RSVP Northern Virginia volunteer Denise (Dee) Mackie-Smith of Alexandria has been selected as a Daily Point of Light honoree by the Points of Light Foundation.
Mackie-Smith helps those seeking affordable housing and employment in the City of Alexandria and along the Route 1 Corridor in Fairfax County.
She is a volunteer with and sits on the board of RSVP partner New Hope Housing Inc., a Fairfax County-based nonprofit whose mission is “to provide homeless families and individuals shelter and the tools to build a better life.”
The Points of Light Foundation was created in 1990 as a nonprofit to promote the spirit of volunteerism as described by President George H.W. Bush in his inaugural address. "I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good,” Bush said.
Points of Light’s affiliate network consists of more than 200 volunteer-mobilizing organizations that share a common mission, goals and approach, according to the foundation.
In 1989, President Bush created the Daily Points of Light (DPOL) Award to recognize those who are taking direct voluntary action to solve serious social problems, locally and globally.
Mackie-Smith also serves on the board of the Alexandria Commission on the Aging. In 2012, she founded the Northern Virginia chapter of Les Gemmes and served two years as the group’s national vice president. Les Gemmes is a nonprofit whose members support various community causes.
Since 1989, over 6,000 people have been honored with this award. Mackie-Smith is only the 6,164 person to receive the honor, according to the foundation.
In addition to her work with the homeless in the Alexandria area, she supports the RSVP program each week with her administrative skills at RSVP’s headquarters at Volunteer Fairfax. Mackie-Smith has been with RSVP Northern Virginia for two years.
“Dee is one of the most dedicated volunteers I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Nadia Hoonan, program manager of RSVP Northern Virginia.
As part of Daily Point of Light honor, Mackie-Smith will receive a certificate signed by President Bush.
RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) is the region’s largest volunteer network for people 55 and older and provides individualized support to seniors seeking service opportunities in and around Fairfax County, Arlington County and the City of Alexandria.
“Whether it is helping at our office or helping those in need of affordable housing, Dee is always busy serving her community,” Hoonan said. “ She is truly deserving of this award. She is a real difference maker and her record of service speaks for itself.”
The Daily Point of Light award is one in a string of honors Mackie-Smith has garnered for her volunteer work since completing a 37-year career in the federal government in 2011.
Mackie-Smith received the 2017 RSVP Northern Virginia Award from Volunteer Alexandria in October. She received a similar honor from Volunteer Fairfax at its annual Volunteer Service Awards breakfast in April.
RSVP volunteers enjoy flexible schedules, free accident and liability insurance while serving, optional mileage and meal reimbursement and are invited to volunteer group projects and social gatherings.
RSVP offers its volunteers more than 200 different opportunities across Northern Virginia including providing rides, support and meals to older neighbors, assisting local veterans in need and helping prepare communities for disasters.
To learn more about RSVP or to sign up for an upcoming orientation, email RSVP Volunteer Specialist Carly Hubicki at email@example.com or call the RSVP Hotline at 703-403-5360 or visit www.rsvpnova.org.