The Township of Parsippany’s Office on Aging honored two resident volunteers, aged 60 and over, who have offered their time and experience to worthwhile projects, causes, or activities that enhance people’s lives. On Tuesday, April 4, 2023, Mayor James Barberio honored two residents with the Socolowski Senior Citizen of the Year Award and one of them happened to be Western Fumigation employee, Karen DeChristopher.
Karen has selflessly volunteered her time, talents, and skills for over thirty years. We want to list them all, but that would fill up the page! Among her charities of choice are:
- Family Promise which provides shelter, meals, and support to families in Morris County.
- Jersey Battered Women’s Shelter which provides safety, support, and solutions for women in abusive relationships in Morris County.
- Kiwanis Club of Parsippany, which primarily serves the children in town.
- Woman’s Club of Parsippany which focuses on the educational, cultural, and civic betterment of the community.
As a four-time cancer survivor, Karen has volunteered her time to The American Cancer Society in an effort to help others battling the disease. Her passion for volunteering in support of women’s and children’s causes is inspiring and infectious.
In addition, in 2006, Karen joined the Parsippany Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). In 2007 she was promoted to Senior Leader. She volunteered countless hours during Super Storm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, winter storms, flooding events, downed electrical wires, and various other township emergencies and events. This is all while having a full-time job at Western Fumigation.
What they don’t know is that she also is the first to volunteer at work, too. We have countless pictures of Karen stuffing stockings for our brave men and women overseas, walking in a walk for autism, and dropping some toys in the annual toy drive. She is even on the committee of the Rollins Employee Relief Fund. We asked Karen what she thought about being named a Socolowski Senior Citizen of the Year Award. She said, “Receiving this award gives me a sense of pride in giving back to my community. By being able to understand many of life’s difficulties, I am able to help and encourage others to embrace values that will serve them through life. I was so pleasantly surprised to find that my friend of 30 years, Karl Riffel, also received the award. It was so nice to stand up there with him.”
Karen just started her 30th year at Western. We are proud to call her an employee and a friend and we’re so happy for her – the award is well deserved.