Rick Cryder

Excellence in Volunteerism Award Winner

Orange County Probation Department
Angels of Love Program

Pictured from left to right - Volunteer Probation Officer Rick Cryder & Chief Probation Officer Steve Sentman.

Rick CryderFor more than 12 years, Rick Cryder has served as a Volunteer Probation Officer (VPO) with the Orange County Probation Department. He first introduced the Angels of Love Program at Joplin Youth Center, a juvenile correctional facility that provides residential treatment for teenage boys ages 13 to 16. For several years, Joplin youth worked under Rick’s guidance to build beautifully handcrafted stained glass angels that were given to families of fallen fire fighters and other victims of 9/11, as well as cancer patients.

Rick currently oversees the Angels of Love Program at Youth Guidance Center’s Rio Contiguo High School. Youth Guidance Center accommodates juvenile offenders 13 to 20 years of age. Youth serving on the high school’s student council create the unique stained glass angels as gifts for people in need, such as those who have recently lost a love one, are fighting illnesses or are hospitalized. Rick’s work with the teens provides encouragement, support and a positive role model. In mentoring troubled teens, Rick helps strengthen their ability to make life-changing decisions that will ultimately redirect their lives.

As part of the Angles of Love Program, Rick partners with Department of Education and Youth Guidance Center staff to accompany teens involved in the program on monthly excursions to deliver the stained glass angels to people they have not meet previously, but who would benefit from a random act of kindness. Rick often discusses life challenges with the youth and reminds them that this act is a way to simply "replace something negative in a person’s life with something positive.” When teens give an Angel of Love to a complete stranger, they are positively impacted by the joy and hope that the recipient expresses. Rick often reminds them how uplifting it is to the human spirit to give anonymously, especially to those in need of comfort or compassion.

Over the years, Rick has committed countless hours and substantial funds in support of the Angels of Love Program. He arrives each week to work with troubled youth, giving generously of his time, talents and energy so that they may experience the importance of giving back to less fortunate members of our community.

Thank you and congratulations to Rick Cryder, recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Volunteerism Award!

Click here to find out how you can volunteer with the Orange County Probation Department.