Lit from Within Volunteer Award

Click here to print this page

Annual Karen Liberman Lit from Within Volunteer Award

Karen Liberman, former Executive Director of the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, often said that volunteers are the backbone of the work we do. At Karen’s retirement celebration in June 2011, the Board of Directors established a new award to annually recognize an outstanding volunteer in Karen’s honour.

The award is to recognize a volunteer who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, creativity and innovation in contributing to Mood Disorders Association of Ontario programs or activities.

The winner of the Lit From Within Volunteer Award will receive a commemorative engraved plaque and a gift of $1,500.


Who is eligible?

The award is open to volunteers who have been supporting the Mood Disorders Association for at least one year and have demonstrated outstanding efforts in volunteerism. They must demonstrate leadership, creativity, and innovation in their approach to supporting individuals and families affected by depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder.


Who is a volunteer?

A person who receives no financial compensation for their involvement with the program, event, or activity which this nomination recognizes.


How do I nominate a volunteer?

Please fill out the Nomination Form and return it to Michelle Philippe either by e-mail at, or send it in by mail, or drop it off in person to: 36 Eglinton Ave. West, Suite 602, Toronto, ON, M4R 1A1 no later than Friday, October 6th, 2017. Forms can be picked up at the front desk, or downloaded at the bottom of this page.

We will accept nominations from volunteers, staff, participants, or friends of volunteers. You can also nominate yourself. Those who are not selected for the award this year are welcome to be nominated again in subsequent years. The Lit from Within Volunteer Award recipient will not be eligible for nomination next year.

The Mood Disorders Association of Ontario celebrates the work of all of its dedicated volunteers. The Lit from Within Volunteer Award is presented to an individual who had demonstrated outstanding leadership, creativity, and innovation in contributing to the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario’s programs or activities.


2016 Lit From Within Recipient

The 2016 Lit from Within Volunteer Award recipient is Tom Smallwood. Tom has been a volunteer of MDAO for over 20 years. He was recently awarded with the Ontario 20 Year Service Award for his dedicated service. Tom began his volunteer work with MDAO as a way to spend his time meaningfully. He volunteers on the Telephone Information and Peer Support (TIPS) line, which is a warm line that offers support and guidance to those dealing with mood disorders. He has since gained confidence and lasting friendships throughout the organization. Tom has made a positive impact on those seeking support, as well as his fellow volunteers and staff members. He has been a mentor and friendly guide to new volunteers and continues to use his vast experience to contribute to the MDAO team through the TIPS line and one to one peer support. Tom Smallwood demonstrates the leadership and drive that is celebrated by the Lit from Within Volunteer Award.