Ten Minnesotans with long records of service to their communities received the 2007 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. The McKnight Foundation presented the awards on Thursday, November 15, 2007, at a private ceremony in Minneapolis. Ten Minnesotans with long records of service to their communities received the 2007 Virginia McKnight Binger Awards in Human Service. The McKnight Foundation presented the awards on Thursday, November 15, 2007, at a private ceremony in Minneapolis.
The $7,500 awards honor Minnesota residents who give their time to improve the lives of people in their communities. Among this year's recipients are advocates for homeless youth and victims of abuse; direct service providers engaging the immigrant and refugee communities; and educators, volunteers, and mentors from a range of fields.
A committee of six people working in human service fields across the state selected the finalists from about 75 nominations.
"These 10 outstanding individuals, many challenged by past hardships, have turned lessons learned from obstacles they've faced into opportunities to help others," says McKnight's board chair Erika L. Binger. "They draw on that earned strength to empower others, through work done selflessly, without desire for recognition, and for little or no pay."
Since 1985, The McKnight Foundation has given the awards each year to recognize Minnesotans who demonstrate the difference one person can make in helping others. The awards are named for the Foundation's former chair and president, Virginia McKnight Binger. Mrs. Binger served the Foundation for nearly 50 years as a board member, as president from 1974 through 1987, and then as honorary chair until her death in 2002. Although her parents, William and Maude McKnight, established the Foundation, it was Mrs. Binger's personal compassion and generosity that set the standard for the Foundation's work.
The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, coalition-building, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William L. McKnight and Maude L. McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation has assets of approximately $2.2 billion and granted about $93 million in 2006. Visit www.mcknight.org for more information about the Foundation and its programs.
2007 AWARDS IN HUMAN SERVICE RECIPIENT PROFILES