San Francisco-based Encore.org has announced the winners of the 2013 Purpose Prize. Now in its eighth year, the prize recognizes social entrepreneurs age 60 and older who are creating innovative solutions to social challenges in their communities and around the globe.
Two of this year's seven prize-winners will receive $100,000 each. Vicki Thomas, director of communications for Purple Heart Homes, was named winner of the Purpose Prize for Future Promise for her efforts to raise funds and design programs that provide wounded soldiers with foreclosed homes; sponsored by Symetra, the prize recognizes an individual whose approach to helping society has the potential to scale over the next five years. And Ysabel Duron, cancer survivor and founder and CEO of Latinas Contra Cancer, will receive $100,000 for her work to help educate, support, and provide essential services to low-income Latino/as suffering from the disease.
The five other Purpose Prize winners, each of whom will receive $25,000, are Edwin P. Nicholson, founder and president of Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc., which mentors disabled veterans and works to heal their emotional wounds through the power of relationships and nature; Carol Fennelly, founder and executive director of Hope House, a unique summer camp behind bars that works to transform inmates into involved parents; Elizabeth Huttinger, principal investigator for Projet-Crevette, which aims to eradicate human schistosomiasis, a disease infecting millions of the world's poorest; the Rev. Violet Little, pastor at the Welcome Church, a church without walls for Philadelphia's homeless; and Barbara Young, national organizer for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, whose experience as an immigrant nanny has transformed her into a passionate advocate for domestic workers' rights.
"While Purpose Prize winners are helping to solve a wide range of pressing social problems, they have one thing in common," said Marc Freedman, CEO and founder of Encore.org. "They — and millions of others in encore careers — are turning personal passions and decades of experience into invaluable contributions across sectors, continents, and generations, often through entrepreneurship."