DCHS Staff Member Honored with City's Annual MLK Jr. Spirit Award

Page updated on Jan 22, 2021 at 3:42 PM

DCHS Staff Member Honored with City's Annual MLK Jr. Spirit Award


January 22, 2021--Sadina Vanison, Bus Driver Supervisor for the Department of Community and Human Services, is the 2021 recipient of the City of Alexandria Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Spirit Award, awarded each year to a City employee who exemplifies Dr. King’s leadership and vision through commitment to social justice, diversity, inclusion and service.

Vanison, who was nominated by Adult Day Services Center (ADSC) Therapeutic Recreational Leader Jackie McCord, was chosen for the award because of her deep commitment to service for others through her work and her personal time, including  during the challenging times of the past year. 

Dr. King once asked, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?” Sadina has answered that call with, according to McCord, a “heart of service for anyone she encounters,” and “a leadership style of humility that comes with a joyous personality.” 

Vanison was noted for ensuring the safety of the City’s drivers during the pandemic by securing personal protective equipment and initiating plexi-glass barriers for them while they continued to provide services to senior residents at risk of isolation including delivering PPE and hot/cold meals, sightseeing tours, furniture for a senior in need, Mother’s Day gift baskets, walking activities and much more.

As a member of the Alexandria Successful Aging Committee, Vanison helps plan senior activities for Charles Houston, St. Martin Porre's and the ADSC. She has incorporated her church in donating gift cards for a holiday celebration and contributions for senior walkathons. For a Thanksgiving drive-thru held for 20 seniors and organized by the ADSC, Vanison donated a turkey with green beans that she prepared. For those seniors unable to attend the drive-thru service, she arranged for the delivery of meals.  

McCord says that “Sadina is a visionary who will help anyone execute their vision for humanity.” Vanison’s many acts of service to others and outreach to the community carry on the traditions of Dr. King and embody the City’s Mission, Vision and Values. 

McCord also commends Vanison’s professionalism and dedication to the City. “Throughout the years, l have admired Sadina’s leadership skills and  productivity,” says McCord. “She is a legacy for me to follow.”

The City publicly honored the life and legacy of King in a virtual community program on January 15.  View the program online. The City also honored King during the 25th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Staff Celebration.