HUDSON – The Hendrick Hudson Chapter, NSDAR, presented two coveted community service awards, Ella Schoenborn of Coxsackie and Charlotte Shutts of Hillsdale, at its annual meeting on May 16. The award recognizes individuals who have contributed to the community, without compensation, in a remarkable way through heroic, civic, benevolent voluntary service, or by organizing or participating in community activities. The award, given by a committee of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, shows how the NSDAR carries out its work through its dozens of service, genealogy and special committees.
In 2018, eight-year-old Ella Schoenborn was inspired to help feed the hungry in Greene County and the Capital District when she saw people living on the streets. She knew they were hungry and was pushed into action because, as she puts it, “you can’t dream if you’re hungry”. So she founded a food drive initiative that started with collecting bottles and cans and grew into a huge effort named Projectella that collects food from restaurants and stores. With the help of her “driver” and her father Gus Schoenborn, she supplied food to pantries and the Salvation Armies in Coxsackie, Athens, Cairo, Westerlo, Bern, Hilltowns, Catskill and Hudson, as well as to groups like the non-profit Street Soldiers. , which feeds the homeless in Albany, Schenectady and Troy. Ella, an eighth-grader at the Academy of the Holy Names, often personally serves sandwiches and homemade meals she made herself to people living on the streets. To date, she has prepared over 7,000 meals, distributed over 3,000 dozen eggs and supplied over 100,000 items to food pantries.
Hendrick Hudson member Charlotte Shutts has a long history of community service and in 2019 was recognized by the Roeliff Jansen Community Library for her tireless contributions to the library. With a 50 year tenure at Key Bank in Copake, including as a manager, and many other activities, she is a fixture in the Hillsdale and Copake areas. At the Hendrick Hudson Chapter, she chairs the National Literacy Promotion Committee. In her remarks at the awards ceremony in Hudson, she spoke fondly of the Christmas Friends of the Roe Jan Christian Community group which she founded in 1990. She spoke of a family’s offer to adopt a family for Christmas. It made Charlotte think of a seriously ill bank clerk who had two young children, and the parents of a two-year-old child who, on Christmas Eve, had nothing to give their daughter. Like Ella, Charlotte was pushed into action. Then an ecumenical group of churches mounted an effort to find out who needed Christmas gifts, which would be paid for by the many “buyers” who gathered or from funds raised by Friends. On average, Les Amis de Noël currently helps 165 children in 65 families. Charlotte is also president of the Friends of the Roeliff Jansen Community Library and treasurer of Young at Hearters.
Community Services Committee Chair and former Chapter Regent Mary Lou Zimmermann said, “The Hendrick Hudson Chapter extends its congratulations to these two wonderful women for all of their accomplishments. They are truly role models for all of us. They do wonders in our communities and we are very grateful to them. Schoenborn and Shutts each received an NSDAR Community Service certificate and pin.
The DAR Hendrick Hudson Chapter was established in 1896, over 125 years ago. A nonpartisan organization welcoming eligible women regardless of race, creed or religion, it has 130 members who trace their lineage to a patriot in the American Revolution – whether they served as a soldier, tradesman or seamstress. In accordance with the National Society DAR, members work to perpetuate the memory and spirit of the women and men who achieved American independence, to promote the development of enlightened public opinion, and to foster patriotic citizenship.