About the Award
The Sunflower Award recognizes stakeholders whose longevity and loyalty of service have been central to creating a more caring, equitable, and vibrant community, both at Daily Work and in our broader Twin Cities region.
Vernon and Birgitta radiate warmth and joy in everything they do...and that energy has been instrumental in generating more job seekers, volunteers, and donations to Daily Work for more than a decade. Volunteer Sohini Basu sat down to chat with ‘Vern,’ as he is fondly known, to learn about his passion for Daily Work, which he says stems from his career as a Lutheran pastor. Now retired, Vern and his wife Birgitta have been a source of unbridled enthusiasm and inspiration to everyone at Daily Work, including many who came to know us thanks to their outreach. For their ambassadorship and commitment to inspiring everyone to do better by each other, we honor Vern and Birgitta Rice as our 2022 Sunflower Award winners.
Excerpts from the chat:
Sohini: It is such an honor to have this interview with you Vern!
Vern: No problem!
S: I will straight away get to the questions. So, how many years have you and Birgitta been associated with Daily Work?
V: Oh, it has been many years now. I think
more than decade!
S: What motivated you to support Daily Work?
V: When somebody gets a job, it opens so many opportunities. Daily Work has been effective in supporting so many job seekers to get on their own feet and have a fulfilling life. And this support has, in turn, encouraged people like us to help others to do better!
S: And how did you get involved?
V: I heard about Daily through the church [Christ the King Lutheran Church in New
S: What is the one thing you would like to say to Daily Work?
V: My wife Birgitta, and me, we are so happy to support Daily Work. We love working with Julie and all the others there. I would encourage volunteers to continue to support Daily Work, and if you know anyone who could use some help to find a job and have a better life, don’t look any further!