Chantilly resident Karen Baker was one of 13 outstanding volunteers and volunteer groups honored April 20 at the 14th annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards hosted by Volunteer Fairfax.
Baker won a Fairfax County Volunteer Service Award in the Human Service category. Acknowledged for the “ripple effect” her energy and determination has on those around her, Baker won for the youth programs she developed at FACETS, the Fairfax Area Christian Emergency and Transitional Services.
FACETS is a nonprofit organization providing emergency intervention and educational programs for homeless and low-income individuals in Fairfax County. Baker designed and implemented creative solutions to provide academic review for low-income elementary students in the form of arts and crafts, technology and cooking activities. After her pilot programs were so successful, FACETS volunteers replicated them in other communities.
“All children want to learn, some just need individual help and some lots of it. Volunteering is not about what you want to give but what is actually needed,” said Baker who was amazed and honored to receive the award.
“What makes our community work is our citizens’ willingness to give their time and efforts,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald Connolly as he addressed hundreds of volunteers being honored.
This year 70 nominees in 11 categories and nine Community Champions were honored at the ceremony. The Fairfax County Volunteer Service award categories for individuals are: community leadership, arts and humanities, education, human services, seniors and youth. The Fairfax County Volunteer Service award categories for groups are: adult, corporate, family, youth and volunteer program.