Much of what Lana Revak does may not be considered glamorous, but it transforms lives.
The Vernon resident recently received the Spirit of John Howard Award for her contributions to the community.
“It was a nice surprise,” she said.
Revak has worked with the Ministry of Social Services for 29 years, and she specializes in collaborating with community partners to enhance service delivery, ensuring an integrated approach and utilization of resources.
After hours, she actively volunteers her time and donates to non-profit organizations.
Among her activities with the John Howard Society have been the service providers appreciation night, the Camp Okanagan Outreach/Liason Team and development of an integrated case assessment team.
“She’s been such a key player to our organization,” said Kelly Fehr, director of operations with the John Howard Society.
“The award is presented to someone who works for the betterment of the community.”
Revak says it’s personally fulfilling to help people move ahead with their lives.
“Success doesn’t necessarily mean a white picket fence and a job. It may be getting housed or connecting with an alcohol and drug counsellor,” she said.
Her focus includes individuals with invisible disabilities — fetal alcohol syndrome or head injuries.
“People say, ‘Get a job or stop living in a park.’ They don’t have a voice,” said Revak.