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May 30, 2013
Doe Fund?s Karr-McDonald Honored

by Fred Scaglione


Harriet Karr-McDonald, Executive Vice President of The Doe Fund, has been awarded the International Interior Design Association’s (IIDA) Leadership Award of Excellence at a breakfast at Cipriani Wall Street on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

The award honors innovative individuals who seamlessly combine design and humanitarian goals for the betterment of international, national, and local communities.  Karr-McDonald was recognized for working alongside her husband, George McDonald, to establish The Doe Fund’s Ready, Willing & Able program – envisioning not only bright and welcoming physical environments in which those working to re-establish themselves in society could live and grow, but also a city which welcomes all through the doors of opportunity.

New Yorkers know The Doe Fund’s Ready Willing & Able program by the men in bright blue uniforms who keep more than 150 miles of New York City streets and sidewalks clean each day as part of a transitional employment program for them and service for the city.  The blue uniforms have earned them the nickname the ‘men in blue’.

“I feel extremely grateful to the ‘men in blue,” Karr-McDonald reflected at the event. “They have given me the opportunity to get to know them and be a part of their lives.  They have worked hard to make New York a cleaner, greener, and safer city for all who live and work here.  And together, they represent our collective hope for humanity and for a better world.”

Karr-McDonald also highlighted the critical work conducted by the ‘men in blue’ in Staten Island, Coney Island, and the Rockaways after Superstorm Sandy.  “Not only did the men help to meet the needs of these communities through refuse removal and manpower, but they provided what is often needed most in times of tragedy – understanding and camaraderie.” said Ms. Karr-McDonald.  As they helped to rebuild New York City, they also worked to rebuild their own lives.

Karr-McDonald was honored alongside George Oliphant, the Emmy Award-winning host of “George to the Rescue” on NBC, and Cameron Sinclair, Executive Director and Co-founder of Architecture for Humanity.

Headquartered in New York City, The Doe Fund is a large scale human services nonprofit that assists 1,000 people every day to better their circumstances through programs providing paid work; workforce development and job placement; transitional, supportive, and permanent housing; drug testing and counseling; and comprehensive social and educational services.  All once homeless or incarcerated, the “men in blue” of the organization's flagship program, Ready, Willing & Able, can be seen cleaning 150 miles of New York City streets every day, rain or shine.  This paid transitional work is the first step they take toward self-sufficiency, and they complete Ready, Willing & Able with full-time, permanent employment, apartments of their own, and their sobriety.


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