Light It Forward Award

 
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Local agencies provided more than $2.6 million in utility bill assistance to JEA customers in need in 2017. To recognize the people behind the scenes who make this happen every year, JEA created the Light it Forward Award. It honors employees who go above and beyond to help low-income customers seeking utility bill assistance.

2018 Light It Forward Award Winners

Audrey Green, HIV Housing Coordinator, Lutheran Social Services of Northeast Florida

Imagine you were diagnosed with HIV and you were worried about the future – about your family, your job and questions like ‘what happens if I get sick’? How will you pay your rent & utilities?  If you are lucky, you would be matched up with Audrey Green. Audrey has been the HIV housing coordinator at LSS for more than 16 years. Audrey’s dedication to people with HIV comes from her heart; she will willingly tell you that two of her brothers died from complications of AIDS. Audrey has the innate ability to meet each individual right where they are in life. She is the calming voice on the other end of the phone, the mother figure to those who need direction, the counselor to those who need a shoulder to cry on. 

Lili High, Director of Emergency Assistance, Catholic Charities 

While some managers only delegate – this manager works tirelessly alongside her team to ensure that anyone in need, regardless of race or religion, receives vital services to keep families together and safe in their homes, including utility, rent and mortgage assistance. Lili High, responded immediately to the Hurricane Irma disaster by swiftly contacting the Emergency Operations Centers in Nassau and Baker Counties to offer her expertise and assistance to help victims. Lili has taught her team to ensure clients receive services and information that cover the entire spectrum of their basic needs; if our agency is not suited to provide a specific need, she and her team of caseworkers take the time to refer them to the appropriate service agency. Lili’s humble and compassionate service to clients and their families is exemplary. 

Angie McKenzie, Senior Services Manager, City of Jacksonville 

Angie McKenzie has worked at the COJ for the past 20 years and possesses an enormous dedication to the City, JEA and their staff, and most importantly the seniors who benefit from the service delivered by the department she oversees.  Angie patiently takes the time to explain what’s needed to seniors, and if a denial is imminent, she recommends other resources for the elder customer. One particular case involved a legally blind senior seeking assistance with her electric bill. She was unable to complete the application due to her extreme sight limitations. Her situation was dire. Angie as always, was patient and forward-thinking, actively calling other agencies to assist with verification and completion of this senior’s application. Angie often says “Without this program, many of our seniors would have to choose between keeping the lights on OR purchasing food and medication… Seeing RELIEF on our senior’s faces when they receive assistance is the ultimate reward.”

Learn About Previous Award Winners

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Closed Title:2017 Light It Forward Award Winners
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Phyllis Kennebrew, ElderSource

EldersSource is a nonprofit that helps the aging and disabled in a crisis. Phyllis was nominated for this award by her supervisor because of her compassion and hard work.
Watch Phyllis in action

Alice Davis, Northeast Florida AIDS Network

Northeast Florida AIDS Network’s mission is to care and advocate for individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families.  Alice was nominated by NFAN’s executive director because she provides the best care she can for people living with HIV in Jacksonville.
Watch Alice in action

Cynthia Robinson, Clerical Support, City of Jacksonville

The City of Jacksonville Senior Services Department administers the Emergency Home Energy Assistance Program for seniors 60 years and older. Cynthia’s supervisor nominated her for this award because of her dedication and love for the seniors she serves. 
Watch Cynthia in action

2017 Finalists

  • Alexis Chatman, City of Jacksonville
  • Paulette Fulton, City of Jacksonville
  • Michelle Griffin, Children’s Home Society
  • Lili High, Catholic Charities
  • Linda Johnson, Northeast Florida Community Action Agency
  • Jessica Kloke, North Florida AIDS Network
  • Kathy Maloney, Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry

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