FORT LEE, Va. (April 29, 2010) – ort Lee hosted two events during National Volunteer Week to draw attention to the community supporters who keep the installation moving.
The Volunteer Recognition Luncheon was held April 21 at the Fort Lee Club. The luncheon is an annual event to bring together the volunteers and the organizations where they work and to celebrate their efforts.
“Organizations and units with Family Readiness Groups are recognized so that we can celebrate the volunteers in groups,” said Susan Loden, Army Community Service Army Volunteer Corps Coordinator. “Fort Lee is blessed with so many wonderful volunteers that to recognize all of them individually would take much longer than a luncheon!”
The Presidential Volunteer Award Ceremony is where the individual volunteers are recognized based on their number of hours. It was held Friday at Challen Hall. More than 200 volunteers were recognized.
The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program in 2003 as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service, said Loden.
The awards are identified in four levels and at three different age groups, she said.
For adults 26 years and older, the bronze level starts at 100 hours of service, silver at 250 hours of service, gold at over 500 hours of service, and The President’s Call to Service Award recognizes a lifetime of service in excess of 4,000 hours.
Fort Lee recognized 11 volunteers who earned The President’s Call to Service Award: Gerald Berry, John Ellwood, Philip Hagerich, Warren Johnson, Edward Kosewicz, Ralph Orr, Roy Page, R. Robert Rasmussen II, Mack T. Ruffin III, Charlie Vance and Monte West.
“Fort Lee volunteers give of their time for excellent reasons including personal fulfillment, to give back to the community and because they feel that call to service,” said Loden. “Army Community Service recognizes and honors volunteers because it sets a standard for service to others. It encourages a sustained commitment to civic participation and inspires others to make volunteering a central part of their lives.”
Volunteers can be found all over post and within the local community, said Loden. Fort Lee volunteers work with a variety of organizations and in very diverse capacities. Fort Lee volunteers perform duties like filing Soldiers’ taxes with the Tax Assistance Center, caring for animals at the Stray Animal Facility and readying donations for resale at the Thrift Shop. In the local communities, installation volunteers repair dwellings with Elder Homes, improve natural environments with Friends of the Lower Appomattox and help re-enact history at our local battlefields.
“We want to highlight the gift of time and service that our volunteers give to Fort Lee, as well as recognize the tie our volunteers have with the local communities. Some of our Soldiers and Family members are only here a short time but give enormously of themselves to whatever community they are a part of for their stay. Fort Lee civilians and retired military Families give of their time and talents on and off Fort Lee on a daily basis.”
In 2009, Fort Lee volunteers donated more than 115,000 hours of service, said Loden. That is equivalent to nearly $2.5 million worth of time that our volunteers performed for the installation and community organizations that touch our Soldiers and Family members.
Those interested in volunteering through Fort Lee can contact the Army Volunteer Corps office at (804) 734-7827 to get started.