In honor of National Volunteer Week, Fishers celebrates the dedicated individuals who have donated their time and talent to our community with our 2021 City of Service Awards celebration. Winners were nominated by the community and selected by the Fishers City Council through a blind process.

Meet the winners through our blog posts this week, and check out our website to see all of the winners and nominees.

Meet Jesse & Deb McDaniel, Essential Worker of the Year Winners

Jesse & Deb McDaniel won this year’s Essential Worker of the Year award. They have volunteered with the American Red Cross for the past 11 years and stepped up to serve during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Essential Worker of the Year is awarded to Fishers and non-Fishers residents, deemed as Essential Workers, that have performed exceptional service to the Fishers community during the COVID-19 crisis.

How did you get involved with the American Red Cross?

Once retired, we wanted to give back to our community and country and help with disaster relief efforts.

How did COVID-19 impact your work with the American Red Cross?

COVID-19 added new opportunities to help as we distributed thousands of masks to a variety of local charities and collected Christmas toys for distribution. When deployed on disaster relief for the wildfires in Oregon, it complicated the entire assignment with mask wearing, social distancing, and all facets of food distribution to impacted clients.

anitha and vani sharma

What do you enjoy most about your work with the American Red Cross?

Helping people at some of the worst times in their lives.

Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of or feel made the biggest difference in the community?

The thousands of masks that we distributed allowed people to safely move outside of their homes during the pandemic and made life a little bit easier for them. It was rewarding to see the dark blue Indy masks some wore during news stories as they could have been the ones we provided to them.

What advice would you give someone looking to give back to their community?

Decide what you enjoy doing, because you’re probably very good at it and then find a way through an agency or on your own to use those skills to help others.

What do you hope to accomplish through your service in 2021?

To help anyone who needs it who has been negatively impacted by a national or local disaster.