Caught in the Act Award

We need your help to pick a winner. The act with the most votes wins!

We all know the world is filled with kind people. But every now and then you see someone do something special – something out of the ordinary, something so exceptional that it makes you remember all over again what kindness is all about.

Caught in the Act is your opportunity to recognize those people – to catch that moment in time and ensure it’s recognized and highlighted – an example shared with many.

Caught in the Act is how we recognize an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to another person, a neighborhood, a community, or the world.

There are two parts to the Caught in the Act award. The annual winner, as selected by Random Acts staff, will receive US $3,000 as well as a certificate commemorating their kindness. Secondly, we hold a public vote on selected nominees. The winner of the public vote will receive a commemorative certificate along with US $2,000.

Throughout 2015, we received many nominations and it was absolutely thrilling to learn of so many wonderful acts performed globally.

Voting closed on March 29, 2016. Congratulations to our 2016 public vote winner, Katie Dunbar!

Public Vote Nominees

Analaura Amezquita

From Analaura’s nominator:

“At 15 years of age, it seems Analaura Amezquita’s community service and accomplishments are as limitless as her energy and dedication. She devotes her time to one of her passions: spearheading health and wellness advocacy projects throughout her community.

Analaura has demonstrated extraordinary leadership in her dedication to Activate Whittier’s Healthy Pick Logo program. After attending Activate Whittier’s ‘Change Starts With Me’ training in 2012 and only 13 years old at the time, Analaura Amezquita became an advocate for the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Healthy Eating and Active Living Initiatives in her city, Whittier, California.

Concerned about the childhood obesity rate in her city (25.3%), one of the highest in Los Angeles County, Analaura continues to volunteer With Activate Whittier as ‘Residents in Action’ community group member and meets on a monthly basis to discuss and work on health and wellness advocacy projects.

In her work with Activate Whittier, Analaura has been an integral part of the Healthy Picks Corner store Conversion Program in Whittier. Out of her own initiative, she strategized a plan of how to approach the store owners and build a relationship, becoming friends before asking for them to participate in the conversion project.

She knew how to talk and inspire the store owner to listen to a youth and agree to participate in the program. Analaura also entered, and won, the competition to design the Healthy Pick Logo which is used in the stores participating in the conversion program. The logo is used in markets to identify healthy options for residents.

As part of her community work, Analaura has also presented at City Council Meeting to advocate for the changes she would like to see in the community. She spoke at the Whittier City Council meeting to support the Smoke Free Park Ordinance which is now in effect at all 22 parks in Whittier. For the past two years, she has dedicated her time, including weekends and holidays, informing and involving the residents to join these programs. Analaura’s effort and store owner’s cooperation have allowed for increased access to healthier food and beverages to 12,155 people. Prior to Healthy Picks, only 17% of the store’s customers paid attention to healthy food choices. A year later the number had increased to 50% and a whopping 70% of them actually purchased healthy items.

She currently attends Whittier High School and founded Project W, a student run club on campus whose mission is to engage their school community in pursuing a healthier environment for youth.

Analaura Amezquita is working tirelessly and persistently to improve her community and help to others while maintaining a 4.5 GPA and being ranked number 1 out of 551 freshman students. Analaura has contributed to changes in her community, but has also championed those changes in her personal life by practicing good eating habits, and serving as a role model for other youth.

Because of her extraordinary leadership, she was invited by Whittier High School PTSA to be part of their cabinet as The Health Chair and with them, she plans to increase physical activity among the student community. For this reason, Analaura resorted to asking her local assemblyman monetary assistance for the realization of a Mud Run, which while it attracted to the community to exercise in a fun way, it also gave an alternative to unhealthy fundraising.

Assembly Member Ian C. Calderon, District 57th, agreed to be a sponsor of this event. Analaura had dedicated her last months and extensive efforts to plan the Mud Run involving Principal, teachers and school staff.

The first annual ‘Cardinal Survival Mud Run’ was held Saturday May 16 2015 attracting runners from 6 years old to 60 years old and even to media such as Telemundo 52, NBC 4, Whittier Daily News and Pasadena Star News, all media in Southern California.

In January 2016, Analaura carry out a new project at Whittier High School to motivate young people about the importance of water consumption.

