The numbers are too high to count, but since she began volunteering at Catholic Charities of Baton Rouge, Lisa has welcomed hundreds of refugees and helped them become our new neighbors.”
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.