Patrick Tuttle Recognized for Spirit of Volunteerism

Johann Cuervo Friar News

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Urban League of the Upstate – a non-profit organization in northwest South Carolina committed to the principle of equal opportunity for all citizens in housing, education, employment, and economic development, without regard to race or socioeconomic status – recognized Patrick Tuttle, OFM, and the parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua Church this month at the organization’s dinner gala for their efforts in participating in community mobilization projects and volunteer programs.

More than two dozen people accompanied Patrick when he accepted the award. “Receiving this recognition is deeply meaningful,” said Patrick. “The organization has been working so hard in education, providing means for economic growth and making sure people are set up to succeed in this world.”

The awards event, held on Feb. 8, which raises funds for ongoing programs, commemorated the works of three other individuals making a difference. The honorees were Brenda Thames of Greenville Health System – a healthcare network serving Upstate South Carolina and surrounding areas; Linda Hannon, community relations and district manager for Duke Energy – one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States; and Ansel Sanders on behalf of Public Education Partners, a nonprofit working with educators, parents and donors to provide funding for Greenville County public schools.

“Our dinner gala provides us with an opportunity to celebrate the vital work and commitment of our community and corporate heroes,” said Jill Littlejohn, president of the Urban League. “Patrick and the parishioners of St Anthony of Padua received the Volunteer of the Year Award for their hard work and dedication to improving the quality of life for citizens in Greenville.”

“Each year, we honor an individual or corporation as thanks for their work and to let them know we see and appreciate their hard work,” added Littlejohn.

The organization has been working to empower and transform communities since being founded in 1910. According to the Urban League’s website, the national office headquartered in New York City spearheads the efforts of its local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research, and advocacy. Today, there are nearly 100 local affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people nationwide.

“We continue to provide volunteer opportunities for those who are eager to get involved and become part of the service tradition that has defined our community and our movement,” said Littlejohn. “Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Urban League movement, expanding their reach into the nation’s rural, urban and suburban communities.”

An image from the video in which Patrick speaks about his work with the Urban League of the Upstate.

Using the Gospel of Matthew (Chapter 25:31-46), Patrick made a connection to the call to service and how we “will be judged by God based upon how one treats the least among them.” He shared this feeling in a video posted on the Urban League’s youtube channel saying “the spirit of volunteerism here at St. Anthony of Padua comes from being glad and having gratitude for the gifts of God, and wanting to do something with it. Folks who thought they didn’t have much to give, finding they have something to give, it’s an amazing and wonderful snowball effect.”

“I personally appreciate all you do to lead our community in important conversations about transportation, housing, and equity,” said state Rep. Chandra Dillard in a Feb. 15 letter. “You have, without a doubt, made West Greenville and Greenville better for so many.”

Last year, Patrick and the parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua were recognized with the South Carolina NAACP Convention Humanitarian Award for the many opportunities it has provided to African-American people through housing, education, food, and medicine.

“Oftentimes the African American community is described as the recipient of the benevolence of others,” said Patrick, who has been stationed at St. Anthony of Padua Parish since 2005. “In this case, the African American community has been providing for others and doing so for 15 years. Being recognized by the public last year by the NAACP and this year by the Urban league is rare and indicates the city’s gratitude.”

– Johann Cuervo is communications assistant at the Provincial Office.

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