April 22, 2019

Caregiver Companion honored with Purdue’s community partner award

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.  – Caregiver Companion has received Purdue's Dr. JoAnn L. Miller Exemplary Community Partner Award for 2018.

This award recognizes local nonprofits, schools or government units that contribute to the educational growth of Purdue students by providing volunteer and service-learning opportunities, and carries a $1,000 cash prize. Caregiver Companion was honored for the award at two events in April; the Purdue University Office of Engagement Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday (April 16) and the United Way Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday (April 17).

Caregiver Companion is a nonprofit organization that provides non-medical supplemental volunteer support for elderly and disabled individuals who desire to remain in their home, as well as their caregivers. The organization was founded in 1995 by Sister Veronica Baumgartner with the support of the Congregation of St. Joseph.

The nomination for the award came from Julie Feldpausch and Allan Schinckel in Purdue animal sciences, and Sweta Baniya in English. Over the years, Caregiver Companion has impacted hundreds of students through its dedication to providing volunteer and service-learning opportunities. The organization is especially accommodating of student schedules and encourages students to take up the charge of community engagement.

“At a time when depression and isolation can be so rampant not only among home-bound elderly and their caregivers but also among young people, Caregiver Companion works diligently to foster meaningful relationships among these groups in a way unlike any other organization,” Schinkel said.

Previous winners of the Exemplary Community Partner Award include the Hanna Community Center, the Drug Free Coalition of Tippecanoe County, Food Finders Food Bank, LTHC Homeless Services, and the Wabash Center.

In January 2015, the award was renamed in memory of JoAnn L. Miller, who was associate dean of engagement and head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies in the College of Liberal Arts. She worked passionately to further engagement with the community by Purdue students, faculty and staff. Miller died Dec. 25, 2014.

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