Rev. Dr. Robert “Odie” Odierna of Nashua, N.H. was selected as a $5,000 third prize winner in theThe Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards
“We are so thrilled that the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation has recognized Odie for his tireless work and dedication to the Front Door Agency,” said Maryse Wirbal, CEO of the Front Door Agency. “Since co-founding our organization 28 years ago, The Reverend Dr. Robert Odierna’s passion and hard work for our mission has never wavered. He has been a mentor to many, a strong champion for those in need in our community and an inspiration to countless young people.”
Twenty-eight years ago, Odie was a founding board member of The Front Door Agency and was on a mission to help break the cycle of homelessness. The once small organization continues to grow and now serves over 2,600 people annually by offering financial literacy, transitional housing, and other services to individuals in need.
A very wise teacher once told me that no one gets through life alone,” said Odie. “Those words have been true for me, as there are countless people who have helped me through personal trials and challenges, enabling me to achieve and arrive at the fortunate place in life that I am privileged to embrace. I feel very strongly that one of my purposes in life is to do whatever I can to help and support others, so that they too have a better opportunity to accomplish their goals and find fulfillment and happiness in life.”
Odie has become a fixture in the community, not only known for his religious responsibilities, but for his commitment to volunteerism. Whether it’s his involvement with the local rotary club or his coaching and umpiring work, Odie has been an active volunteer in the Nashua community for over 40 years.
“I am passionate about helping needy single mothers with children receive an education, emotional support, and financial support to achieve self-sufficiency, because there is no way they will make it alone,” Odie continued. “I am excited that this award will provide much needed funds to help the Front Door's programs for these needy moms. I am also humbled and hope that in some way my receiving this award will be a role model and inspiration for others to volunteer so that the less fortunate in our society do not have to make it alone.”
The Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards place a spotlight on those who give their time to help others and exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism. Each year, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation host the awards program as part of the ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative in honor of Myra Kraft’s example of being a lifelong volunteer.
On June 9, 26 volunteers were recognized for their contributions at a luncheon and awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. Each Community MVP received grants for their respective nonprofit organizations. Fifteen New England-based organizations were presented with $5,000 grants in honor of their volunteers’ work. Ten others received grants of $10,000 and one grand prize winner was presented $25,000.
“It is truly inspiring to hear the incredible stories of each Myra Kraft Community MVP Award winner,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “Every volunteer has such a unique story about how they got involved in their community and it is very touching to learn about their impact. These individuals are making a lasting impact on a daily basis and we are excited to have the opportunity to thank each of them for their commitment. This is truly one of my favorite programs and I know Myra would be proud of the work each of these volunteers are doing.”
On hand to congratulate the award winners was Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, New England Patriots Charitable Foundation President Joshua Kraft, Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett, and Patriots players including linebacker Jerod Mayo, tackle Nate Solder and kicker Stephen Gostkowski.
The 2015 MVPs represent all six New England states, a variety of nonprofit organizations and range in age from 17 to 83 years old. The Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation received a record number of applications this year from nonprofit organizations looking to recognize their outstanding volunteers. Nominations open each spring and the awards are open to all nonprofit organizations in the New England region. For more information on these awards, please visit www.patriots.com/community.