Kathy Hertz, a longtime volunteer in Clifton, spent more than a week in Lesvos, Greece just after Christmas with her cousin. The two of them volunteered in and around a refugee camp for individuals being funnelled to Athens and hopefully back to Germany or other European havens.
“This could be me in a different time and place,” Hertz said of the refugees, “running for their lives, strangers in a strange land.”
Hertz was recognized for her work with the Daily Points of Light Award, as well as the volunteer service award for Adult Over 250 Hours at the 24th Annual Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards breakfast on April 8.
“Volunteering is activism,” Hertz said, “standing up for what you believe in. I accept this on behalf of everyone who goes outside of their comfort zone for the greater good.”
In a statement for the occasion, state Sen. George Barker (D-39) said, “Almost no one else would do what (Kathy) did. She accomplished what she set out to do, helping those with the least.”
Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova was on hand for the awards, held at the Waterford at Springfield, along with each district Supervisor. Together, they honored the 178 group and individual nominees for volunteer service awards with an official proclamation declaring April 8, 2016 “Volunteer Recognition Day” in Fairfax County.
“In Fairfax County, we have a culture of engagement,” Bulova said. The day was meant for people in the community to “observe with friends, celebrate and promote volunteerism.”
Each Supervisor named a community champion — one outstanding citizen or organization — and then winners of more than a dozen competitive volunteer service awards were announced by host Jeff Goldberg of ABC7/WJLA-TV.
Elise Neil Bengtson, chief executive officer of Volunteer Fairfax encouraged everyone in the audience to “share the gift of time, talent, wherever they are needed.”
For more information, visit www.volunteerfairfax.org.