MORRIS COUNTY 2019 “SEEDS OF CHANGE’’ AWARD : PHYLLIS CHANDA OF MOUNT OLIVE IS RECIPIENT

The Morris County Advisory Committee on Women’s 2019 Seeds of Change Award, which honors the memory of the late State Sen. Leanna Brown, was presented last night to Phyllis Chanda of Mount Olive for her dedication to her community.

 

The Advisory Committee announced Chanda’s selection at a special ceremony at the county Board of Freeholders’ meeting in Morristown. 

 

“There is no job too small or no job too big. She leads by example, honors commitments, and never gives up. These are the seeds of change that Phyllis Chanda has planted in Morris County through her dedication to the county’s most vulnerable residents,’’ said  Allison Delcalzo-Berens, Secretary of the Morris County Advisory Committee on Women.

 

“Morris County is extremely proud to honor Phyllis Chanda, who has worked so hard for so many worthy organizations, helping so many residents of her hometown and Morris County,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo. “She is an inspiration to all of us. On behalf of the entire Board of Freeholders, we congratulate Phyllis.’’

 

When former Leanna Brown passed away in late 2016, the Advisory Committee on Women contemplated her contributions and legacy. Out of those discussions came the idea of promoting Leanna’s values of grassroots activism by annually honoring a woman in Morris County who reflects her values and determination. 

 

The award seeks to highlight and celebrate women who build up other women and whose work at the grass roots levels often go unrecognized. In 2018, the first Seeds of Change award went to Lila Bernstein of Mendham Township.

 

Like Bernstein, this year’s recipient Phyllis Chanda’s has a record of service that is extensive. 

 

She has been very active in many organizations, such as the Roxbury Women’s Club, Roxbury Food Pantry, Family Promise of Morris County, Canine Companions for Independence, the state judiciary’s CASA Program, Jersey Battered Women’s Service (JBWS), Autism New Jersey, Morris Habitat for Humanity, and Alzheimer’s Association. 

 

Her roles in those organizations have not been in name only. She has been a leader and organizer. 

 

For example, after retiring from a more than 30-year career in the health care industry, she re-directed her energies to daily visits to a nursing home. 

 

Due to a family issue, she became a strong advocate for Alzheimer’s patients, but even after her family situation concluded, she continued daily visits to other Alzheimer’s patients and became very involved in the Alzheimer’s Association fundraising walk in Roxbury.

 

She also has worked tirelessly for Morris Habitat for Humanity, especially to move ahead a 12-unit affordable housing project in Roxbury. 

 

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