John Halton named Catholic Charities USA’s volunteer of the year • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
John Halton

John Halton named Catholic Charities USA’s volunteer of the year

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John “Jack” Halton, a 92-year-old from Highland, was honored as Catholic Charities USA’s volunteer of the year.

Halton was chosen from the 200,000 volunteers who serve Catholic Charities agencies nationwide. Halton volunteers for Catholic Charities Food Pantry and Hunger Relief Services in Gary.

A longtime volunteer, Halton unloads trucks of food, stocks shelves and packs bags of groceries. The food helps feed struggling families, seniors and veterans. Halton and his fellow volunteers served 25,900 individuals in 2023.

Halton also built 13 raised garden beds for veterans and low-income elderly individuals. He planted 225 container gardens and distributed them during Catholic Charities food distribution events.

“What began as something to keep me and my son, David, occupied for a few days during the week has evolved into so much more: great friends, new experiences, a blessing like no other,” Halton said in a press release. “To receive this honor from Catholic Charities USA is the cherry on top. I’m humbled for doing what I love.”

Catholic Charities USA has presented the volunteer of the year award annually since 1998. The award is granted to an individual who provides services to those in need and advocates for social justice.

“John treats everyone with respect and compassion, regardless of their age or station in life,” said Tina Gunnum, food pantry manager. “There is something almost magical about being in John’s presence. He has an uncanny ability to see the best in people and to bring out the best in them as well.”

Catholic Charities USA will present the award to Halton at its 2024 annual Gathering in Oklahoma City later this year. Halton will also be recognized at the Catholic Charities Diocese of Gary’s golf outing June 10 at Innsbrook Country Club in Merrillville.

In addition to operating the food pantry, Catholic Charities Diocese of Gary provides other services to individuals and families in need. The nonprofit serves residents of Lake, Porter, La Porte and Starke counties. The membership of Catholic Charities USA is made up of 168 diocesan Catholic Charities agencies.

(Photo provided by Catholic Charities Diocese of Gary)

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