In honor of the founder's father the Leon David Simmons Award is bestowed upon extraordinary family caregivers of the ill, disabled and elderly during the Annual Caregivers Award Luncheons. The luncheon is held in celebration of National Family Caregivers’ Month. COME has recognized over one hundred and twenty family caregivers from the Bronx to as far as Columbia South Carolina. Caregivers are nominated by their physicians, pastors, co-workers, employers, families and friends.
The first luncheon was held on November 19, 2007 at the Dreiser Loop Center in Co-op City. The event was sponsored by AARP Peachtree Chapter 4997, AARP New York State Office. Jacqueline Cherry was recognized as a family caregiver for her father.
Leon David Simmons Award History
The 2021 Leon David Simmons Gala Nominees
November is National Family Caregivers Month. Caregiver Outreach Mentorship Empowerment Inc. (COME) has worked tirelessly for the past 15 years to honor family caregivers who continuously make sacrifices to care for a sick, elderly or disabled individual. Caregivers have been drastically impacted by COVID and require our support and services now more than ever. The sudden impact of the pandemic forced everyone to reevaluate life, value health and extend charity. Caregivers found themselves without home care, educational support and childcare; as well as reduced access to medical services and in financial hardship. Some caregiver’s lost their jobs due to the stay at home order and others lost their jobs due to no support with caring for their loved one. Amongst the chaos of dealing with the everyday struggles of family caregiving, Caregivers were faced with increased trauma and more individuals reported significant mental health concerns including depression, suicidal ideations and mental fatigue.
For the past fifteen years COME has held an Annual Fundraiser Gala where we gave these extraordinary family caregivers from the community the Leon David Simmons Award in recognition of their selfless work caring for loved ones. Due to the COVID pandemic, like many, we’ve had to reimagine our Annual Gala and for the first time ever conducted a Virtual Caregiver Gala on November 20, 2021. We wanted to let family caregivers know that they are not alone and still find a way to show caregivers that they are supporting during this time. Click the links below to view the event.