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DHS seeks nominations for Caring in Action Award


For Immediate Release:
January 13, 2021

Media Contacts
Amy Webb, Chief of Communications & Community Engagement

Gavin Lesnick, Deputy Chief of Communications

(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — The Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) is accepting nominations for its Caring in Action Award, a special honor that debuted last year as a way to recognize Arkansans outside the Department who show extraordinary dedication to helping DHS clients and programs.

Two recipients of the Caring in Action Award have been named so far, and a third honoree will be recognized next month. Each recipient earned the award by putting their concerns into action and making a real difference in the lives of others.

Arkansans are encouraged to nominate people who they think would be deserving of future awards. They can do so by filling out a short form on the DHS website detailing the nominee and the service that they believe qualifies them for this recognition. Submissions will be judged by DHS, and the nominee could be honored as a future Caring in Action Award recipient. 

“DHS works to help people all across this state every day, so it’s no surprise that we’ve come across some amazing stories of Arkansans going out of their way to solve problems, often in support of or alongside our work,” said DHS Secretary Cindy Gillespie. “This online nomination form gives people an easy way to let us know about Arkansans going above and beyond to help their neighbors. We look forward to honoring these heroes through future award presentations.”

The two Arkansans who have been honored by DHS so far are:

  • Cross County Judge Donnie Sanders, who helped make passable a county road near Wynne when its condition deteriorated and prevented an elderly DHS client who lives in the area from getting needed in-home services. Sanders acted after getting a call from a DHS employee who had been working with the client. 
  • A Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was investigating an overdose death of a teenager when he came upon a medical emergency involving another young adult in crisis due to a fentanyl overdose. The agent, whose identify cannot be released because he works undercover, administered two doses of Narcan, saving the young person’s life. DHS and the Office of the State Drug Director support efforts to get Narcan into the hands of law enforcement officers and others across the state. The agent also went on to arrest the person responsible for selling the drugs.

Videos profiling each of the first two winners are available on the DHS website at A third recipient of the award is set to be named next month, and a video of that presentation will be posted on the same page.

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