Tamara Carrera, Executive Director for the Community Action Center received the 2012 Sandy Springs Humanitarian Award.
The ceremony honoring Carrera was held on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at City Hall. Carerra was honored for her dedication to community service.
During the ceremony, City Councilwoman Dianne Fries said, “Dr. King once said that ‘Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.’ Tamara’s work within the community exemplifies that philosophy. She has visualized and created programs promoting self-reliance and self-esteem.”
Carrera began her service at the CAC as an organization volunteer. Under her leadership, the non-profit has become a model of community partnership in preventing homelessness, reducing hunger and promoting self-sufficiency for those in need.
In addition to staff offices, the CAC’s facilities house a food pantry – which is stocked by 22,000 pounds in excess food from area restaurants, according to Carrera; an education center, and a thrift boutique which she created to serve clients as well as generate revenue to help fund programs.
In 2011, the and is supported by volunteers who devote almost 13,000 hours a year.
In October, in fiscal year 2012.
At that time, Carrera told Patch, “We are extremely thankful. If you look at other cities around us, not many give grants to do this. Cities tend to decide that it is a county responsibility.”
She said a mother whose family received help from the Community Action Center, years ago, brought her children to the non-profit’s booth at the Sandy Springs Festival and urged her children to volunteer and give back.
In addition to leading CAC, Carrera has served on several organizational boards. As a Board Member with the Community Education Force (now Sandy Springs Education Force), Carrera was instrumental in revitalizing the organization and creating a Teacher’s Supply Closet where public school educators are able to obtain school supplies for students in need. She also was influential in compiling the Class Human Services Day for Leadership Sandy Springs to expose class members to the needs of under privileged citizens within the community.
The Humanitarian award is presented annually as a tribute to Dr. King. Nominations were submitted by community members with a volunteer committee reviewing submissions and selecting the honoree.