Volunteer Award Winner
Carolyn Daurio wins Chasing Good Award
for community service
We're thrilled to announce that volunteer-extraordinaire, Carolyn Daurio of Scotch Plains has won the 2023 Chasing Good award for her service to RAP and the refugee families we serve.
Chasing Good is a Cranford-based non-profit whose mission is
to raise awareness that there is good in the world; to inspire others to do good, through stories of people and organizations doing good works in NJ. Each year they award a monetary prize to an individual or organization that has performed good deeds.
(In true Carolyn style, she donated her $1,000 award money directly to RAP).
Carolyn with the father and son from an Afghan family. Carolyn was the leader of the Family Team who helped the family acclimate to their new home after being forced to suddenly flee Afghanistan.
Carolyn has been a devoted member of RAP since 2017 and continues to serve unselfishly in several capacities. For families that require intensive support, RAP Family Teams offer advocacy and assistance with social services agencies, medical providers, housing, transportation strategies, and employment among other challenges. Carolyn has served on family teams working with refugees from the Congo and she was the team leader for a family from Afghanistan. Throughout, she has worked tirelessly to help her families overcome myriad obstacles (culture, language, financial instability, etc) and ultimately gain self-sufficiency and independence.
In car-dependent NJ, transportation to appointments, shopping, employment, etc is a huge challenge. While RAP works to educate clients in the use of public transportation and/or earning a driver’s license, there are always situations where a ride is needed and Carolyn can be counted on to volunteer.
For example, before Covid, RAP hosted weekly gatherings of the refugee families for community, culture, and learning - and for a shared meal. Carolyn was always available to drive those refugee families without transportation from their apartments in Elizabeth to the gatherings in Scotch Plains and then helped as needed at the event. These trips were always a great opportunity for the families to practice their English with Carolyn.
During the darkest days of the Covid pandemic, Carolyn was one of the faithful cadre of drivers delivering hot meals, paper products, and other necessities to refugee families facing a sudden loss of income and isolation. After Covid, RAP now hosts gatherings for refugee families - always with food, fun, and learning - and always with Carolyn ready at the wheel to gather people together.
RAP volunteers also provide ongoing tutoring services and lessons in English as a Second Language, first in person and now adapted to be provided virtually. For over three years, Carolyn has been a tutor to a young boy originally from Sudan, working on math and language arts. Their bond is so strong that even though his family has become self-sufficient and has moved out of state, their weekly tutoring lessons and friendship have continued.
Most recently, Carolyn serves as a member of the RAP Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations for RAP’s strategic direction from the perspective of volunteers together with refugee clients and graduates of the RAP program. Her service on this committee and years of experience will help ensure RAP continues to evolve to meet the needs of the refugee community.