MEND’s Ed Rose Wins Jefferson Award
MEND founder Ed Rose was one of 17 national recipients this week of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Public Service. Presented in Washington, DC, on June 19, the award is part of the national Jefferson Awards program, and recognizes “unsung heroes” for extraordinary work in their community. In April, Rose was presented with the Jefferson Award for the Los Angeles area by ABC7 TV.
Together with his wife, Carolyn, Rose founded MEND more than 40 years ago in the San Fernando Valley. Starting as a small group of volunteers working from a garage, MEND has grown into one of the largest non-profit organizations in the valley, serving more than 30,000 people a month with services from food to healthcare.
“It first started with furniture and clothing,” he recalls. “And then we got a storefront. We just kept growing.”
After four decades in its service, Ed remains dedicated to MEND, volunteering over 1,000 hours a year to continue to ensure that asking for help is as dignified as possible.
“We have a very strong belief that all people of all kinds be treated with respect and with dignity,” Rose said when accepting the award.
The Jefferson Awards program was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard as the “Nobel Prize for public service.” Named for one of America’s most influential Founding Fathers and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, the Jefferson Awards’ central tenet is that each and every citizen shares a responsibility to work towards the betterment of their communities through economic participation, public service, volunteerism and other such efforts to improve life for all.
In partnership with the Jefferson Awards, more than 130 newspapers and television stations promote and recognize outstanding grassroots “Unsung Heroes.” To date, over 50,000 individual grassroots winners of all ages have been recognized by the Jefferson Awards for their efforts to make the world around them a better place.