Fannie Landau Award for Volunteerism

About the Fannie Landau Award for Volunteerism

Since the founding of Miriam, led by Fannie K. Landau, in February, 1910, as a local chapter of the United Order of True Sisters, volunteers have been the cornerstone of the organization.  The Fannie Landau Award for Volunteerism recognizes one outstanding volunteer for their valuable and selfless commitment to Miriam’s mission of making a difference in the lives of students with learning disabilities.
Fannie Landau was truly an exemplary volunteer as evidenced by her service and legacy.  She served as the first president of Miriam and instilled the values of service and commitment in her family.  Her son, Sidney Landau, served on the board of advisers for Miriam’s convalescent home, and her daughter-in-law, Hazel Landau, assisted with Miriam’s cancer wrap program.  Fannie’s granddaughter, Margie Frank followed in the family footsteps and served as the President of Miriam from 1977 to 1979 in addition to volunteering as an aide at the school for over four years and serving as chairman of both the Miriam Shop and Switching Post.  Fannie’s great-granddaughters, Susie Luten and Linda Kintz, continue the legacy, currently serving on the Miriam Board of Directors.

The Fannie Landau award for Volunteerism was first presented to Blanche Miller in 1991 and we are proud to revive the tradition of presenting this award to an outstanding Miriam volunteer.

Congratulations to 2017 Award Recipient Linda Estell!

Remarks by Joni Karandjeff, Miriam Board Member and Switching Post Volunteer

“I was privileged and honored when Janine and Andy asked me to speak about Linda today. Actually, when I 1st started thinking about my remarks, I was doing a ‘test’ of 10 things you may or may not know about Linda, then changed my mind – and a good thing, I think we have all been tested out today!

I met Linda over 33 years ago when my family moved to Clayton. Linda invited my daughter, Kelley, and me to join the Girl Scout troop she was leading for our fourth grade girls. Shortly thereafter she got me involved in the Junior League and quickly welcomed me into other organizations she was involved with. We began sharing holidays and special occasions with our families, which we do to this day. This kindness and generosity of heart has meant much to me over many decades. She has remained one of my dearest friends.

I quickly discovered that Linda was not only a gifted organizer and director of events and causes, but that she led by example, rolling up her sleeves and working in a very hands-on way. She was not afraid to get dirty, work long hours, or do the grunt work often involved in volunteering for non-profits. This type of energy and passion is deeply laudable and completely contagious and I have found myself hopping on board with Linda because of this passion…most recently by joining her to volunteer in the Switching Post and to serve on the Miriam board.

Linda listens and takes notice, which shows in gestures big and small. She invests deeply in those she surrounds herself with and has a truly caring soul, and I know that many of you have felt that true friendship. This also comes through loud and clear when she talks about the children and families of the Miriam School. She knows the important impact this organization makes in their lives.

When speaking with Linda’s co-workers, they describe Linda’s contributions to Miriam Switching Post:  “Linda is like a co-manager. She commits to at least two full days a week, but it is rare if she doesn’t stop in and work countless hours – sometimes 40 or more hours a week! She has an amazing eye for design and detail, and has guided volunteers and staff in presentation, staging, and the importance of making the shop look clean, inviting and coordinated, thus increasing sales and providing more funds for The Miriam School. Linda is a natural sales person and loves being on the floor, talking with customers, making sure they find the perfect piece, but most importantly, letting them know that their purchase helps support The Miriam School. And we all know that she can sell you the shirt off your back! She has developed relationships with regular shoppers, dealers, and decorators who frequent the shop. People return to the Switching Post because they enjoy the personal touch they receive under Linda’s direction. In addition to customer connections, Linda knows many people in the community, and has been invaluable in bringing new volunteers and donors to the store. She goes way above and beyond at all times.”

When Linda began working at the Switching Post, the shop was barely breaking even, let alone making a profit. I believe you heard earlier this will be a record year with over $415,000 in sales! Linda is quick to give others credit and be thankful for their contributions and hard work, but it is Linda’s leadership, creativity and energy that have led the team of staff and volunteers to this great success.

I love the quote by Indira Gandhi – “There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there.”

I encourage YOU to be in the first group – that is where Linda is – doing the work and making it FUN!

It is fitting that Linda be recognized with the Fannie Landau Award for Volunteerism as she exemplifies ‘the valuable and selfless commitment to Miriam’s mission of making a difference in the lives of students with learning disabilities.’

Thank you, Linda, for getting me involved with the Switching Post and the Board. You have helped create a warm, welcoming, but very productive place to volunteer and succeed. You work side by side with individuals and share your knowledge and fellowship, demonstrating how enriching volunteer work can be and the impact that it can make. You have both vision for what is possible, and the conviction to make change when required to ensure achievement of the mission. You are the volunteer that shows others how to give, so others can succeed.

Thank you for all you do for the volunteers and for Miriam! We are blessed to have you in our lives.

Thank YOU.