Often those who work to give voice to those without one speak quietly of themselves, and that trait can be called the quality of humility. It is satisfying when those soft-spoken yet empowering people are recognized for their contributions as Carla Feinkind of Hinsdale was March 3 in Chicago.
Town Column: Resident honored for her relentless work to help othersMarch 10, 2011 The Doings Newspaper
Feinkind was one of a score or so people honored with The Giving Voice Award from SHALVA on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. SHALVA is a Chicago organization that aims to fight domestic abuse in homes, especially Jewish homes. The name means two things. In Hebrew, it is the word "tranquility," and for the Chicago nonprofit it is an acronym meaning SHelter, Assistance, Legal advice for Victims of Abuse. During the course of its 25 years, the organization has served close to 5,000 victims of domestic abuse.
The Giving Voice Award was presented to members of the greater Chicago area in recognition of their efforts to make a difference in the lives of other people.
"Carla came to mind because this is an individual who has dedicated her life to helping other people," said Helene Paris, a former Hinsdale/Clarendon Hills area resident and the member of the board who nominated Feinkind. Paris and Feinkind go way back, in fact. Paris is a charter member of the Assistance League of Chicagoland West chapter which was founded more than 15 years ago. She met Feinkind six weeks after the assistance league's founding when Feinkind joined, and today, Feinkind is the president of the Hinsdale-based chapter of the league.
Thrilled, honored and humbled are the words Feinkind used to describe how she felt about the recognition. For one thing, Feinkind, who is Jewish, said the organization strives to serve the Jewish community as well as the area as a whole and for another, just to be recognized when it feels like there are people out there who do more, was surprising. The Hinsdale chapter of assistance league last year provided coats to more than 2,000 needy students in the greater Hinsdale/Clarendon Hills and Burr Ridge area and has outfitted kitchens for dozens of people making the transition from homelessness to their own homes, and that's just two of the group's initiatives.