IVANO SAYS: I received the following message and news release from Rosa Radicchi in regards to Wayne's award:
Wow, Congratulations Waye!!! Check out the News Release below about Wayne Shaffer and the Good Neighbor Award. Also please check the link below to the article that was written in the "Realtor Magazine" publication. Thanks again to those who voted for Wayne!
As some of you know, Wayne was also the recipient of the ICF Pope John the XXIII Award for 2011.
Lots of blessings,
RealtorÒ from Santa Cruz, Calif., Wins National Volunteer Award for Helping the Less Fortunate
WASHINGTON (November 2, 2011) – RealtorÒ Wayne J. Shaffer, a broker with Shaffer and Associates in Santa Cruz, Calif., is one of five winners chosen by the National Association of RealtorsÒ as REALTORÒ Magazine’s 2011 Good Neighbor Award winners. Shaffer was selected for his work with the poor and homeless through three different organizations that he helped establish.
“The Good Neighbor Awards program acknowledges RealtorsÒ who are dedicated to strengthening communities through volunteer work and helping those in need,” said NAR President Ron Phipps, broker-president of Phipps Realty in Warwick, R.I. “As a past Good Neighbor Award recipient, I know of the tremendous effort and time these winners devote to each of their causes. Wayne has been a tremendous leader within his community, working tirelessly to help those less fortunate.”
For more than three decades, Shaffer has devoted himself to helping the poor and homeless in Santa Cruz, Calif. In 1982 he cofounded the St. Francis Catholic Kitchen, a local soup kitchen which serves hot lunch to 190 people per day. Shaffer is now president of the board of directors and a frequent visitor. From there he went on to also cofound the Jesus Mary Joseph Home, a shelter for women and children.
In 1999 Shaffer met a pregnant woman who was living out of her car. He was inspired to help her and within a year he had founded the Siena House Maternity Home, an emergency shelter that provides care for women experiencing a crisis pregnancy. As cofounder and president, Shaffer has helped provide more than 350 women with pre- and post-natal care, counseling, baby care and lessons on nutrition, parenting and life skills.
“Women need a safe place to deal with their pregnancies,” said Shaffer. “They need a place that encourages a lifestyle that will be an improvement for their babies and themselves.” The shelter is housed in a former convent that accommodates up to 10 women during their pregnancies and for up to three months after delivery.
One of the women Shaffer has helped, Asmara Gebre, credits Siena House for putting her on a better path. She is currently attending the University of San Francisco’s nursing program and has earned a high school diploma and three associate’s degrees after giving birth to her daughter, now five. “The discipline I developed at Siena House, combined with the family atmosphere helped me learn what it meant to love and respect myself,” said Gebre. “It was the first time I was in an environment where people believed in me and encouraged me to pursue an education. Wayne is the father figure I never had. He didn’t know me but was willing to help.”
Siena House has an annual budget of $200,000. Women pay a house fee of $150 per month, and all other funding comes from donations and an annual dinner auction. Shaffer personally donates $10,000 per year.
Once admitted to the home, the women must follow a strict set of rules. They must remain sober and have no addictions. They must do household chores and take turns preparing meals for up to 15 people. In addition to attending counseling sessions and house meetings, they learn computer skills and are referred to other agencies for educational and vocational training.
“There are no strings attached to Wayne’s giving. He is a man who means what he says and does what he means,” said Siena House Director Sharron Rudell.
Meanwhile, the soup kitchen keeps going strong, serving 45,000 nutritious, free meals per year and spreading the word that positive change is possible. “When you help people get off the streets and into a safe place with a meal, this is where it all begins,” said Shaffer. “Someone will come up to you and thank you for something you did then years before and it makes you feel good to know you made a difference in that person’s life.”
Shaffer and the other four Good Neighbor Award winners will each receive a $10,000 grant for their charity and a $2,000 Lowe’s gift card, and will be profiled in the November-December issue of REALTORÒ Magazine. The recipients will receive their awards on Saturday, November 12, at the 2011 REALTORSÒ Conference & Expo in Anaheim, California.
“The Good Neighbor Awards honor Realtors® who are leaders in their community,” said Frank Sibley, REALTOR® Magazine publisher. “This year’s winners have literally saved lives, and inspire those around them to make positive changes in the world. We hope this award and the grant money will allow these Realtors® to expand their reach and help even more people.”
Celebrating its 12th year, the Good Neighbor Awards has been awarded annually since 2000 and is presented by NAR’s REALTORÒ Magazine. The Good Neighbor Awards is sponsored by Lowe’s and HouseLogic.
Nominees were judged on their personal contribution of time, as well as financial and material contributions to their cause. To be eligible, nominees had to be NAR members in good standing. More information about the Good Neighbor Awards winners is available at www.realtor.org/realtormag.
IVANO SAYS (CONT'D): Congratulations Wayne. I first met Wayne at his wife and Esther Frizza Wilson's bookstore in Santa Cruz (Agnus Dei). It was there that I had my first book signing event for "La Nostra Costa (Our Coast). Wayne was extremely supported of the event. Since that time, I have learned that he has done many other things, including giving support to my brother's family when needed. All of this has been done without and publicity and/or noteriaty. Thanks Wayne for all your good works. Sempre Avanti.
(BTW: I saw Wayne wondering thru the crowd at the Davenport-North Coast Reunon 2011. I didn't get a chance to say hello. Thanks for being there, Wayne. ivn0)