Catholic Charities West Virginia (CCWVa) is proud to announce the recipients of its 2022 Charity in Action Award: Michela Dorsett, Positive Spin and WVU Center for Community Engagement.
“We are excited to celebrate our inaugural Charity in Action Awards Luncheon in Morgantown,” said Beth Zarate, President and Chief Executive Officer of CCWVa. “God calls us to be bold and to share His love unconditionally with all who cross our paths. Our honorees embrace their Gospel call to serve.”
The recipients of the 2022 Charity in Action Award are: Michela Dorsett, Positive Spin, and WVU Center for Community Engagement.
Michela Dorsett is a student at West Virginia University. She is an active member of the St. John University Parish Mountaineer Catholic Newman Club, where she serves as a social concerns leader.
“I believe Michela’s love for our Lord is embodied through her love and living out of the Church’s social teachings in a concrete way,” said Fr. Brian Crenwelge, who nominated Michela for the award.
“Her daily presence around the Newman Center and Mass shows her strong foundation in her Catholic faith,” said Fr. Crenwelge. “Yet, her actions around and outside the Newman Center show her putting her faith into action.”
Michela has led a number of projects, including: helping at Sarah’s Table; putting together Blessing Bags; doing water bottle handouts on High Street; coordinating trash pick-ups; and getting other service organizations to table at the Catholic Conference SEEK.
Positive Spin was founded in 2005 to educate, encourage and empower people to maintain and ride bikes anywhere, anytime, for any reason.
The volunteer-run organization receives donated bikes, and provides a community bike shop where people learn to build, maintain, and embrace the fun of bicycles. Anyone can earn a bike, and the organization has given away thousands of refurbished bikes over the years.
CCWVa Refugee Outreach Worker Renée Corbett nominated Positive Spin and its president, Jonathan Rosenbaum, for the Charity in Action Award.
“I originally connected with Jonathan in March 2022 when I was in the processing of resettling a Syrian family in Morgantown,” said Corbett. “The family had four kids, and we thought that bicycles might help the children feel more independent and comfortable in their community.”
“Jonathan and Positive Spin have worked hard to find and repair bicycles that meet the needs of each of our clients,” said Corbett. “Most refugee resettlement clients don’t know how to drive a car when they arrive in the United States, leading them to feel isolated. Access to a bicycle has allowed clients to feel more independent and self-sufficient.”
Rosenbaum’s passion for bikes and the positive benefits bikes bring to peoples’ lives is evident in all he does.
WVU Center for Community Engagement
The WVU Center for Community Engagement (CCE) aims to leverage university knowledge and resources to support effective partnerships with communities that enhance discovery through community-engaged teaching, scholarship, and action.
The Center focuses on supporting faculty, staff, and students in working with external partners on meeting reciprocal and mutually beneficial needs and advancing WVU’s land grant mission.
“The WVU Center for Community Engagement has worked with Catholic Charities for over 15 years in various ways to further both of our missions,” said John Catone, CCWVa Chief Advancement Officer and nominator of the WVU Center for Community Engagement.
The WVU Center for Community Engagement values civic engagement as a diverse experience committed to providing WVU students the opportunity and guidance in becoming civically engaged citizens, scholars, and leaders through interdisciplinary events; including but not limited to service learning, research, volunteerism and partnerships.
Charity in Action awards were presented at CCWVa’s Charity in Action Awards Luncheon on Friday, October 21 at the Erickson Alumni Center.
“Catholic Charities is excited to expand our services in Monongalia County and our reach to struggling individuals and families,” said Zarate. “We are honored to work alongside our honorees, as well as the many non-profit organizations at Hazel’s House of Hope, to provide compassionate services to everyone who seeks help.”