The Elfen Works® Award was created to thank individuals like you and me for stepping up and choosing to make a difference. It is given in appreciation to those who are taking their ripple seriously, making a change and bringing hope. Awardees have one thing in common: they recognize the power of positive action.

Who Qualifies

This program aims to recognize those who may have otherwise received little recognition for the particular effort that brought them to our attention. So, big names in social entrepreneurship, although worthy, will not be on our radar.  Neither will students or employees who are fulfilling required service hours. While  laudable, these fall outside the parameters of our award.  So, what exactly is necessary, for an effort to rise to the level of the Elfen Works® Award?

You don’t have to be famous, quit your day job, risk your life, or have a lot of money in order to make a difference in the word. Ordinary people are creating ripples every day. You can create change by being involved in helping the homeless, finding way to help those who are hungry, providing opportunities for those less fortunate, or by getting involved with any social justice issue that you are passionate about.

We’ve given this award to people for a wide range of work, but all of it has one thing in common: the willingness to step in and do the work necessary to make a positive difference. Everyone who has been honored with an Elfen Works® Award  was connected, engaged, and doing their part to heal, uplift, and help.

Just helping one person can bring a bigger change to the world than you could ever know. That’s why we say,“Help one, help many, cause a ripple, ” and “Never underestimate your ripple.” Little ripples can become big waves, and that’s definitely In Harmony with Hope!

How It Works

We do our own research, locating individuals worthy of this award. We also accept nominations. If you know someone whom you feel we should consider, feel free contact us and tell us about it. To nominate an individual for an Elfen Works® Award, please use our contact page to send an email and note the subject is a nomination for the award. Only nominations received by email will be considered (no telephone nominations please). Please include

  • contact information for yourself (including email address)
  • contact information for the nominee: include full name with proper spelling, mailing address for certificate, and the URL if possible of any the organization this individual is associated with
  • reason you are making this nomination

What Awardees Win

Unlike the In Harmony with Hope® award, which has a cash prize and is limited to a very few winners annually, this award carries no cash prize. You’re already a winner, because of your good works, of course. But, if you’re selected for The Elfen Works® Award you will be sent a personalized letter and a frame-worthy certificate, as this award aims to shine a light on you.

Three Feel-Good Stories

We’ve honored people involved in housing solutions for the homeless, cutting edge health practice, and food insecurity. To give you a flavor of winners so far, here are three wonderful feel-good stories whom we hope will inspire you in your own journey:

  • John F. Mello, Luthier—music CDs to fill food banks. Seriously.
  • Ursula Morgenstern—Backpackpalooza, invented right down the street from us. A fun annual event that helps kids below the poverty line prepare for school, and tells them “we care”!
  • Susan MacKinnon—pioneering nerve transplant surgery, restoring the movement of limbs, and training a new generation to do likewise.

Honoree List

We intend for our list to be too numerous to include online. For now, though, here is our honor roll of Elfen Works Award recipients, so far:

  • Shawny Anderson—for her exemplary service, from New Orleans to Haiti, and her remarkable teaching skills that are helping to create a new generation of socially active citizens.
  • Ethan Barolette, Sophia Samant & Emily Sullivan—for providing 18,000 meals for San Franciscans in need, before they even started kindergarten.
  • Linda Carlson—for helping women discover their inner strength through her leadership of the Women’s Recovery Association.
  • Holly Carver, Crystal Brown, Cece Kaufman Himelstein, Erica Hunt, Michelle Parker & Linda Schaffer—for banding together and organizing opposition to continued cuts in the California state funding for education.
  • Phil Coombes—for shining a spotlight on hunger in southern California and promoting food donations through his Put the Fork in Hunger campaign.
  • December People—this collection of superstar musicians (Robert Berry, Gary Phil, Jack Foster, David Medd & Mike Vanderhule) bands together each year to perform in a series of holiday concerts that double as benefits for local food banks.
  • Kathleen Haser—for her quarter century of  inspired leadership of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps East.
  • Gregory Kloehn—for an artistic and environmental approach  to housing the homeless—using dumped trash to create tiny homes for those on the streets.
  • Kermit Kubitz, Jonas Svallin and Dr. Sang-ick Chang—for bravely stepping in and saving a precious human life.
  • Phil Lebherz—for educating consumers about their rights to basic health care coverage though the Foundation for Health Coverage Education.
  • John F. Mello—for his Food Bank Music CD.
  • Ursula Morgenstern—for creating and continuing Backpackpalooza.
  • Diane Nilan—for putting a face on thousands of homeless persons in America, and for advocating tirelessly on their behalf for more than 25 years.
  • Jennifer Pahlka—founder of Code for America, for using technology to connect city governments with their poorest residents.
  • Phoebe Russell—for raising nearly $4,000 to benefit the San Francisco Food Bank—and she’s just a preschooler! [more about Phoebe Russell]
  • Kiran Sridhar—for his creation of Waste No Food, a website that helps channel food from the food industry to people in need (of special note, Kiran is still in high school).
  • Prince William of Wales—for spending a winter night on the streets of a gritty London neighborhood to draw attention to the plight of the homeless.
  • Three Young Students —for gathering together to create and put on a Noe Valley Girls Film Festival, in 2016.
  • Comedian John Oliver —for creating his own collection agency, then buying up $15 million in medical debt owed by nearly 9,000 people (at a cost of $60,000) and then working with a nonprofit to forgive that debt.
  • …your nominee here?

Interested in finding out more about how to make your ripple more effective? Visit our Ripple page. Thanks!