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Center of Help announces first Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Award Winner

| October 25, 2021, 10:08 AM

The Center of Help, Inc. has announced the 2021 Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Emerging Leader Award to Ethel del Carmen Leon Wirth. Ethel is a mother to two beautiful children who came to the U.S. fifteen years ago from her previous home of Veracruz, Mexico. Since arriving in Annapolis, she has emerged as a true leader within the immigrant community, and we are excited to present her with the first of these annual awards.

The Arc of Central Maryland

In addition to her position as Maintenance Manager at the Islamic Society of Annapolis, Ethel is the founder and administrator of “Se Fuerte Annapolis,” an online community that formed in April of 2020 to help Latinx families in Annapolis and neighboring areas connect with each other, share resources, and meet basic needs at the start of the COVID-19 crisis. In May 2020, she joined forces with the West Annapolis Pop-Up Pantry, Center of Help, Downtown Hope, and Guadalupe Ministries to begin a weekly food pantry every Saturday in the Allen Apartments neighborhood. During the summer and fall of 2020, this coalition distributed over 26,000 boxes of food to immigrant families in Anne Arundel County.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

During her work with the food pantries, Ethel capitalized on her connections with the Muslim community to donate to the effort and unite two sections of the immigrant community in a unique way. After noticing her fundraising and community engagement skills, Ethel was invited to join the Board of Directors of the Center of Help, and was voted onto the Board in September 2020. It is no surprise that Ethel has been a key player in making decisions for the Center. She expanded relationships with local Hispanic-owned businesses, many of which have donated lunch to our Leadership and Learning Program.

Sergio Polanco, Multicultural Officer for the Office of the County Executive of Anne Arundel County says, “Ethel is a simple person, hardworking, and always worries about helping others. She has the ability to inspire others to help their neighbors. She is a great woman, wife, and community leader. Ethel does not only have the motivation to influence positive change, but she also wants to be ahead of that transformation. She possesses an inherent form of dedication and the quick reactions necessary to be an effective leader. She is always available to dedicate time and energy to service, offering without self-interest for the good of others.”

Category: Local News, NEWS

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