Kusie recipient of the Gordon Harvey Award

The Anoka County Community Action Program (ACCAP) awarded Patricia (Ann) Kusie the Gordon Harvey Award in May for her service in 2011 with Chores and More.

Each year ACCAP awards one staff member and one volunteer the Gordon Harvey Award for distinguished service to the residents of Anoka County. Kusie received the award at ACCAP’s annual board meeting.

“I was surprised. I always look at an award like that and know there are many people that could deserve it,” Kusie said.

The award is in honor of Gordon Harvey, an ACCAP governing board member that went above and beyond the call of duty in the early stages of ACCAP.

ACCAP Office Manager and Executive Assistant Kelsey Gulick said the award has been around for over 25 years. Each year the staff nominates as many volunteers and employees as they like for going above and beyond their normal jobs to serve in Anoka County. They must give three reasons why that staff member or volunteer deserves the award.

A personnel committee then goes through the forms and chooses a winner, according to Gulick.

Kusie started working at the Coon Rapids Senior Center in 1991 and has been involved with ACCAP since 1998, when the Chores and More program was incorporated with ACCAP.

Kusie organizes Chores and More for all of Anoka County, except Columbia Heights, Hilltop and Fridley. She works alongside Judy Lash in an effort to recruit volunteers and meet the household needs of seniors in Anoka County.

“What I like most is dealing with the people and figuring out a way to meet their needs and knowing that we make a difference,” Kusie said.

Chores and More is an ACCAP program that started in the late ‘80s. It provides minor house repairs, housekeeping and seasonal chores to anyone over the age of 60.

Kusie said the goal of the program is to help people remain living in their home and to keep their home a comfortable and safe environment.

While some individuals use the service temporarily, such as for an illness or hospital stay, others use it regularly to maintain their independence.

The program utilizes people within the community to do the work of seasonal chores like mowing and raking in the spring and fall. Kusie said. ACCAP also has a large volunteer base from churches, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Edina Realty and other programs.

There is a suggested donation of $14 to $17 for those using Chores and More, but for those who cannot afford the donation, the program provides the cost to the worker through a subsidy.

Chores and More is supported by a federal grant, money from ACCAP and donations from the community, according to Kusie.

Bethany Kemming is at [email protected]