Exelon Corporation has recognized employee Desiree Firpach-Boss of Olympia Fields, Ill., with an achievement award for her volunteer service with Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) of Will County, which supports the best interests of abused and neglected children. The volunteer recognition is part of Exelon’s annual Energy for the Community Volunteer Awards and comes with a $10,000 cash grant to the organization in Firpach-Boss’ honor.
Firpach-Boss, a senior work control specialist at Exelon subsidiary ComEd, has made an immediate impact in the lives of abused and neglected children throughout Will County after only a year as a volunteer with CASA.
Unlike the majority of advocates who work on one case at a time, Firpach-Boss routinely volunteers on two separate neglect cases. She provides a guiding hand to children as they navigate through the complicated judicial process and has assisted in securing numerous community partners willing to help CASA children find safe and permanent homes.
“Desiree has gone above and beyond in her short time as a CASA volunteer,” said Rita Facchina, CASA of Will County executive director. “She is always placing the best interest of the children first and has been a valuable and trusted asset to our program since she arrived. She is constantly looking for ways to help her CASA children learn how to cope with their unique circumstances.”
Firpach-Boss also trains incoming volunteers. She provides them with firsthand accounts of her experiences as an advocate for victimized children, preparing the new volunteers as they begin their cases.
CASA will use the $10,000 cash grant from Exelon and apply it toward the costs of supporting victims of abuse and neglect in Will County, estimated at $1,000 per child.
“The primary goal of a CASA volunteer is to ensure children who are abuse or neglect victims have someone working and speaking for them in the juvenile court system," Firpach-Boss said. “All of us fight for a child’s right to be safe, to be treated with dignity and respect, and to learn and grow in the secured embrace of a loving family.”
Terence Donnelly, ComEd chief operating officer, presented Firpach-Boss her award in Chicago on Friday, May 9.
“Employee volunteers like Desiree bring Exelon’s corporate citizenship values to life in the communities where we work and serve,” Donnelly said. “On behalf of all Exelon employees, I am honored to celebrate Desiree’s accomplishments. Her commitment to CASA of Will County personalizes the impact all of our employees have in the community through their volunteer service.”
Exelon introduced the Energy for the Community Volunteer Awards in 2007 to honor employees who demonstrate exceptional commitment to community service and to encourage increased volunteerism. Firpach-Boss is one of 18 employees to receive volunteer awards and grants to the nonprofit organizations they serve. Exelon donated a total of $145,000 in cash grants to those nonprofits this year.
Exelon’s Energy for the Community Volunteer Awards were open to all eligible employees from the Exelon family of companies who volunteered at least 50 hours of community service in 2013. Last year, more than 3,800 Exelon employee volunteers gave nearly 88,000 hours of their time to community nonprofit organizations. The donated hours are equivalent to 2,200 workweeks or over 42 years of full-time service.
The awards highlight Exelon’s Energy for the Community corporate citizenship program, which encourages volunteerism to support environmental stewardship; education, arts and culture; neighborhood enhancement; and diversity in the community.