But besides all of this, Analaura was appointed as the General Coordinator, Facilitator and member of ‘Familias De Whittier Buscando El Exito’ (Families of Whittier Seeking Success) a community group supported by SBCC Thrive LA in Whittier. In 2014, they organized a workshop, ‘Higher Education=Higher Quality of Life’ addressed to the community, to encourage and inform them how and why they should attend university. Her work does not stop there, and every summer, for the past 3 years, she volunteers in the Whittier Public Library’s ‘Summer Reading Program’.

Analaura based her triumphs on decisions and not just feelings, because she chose reason to grow rather than making excuses, because she chose responsibilities rather than indifference, because she never thinks about limitations, but quite the opposite, she always thinks to use responsibly all possibilities, to strives everyday to the fullest, because she learned not to have limits and that her dreams can come true not just by wanting them, but rather by tracing goals that are achievable. She wants to leave a mark in the world and she knows if she has the support of her family and government, there can be good, productive and entrepreneurial people. Most importantly, she wants to her parents to continue being proud of all of her accomplishments.

This young girl with big dreams plans on attending Stanford University in the future, but as a freshman in high school she has a few more years to continue her excellent contributions in the City of Whittier and to her community.

Finally, I can say that Good Health also comes from clean air and water, safe outdoor spaces for physical activity, safe worksites, healthy foods, violence-free environments and healthy homes. Prevention should be woven into all aspects of our lives, including where and how we live, learn, work and play. Everyone—businesses, educators, health care institutions, government, communities and every single American—has a role in creating a healthier nation and many times the help does not come only in monetary or materials contribution, it also comes in create awareness in others.

Finally, Analaura deserves this award for one simple reason: she is doing her part to make the world a healthier place.”

Supporting Material Additional Supporting Material

Katie Dunbar

From Katie’s nominator:

“Katie took her saddest, loneliest moment and instead of letting it break her she decided to change the world.”

Supporting Material

Dr. Phil Harrington

From Dr. Harrington’s nominator:

“Phil Harrington MD is the founder and CEO of Human Health Project (HHP).

The idea for Human Health Project (HHP) originated from Dr. Phil Harrington’s personal experience struggling to find a diagnosis for his own illness. This firsthand experience of searching for health information for himself gave him a better understanding of how difficult it is to find reliable health information from the patients’ perspective. This inspired him to set up Human Health Project in 2006 as a nonprofit, noncommercial, volunteer based initiative that empowers individuals to help each other online with information on their health conditions, diagnosis and treatment.

HHP’s Vision: To be the leading global resource for general health information seekers for better health outcomes

HHP’s Mission: To provide a free, noncommercial, online peer-to-peer resource that empowers individuals, communities and global underserved populations to better manage their health through sharing of health experiences, information, and support. HHP strives to evidence-based grade outcomes from its community in order to give back new insights and enhance care.”

Supporting Material Additional Supporting Material

Officer G. Ricci

From Officer G.’s nominator:

“Taken from the Huntington Beach Police Department Facebook, I was compelled by his awesomeness to nominate him. He is an example of a person trying to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. He should train other police departments on how to be this effective, but caring:

‘On September 26, 2015, Officer G. Ricci was selected to the Homeless Task Force, a new position created to address the growing transient/homeless population in our city. He responds to citizen complaints and works with them to find long term solutions. Officer Ricci has already helped 8 homeless people get into housing and has another 14 people who are in the process of receiving housing. In addition to the people he has assisted with housing, he has also helped reunite 6 people with family to get them off the streets. In one instance, he found a mechanic willing to work on a homeless couple’s vehicle for free and provided them with a gas card to reunite them with family in Northern California. Officer Ricci assisted another person and reunited him with his family in Texas. This gentleman later called the Chief to thank Officer Ricci and said he was now employed and everything was going great.

Officer Ricci also takes necessary enforcement action against the portion of the homeless/transient population who victimize our citizens and are the subjects of repeat calls for service. He follows his cases through the homeless court process and works towards realistic consequences for repeat offenders. Officer Ricci was awarded Officer of the Month for his hard work and dedication to addressing and resolving homeless/transient related issues on many fronts.'”

Supporting Material

Huntington Beach Police Facebook page

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