Town-Gown winner helps families in need
A passion for helping others, an eye for what needs to be done and the ability to implement programs to help people in need define the community service efforts of Amber R. Dobbs-Woodworth, communications operations manager and the 2008 recipient of Whitman’s Town-Gown Award.
A member of the staff since 2001, Woodworth was recognized at the Walla Walla Valley Chamber of Commerce awards banquet in November for her unswerving dedication to families in need, particularly during the holidays. She organizes an adopt-a-family program each Christmas to provide food and gifts for families in need. Last year 18 families designated by the Salvation Army benefited from her efforts, and the program grows each year with increasing support from local businesses and individuals.
“We need more people like you, Amber,” said President George Bridges, as he told the chamber audience that he and his family met Woodworth via e-mail shortly after he accepted his position as president and months before the family moved to Walla Walla. Woodworth wanted to know if the Bridges-Tupper family would sponsor a Walla Walla family for the holidays. “We did,” Bridges said.
Woodworth also gathers school supplies each fall for needy children and fosters homeless cats and kittens until permanent homes can be found. In 2002, the Blue Mountain Action Council, a nonprofit organization that works to meet the needs of low-income individuals and families in the Walla Walla Valley, named Woodworth “Volunteer of the Year” for her work in its adult literacy program.
At Whitman, Woodworth maintains the communication office budget, oversees in-house and outsource printing and mailing services, and helps plan Commencement.