FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Donna Giberti,
Director of Development and Marketing;
Independence House, Inc.
508-771-6507 x221, Fax 508-778-0143
Sue French named one of Twenty-six
Myra Kraft Community MVP Winners
~Accompanies Gift to Independence House~
Hyannis, MA, June 9, 2023—For the past 25 years, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation have been recognizing volunteers for going above and beyond to give back to their communities through the Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards program. Formerly known as the Community Quarterback Awards, this volunteer recognition was renamed in 2011 in memory of Myra Kraft.
On Thursday, June 8th during an awards luncheon ceremony at Gillette Stadium, Sue French, a long-time Independence House volunteer was recognized by Robert Kraft and son, Josh Kraft; as one of 26 outstanding volunteers across New England and for her contributions to Independence House. The Kraft family and New England Patriots Foundation awarded a gift to Independence House of $10,000 as part of this recognition.
Sue has been an integral part of Independence House for over three decades as we celebrate her 35th year of volunteer service to Independence House.
In the early years of Sue’s volunteer role, she provided child care for survivor parents of domestic and sexual violence who attended Independence House programs and were taking part in individual or group counseling services. Sue also provided this coverage for when clients of Independence House needed to travel for court services.
Sue’s volunteer role soon expanded and she was instrumental in helping Independence House administration with the creation and implementation of our SAFEHOME program. This program provides a confidential safe location at a critical time when crisis intervention is needed in order to keep a person safe from their abuser if a shelter is not available. Sue and her husband Rich, also an Independence House volunteer of 32 years this year, opened their home to provide this safety on countless occasions over a 20 year span, assisting women and their children, protecting many lives from further harm and potential loss of life.
Sue has now been a leading volunteer in our medical and police accompaniment (MPA) services for the past 25 years. Providing emergency critical response to sexual assault survivors, Sue travels in the evening and overnight hours to either Cape Cod or Falmouth Hospital as well as to any of the 15 police departments on Cape Cod when a call comes in to meet with sexual assault victims. She works closely with the victim/survivor to provide support through SANE exams and offers resources and next step options and guidance. Sue also facilitates and trains our new staff and volunteers in the MPA modules associated with our required on-board training.
When Sue is not busy maintaining her volunteering with MPA, she fills in for staff at our main office reception, and on our 24-hour hotline at our emergency confidential shelter residence.
Sue’s consistent presence, participation, reliability, positive outlook, and response has made the livelihood of survivors and their children safer, and she has helped them to embark on their journeys to self empowerment and independence. Her caring demeanor, and unwavering commitment to helping people is unmeasurable. She has a supreme spirit, and is always confident and ready for anything without exception.
Independence House Executive Director, Lysetta Hurge-Putnam said, “Sue is an outstanding and much-loved volunteer who has helped hundreds of survivors of domestic and sexual violence over the years. We can’t believe our good fortune in having Sue as volunteer all the years! She is dedicated, knowledgeable and passionate in her service to Independence House and our clients. We are excited and honored that the Kraft Family and New England Patriots Foundation has chosen to recognize and uplift Sue and her deep and meaningful volunteer contributions.”
Independence House Director of Development and Marketing, Donna Giberti, who also coordinates the volunteer program added, “Words are not enough when it comes to describing the positive impact Sue has, not only for our volunteer team, but for our staff, and for countless client survivors and their children. Sue gives her heart and soul and devoted time to helping others unselfishly and proudly. It’s her passion and it shows in everything she does. She is not only a powerhouse with a caring soul, but is a proven mentor, a role-model for all, and a true leader. It’s a gift simply to know her and blessing to have her commitment to Independence House and its clients for so many years.”
Sue French responded to her nomination and prestigious award recognition by the Kraft Family and New England Patriots Foundation, “I am deeply humbled and honored to be a recipient of this special award on behalf of Independence House. Because of the private nature of the work we do, we don’t often talk about it. Independence House is an agency that quietly changes lives every day on Cape Cod and we’re all very dedicated and committed to our mission, one survivor at a time. Thank you for honoring all the work that the staff and the team of strong volunteers do for all the people who use the many services of Independence House.”
Independence House. Inc. is Cape Cod’s leading resource, counseling and advocacy center to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. Offering critical response programs and services, Independence House assists children, teens and adults of all gender identities, races, sexual orientations, abilities and cultures who have been impacted by domestic or sexual violence. Independence House has four Cape offices: Hyannis, Falmouth, Orleans and Provincetown; a full court advocate staff in Falmouth, Barnstable and Orleans District and Barnstable Probate Court Houses; meets and assists sexual assault survivors at Cape Cod and Falmouth Hospitals 24-hours a day; and maintains both a 24-hour hotline and confidential emergency domestic and sexual violence shelter residence on Cape Cod. To learn more,visit independencehouse.org and the dedicated teen website at independencehouseteens.org.