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1995 - Mrs. Olga Caprara, Fort Lewis, WA

Mrs. Olga Caprara

Emma Marie Baird Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service

1995 - Mrs. Olga Caprara, Fort Lewis, WA

Olga Caprara From 1974 to 1994 Mrs. Olga Caprara served the military community by volunteering in Army Community Service (ACS) where she currently serves as the outreach volunteer at Fort Lewis, Washington. Much of her volunteer efforts are devoted to work with individuals with special needs. Mrs. Caprara received recognition for her successful work with the Annual Special Children's Picnic and the Special Children's Christmas Party where she was applauded for all her efforts including her impersonation of a Raggedy Andy doll. In 1981 she was recognized by the Easter Seal Society procuring used clothing for disabled people through Army Community Service. Mrs. Caprara collected and redeemed Campbell's Soup labels for gifts such as basketballs, volleyballs, Rand McNally Atlases, etc., for handicapped children.

As the ACS Parent Aide Chairperson, Mrs. Caprara functioned as a non-critical friend relieving the many stresses new parents encountered in day-to-day living. Being a parent aide, she acted as a confidante, teacher, and model while teaching young families parenting skills. In addition, Mrs. Caprara maintains a "lifeline" with new parents by providing gentle understanding and supervision. Mrs. Caprara serves as a role model as she visits homes and assists mothers with their newborns. When Mrs. Caprara sees something that needs to be done, no matter where or what it is, she will do it. Her personality shows caring for others and wanting to make good things happen for everyone.

In 1986 Mrs. Caprara began delivering donuts each day to the Veterans Hospital. She provided perishable foods (i.e., cakes, and donuts) and donated clothing to retirement homes and the old soldiers' home. She donated books to hospitalized veterans at the American Lake Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Beginning in 1987, Mrs. Olga Caprara assisted Outreach by visiting apartment complexes with high concentrations of military families four days a week where she posted flyers to inform individuals when the Outreach Team would return.

As part of the Outreach Program, Mrs. Caprara directed bus tours in Fort Lewis and the surroundings areas. She promoted the area clean up outside Fort Lewis. She contributes an average of eight hours weekly supporting soldiers and families. Mrs. Caprara's special talent is her ability to speak five languages which is beneficial in working with bi-cultural family members where she helped end the communication gaps by answering questions posed by foreign-born wives. She has exceptional people skills and always demonstrates a willingness to support others in any phase of a project or program. She is dependable, helpful, and knowledgeable about military and community resources.