10 Jul 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Silverbackks co-founder to receive national award during visit to White House
Topeka, Kan. — When Brian “Jude” Quinn received an email in March from the Points of Light Foundation informing him that he and his work with Kansas charitableorganization Silverbackks were to be recognized on a national scale, Quinn thought the email was a hoax.
“I dismissed it,” said Quinn. “I thought it was a joke. Several weeks later, they emailed again, saying, ‘Hello, this is a big deal, are you going to reply?’”
When Quinn eventually spoke to a representative of the Points of Light Foundation, he said he understood the gravity of the award. He was told that he would receive a Daily Point of Light Award. Founded in 1990 by President George H.W. Bush, the award serves to honor to exceptional volunteers in the United States and to recognize the volunteer’s commitment to serving fellow citizens. The Points of Light Foundation has awarded Daily Point of Light Awards to 1,000’s of volunteers. Quinn is among three finalists for the foundation’s 5,000th award. The White House will hold a ceremony Mon., July 15, 2013 for the foundation’s 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award. Quinn received an invitation to the White House, where he will be in attendance for the ceremony, presented by President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and President George H.W. Bush. Quinn said that the official winner of the 5,000th award has not yet been announced. The three finalists will receive the 4,998th award, the 4,999th award and the 5,000th award at the ceremony.
“It’s the reception for the 5,000th award, but I might not get it. That’s not the pinnacle of this for me. The award is huge, but being invited to the White House is massive,” said Quinn. “Just going up to those gates and being invited in, that’s an incredible honor.”
Quinn said he felt apprehensive at first about accepting the Daily Point of Light Award as an individual. Quinn, a co-founder of the Silverbackks group, said he believes the entire group deserves the recognition, but understands that the award will bring greater awareness of the group’s volunteering efforts.
“I said that I couldn’t accept the award. I couldn’t have done any of this work without everyone involved. These are just my ideas, and they’re carried out by a lot of people, not just me,” said Quinn. “I felt bad that I was getting all of the limelight as an individual.”
Quinn said that he was persuaded to accept the award because of the exposure that Silverbackks would receive as a result.
“I hope that people will see this, and be moved to join and contribute [to Silverbackks],” said Quinn.
Silverbackks organization and its work
Silverbackks was founded by Quinn, Kacy Simonsen and Chad Manspeaker in July 2011 with the idea to help the less fortunate and to assist organizations already helping people in need by providing volunteers and action when needed.
“I believe that Silverbackks is receiving recognition because we’ve found the answer that a lot of organizations had been trying to find for years,” said Quinn. “Every organization is looking for a volunteer for their cause. We don’t have a specific cause, meetings or other membership dues and requirements, other than to help if and when you can, and that is why this unique model works.”
Silverbackks is broken down into four troops:
Silverbackks as a whole is currently made up of 172 volunteers who give their time when and if they can. Silverbackks has volunteered for organizations such as Let’s Help, Harvesters, the Topeka Action Committee and Keep America Beautiful. This past Winter Silverbackks volunteers passed out nearly 2,000 cups of P.T.’s Coffee and currently serves over 100 lunches each Sunday to homeless and less fortunate people.
SilverMoms is a group of 191 parents in a private setting that can ask or offer one another help or advice. This group organized a Christmas gift drive for four families, including 21 children, and a donation drive for a family in Montara, Kan. who lost their possessions in a fire.
SilverThumbs: a troop dedicated to community cleanup and beautification. Recently attended their second Keep America Beautiful cleanup and also went to Harveyville, Kan. to assist after the town was struck by a tornado.
SilverTeens: SilverTeens is about kids helping kids. Teens have collected coloring books and crayons at Christmas and distributed them to children at the Topeka Hope Center for Women and this past spring began a prom drive that provided dresses, hair and makeup for several girls who otherwise would have not had the opportunity to experience prom.
Silverbackks has three ongoing programs:
SilverBras: In conjunction with seveneightfive magazine and Findables, they collect new and gently used bras at three locations, P.T.’s at College Hill, Nibs Coffee and Findables locations in Topeka, Kan. This October for breast cancer awareness month, the women of the Hope Center will be fitted by professionals, allowed to pick out bras that fit accordingly and learn about breast cancer awareness and self detection.
SilverBags: Silverbags are a gallon size resealable bag filled with 20 travel size personal hygiene and first aid products. These items are collected at the P.T.’s and Nibs locations in Topeka, Kan., assembled and given to people who need them the most.
SilverSunday: In conjunction with First Christian Church, every Sunday volunteers pass out lunches to people in need. This service is only being provided by Silverbackks and is a need in the community that had never been addressed previously. Each lunch includes a sandwich, chips, fruit, cookie, granola bar and bottle of water.
Silverbackks and Quinn have received numerous awards for charitable work in Topeka, Kan.:
September 2012: Silverbackks was given a group award from Keep America Beautiful for its efforts cleaning up the creek throughout the Kansas History Museum property.
November 2012: Silverbackks was awarded KSNT’s Sunflower Hero
March 2013: Brian “Jude” Quinn awarded the March Champion of Character by the Safe Streets Commission
Silverbackks can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Silverbackks is on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
More information about the Points of Light Foundation and the Daily Point of Light Award can be found by visiting the website: http://www.pointsoflight.org/