Bluffton Self Help founder to be honored by president

October 12, 2011 

Longtime Bluffton resident and founder of Bluffton Self Help, a 24-year-old nonprofit agency serving Bluffton residents, has been selected by President Barack Obama to receive the second-highest civilian award, the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Over 6,000 citizens were nominated for this medal.

This year’s Citizen Award Ceremony celebrates 40 years of recognizing Americans who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens as described on the White House’s website.

“We, the staff and the board of Bluffton Self Help, strongly believed that Ida Martin was the perfect person to nominate for this award,” said Lili Coleman, executive director of Bluffton Self Help in a news release. “Her untiring energy and tenacious efforts to care for her neighbors has remained consistent throughout her years of service.”

Martin received the call from the White House in early October, the release said.

“I couldn’t have done it alone,” said Martin in the release. “Since so much has been given to me, and I don’t want for anything, my blessings always come right back to me.”

From Martin’s private residence, referred to in the early days as the “Big House” to the creation of the first board of directors in 1987, Bluffton Self Help has continued to grow and service more and more people. Today over 70 volunteers, with two full time staff members, service over 22,000 clients annually, the release said.

In addition to the volunteers and staff, Bluffton Self Help has recruited, under Martin’s direction, a 14-member board of directors to oversee the agency.

Bluffton Self Help helps people in critical need of food, clothing and financial assistance while supporting them in becoming more self-reliant.

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