For all the 1,062 documented hours Ed Folliard has spent serving at GRACE sites (and we suspect a great deal more), Ed never tires of seeking ways to help others.
Decent people are willing to offer a helping hand when the need arises, but remarkable people like Ed seek out creative ways to serve without being asked.
Ed is the epitome of a servant leader and he does so with a degree of modesty that amazes everyone he comes into contact with.
Ed retired in 2008 from his position as Oak Lawn Fire Chief in Chicago after 20 years of service, but his commitment and passion for helping others and the community didn’t stop there. He is dedicated to helping the community that he and his wife, Karen, are so fond of.
“Ed’s choice of careers speaks volumes to his character, and those virtues continue in his volunteer service,” notes Volunteer Manager, Lara Hohweiler. “Simply put, when other people might be looking away, Ed is running toward the task at hand to help.”
Ed is involved in many programs at GRACE, but places a particular emphasis Feed Our Kids, where he is a key contact in the program’s day-to-day operations. He helps train new volunteer groups during orientation and assists in tracking information for program reports. His special connection with families over the years make him an outstanding ambassador to GRACE.
In addition to Feed Our Kids, Ed prepares for Christmas Cottage long before the shoppers arrive. Ed is instrumental in the moving process, warehouse setup, volunteer training and representing GRACE to clients and donors alike.
Outside of GRACE, Ed is very involved with the Grapevine Rotary Club and Lake Grapevine Runners & Walkers. Ed returns to Chicago each year to assist the fire department with safety and training.
Ed had been an absolute blessing to GRACE and the community as a whole. He is a humble person who strives to make Grapevine a better place and has touched countless lives already.
Congratulations to the 2017 GRACE Volunteer of the Year!