Virginia Seminary’s 2012 Lettie Pate Evans Award Named


Media Contact: Susan Shillinglaw
Tel: 703-461-1764
Email: sshillinglaw@vts.edu

Alexandria, VA
Virginia Theological Seminary has awarded the 2012 Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans (LPWE) Award to Miss Tina (Florence) E. Mallett of Washington, D.C. The award is given each year by the Seminary to honor an Episcopal layperson who, over a significant period of time, has given leadership and unique witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ within his or her congregation, community, diocese and in the world.

Mallett, a long-time parishioner of St. Paul’s K Street in Washington, D.C., was nominated by fellow congregant, Sister Lydia, BCSP, in recognition of her 30 years of unbroken service working with homeless men and women in the D.C. Metropolitan area. Wrote Sr. Lydia, “Her ability to love those that, to many, seem unlovable or undeserving, is extraordinary.”  

The LPWE Committee selected Mallett because of her commitment to providing a nourishing breakfast and a steadfast, loving presence to homeless persons in downtown Washington every weekend of the year, at hours when other service agencies are closed. The vehicle through which this work is carried out is called the Grate Patrol and takes its name from the sidewalk heating grates where homeless persons seek refuge in cold weather.  The Grate Patrol began in 1982 and served breakfast and hot coffee to 18 persons.  Today Mallett and many others prepare and serve 400 meals each weekend and go directly to the spots where people are sleeping – about 60 distinct locations in northwest DC.

As manager of the Grate Patrol, Mallett oversees a completely volunteer operation that is ecumenical in composition.  All food preparation takes place at St. Paul’s and is accomplished mainly by parishioners.  Meal deliveries are undertaken by volunteers of all ages and faith communities.  About 20 volunteers are required each week. Mallett goes out every Saturday and Sunday and is inspired by the cheerfulness and faith of the homeless people she meets.

Established in 1999, the award honors the legacy of Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans, an Episcopal laywoman, philanthropist and friend of Virginia Theological Seminary.  In selecting a recipient for this award, advisory council members considered those who “affirm in their lives that Christian ministry is not limited to the ordained and that the people of God all have crucial roles in witnessing to God’s kingdom.”
Candidates for the award are active laypersons in an Episcopal congregation and must live in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia or West Virginia. Nominees for the 2013 award must be submitted to the advisory council by December 15, 2012. Visit www.vts.edu for more information.

Founded in 1823, Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest of the 11 accredited seminaries of the Episcopal Church. The school prepares men and women, representing more than 40 different dioceses and nine different countries, for service in the Church, both as ordained and lay ministers, and offers a number of professional degree programs and diplomas.