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Fearless! Hudson Valley honors ATI Executive Director

Fearless! Hudson Valley honors ATI Executive Director

MONTICELLO: Deborah Worden, Executive Director of Action Toward Independence (ATI), will be honored with the 2022 Mildred Warren Good-Neighbor Award by Fearless! Hudson Valley at their Celebration of Hope Brunch on Sunday, November 20.

Fearless!, the former Safe Homes of Orange County, is the only private, not-for-profit agency in Orange and Sullivan Counties dedicated to providing free advocacy, support, education, prevention and shelter to victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse, human trafficking and crime victimization. Comprehensive programs and services include a 24-hour hotline, Family Justice Center, emergency shelter, legal program, anti-trafficking program, individual and group support, advocacy, therapeutic counseling, Risk Reduction Response Programs, systems-based advocacy and collaboration, community education and outreach.

The Celebration of Hope Brunch celebrates the past 36 years of providing services to victims and their children, continuing to increase public awareness about these issues, and encouraging accountability for perpetrators.

Deborah will be honored along with Deputy Director Orange County Department of Probation Maddie Miller, Pine Bush High School Educator Kara Sprague, and Executive Director Orange County Human Rights Commission Inaudy Gil.

Action Toward Independence Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Independent Living Center, with offices located in Sullivan and Orange County, that serves people throughout the Hudson Valley. Executive Director Deborah Worden’s life has been all about community service. It’s a concept that was ingrained in her during her formative years when she began volunteering for her local church, fire department and school library. She’s learned about grassroots organizing and “how many hands make light work.”

As time went on, Deborah donated her time to multiple community organizations, including volunteering for a residential substance abuse treatment program for teens and a rape crisis hotline for eight years. Currently, she is the Secretary of the Equinunk Volunteer Fire Company, a position she’s held for the past 18 years. 

Deborah’s passion for Human Services has driven her career path. She has worked in Sullivan County Public Health, Sullivan County BOCES, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, and Achieve Nursing Facility, where she was the Director of Volunteer and Community Services. Concurrently, she was running a successful grant writing business in Pennsylvania. 

Since joining ATI, Deborah has been responsible for obtaining grant funding and other resources that have greatly increased the agency’s capacity. Representing the organization, she is a Board Member of Sullivan Allies Leading Together, Board Member and Secretary of the Hudson Valley Collective for Community Wellness, a member of The Sullivan County Public Health Advisory Council, a member of the RSVP Advisory Council, Secretary for Joint Membership of Health and Community Agencies, a member of the Committee for Equity and Justice, a member of the Hands4Health Network, and is involved in several other community organizations.  

The Fearless! Good-Neighbor Award is named for Mildred Warren, a Middletown resident who passed away in 2001, and left her legacy to Fearless! The award is given to businesses or individuals who are good neighbors. Kristen Detheridge, Communications and Marketing Coordinator for Fearless! said, “Debbie Worden has been warm and welcoming. She has opened so many doors for us in Sullivan County.”

The Celebration of Hope Brunch will be held at The Powelton Club, 29 Old Balmville Road in Newburgh on Sunday, November 20 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Tickets for the brunch are $100 (and include bottomless bloody Marys and mimosas), and can be purchased online at https://FearlessHV.org/hopebrunch. Sponsorships are also available.

For additional information call the Fearless! office at 845-562-5365.

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