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Award is a Prestigious National Honor for Volunteer Service

Millwood, VA, April 22, 2013

Project HOPE, a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization today announced it has awarded 43 volunteers with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service. 

Established in 2003, the Award is available on an annual basis to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering.  As one of thousands of Certifying Organizations participating in the Award program, Project HOPE confers the award to recognize the outstanding achievements of its medical volunteers, who have travelled thousands of miles by air, land and sea to bring health care and education to underserved communities worldwide.

Last year alone, more than 500 HOPE volunteers from the United States and abroad collectively spent more than 41,000 hours assisting patients, performing surgeries and teaching people from Peru to Vietnam how to build healthier communities.  On the Pacific Partnership mission, the Asia-Pacific region's largest civic assistance program, HOPE volunteers provided medical care aboard the U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, the 1,000-bed ship equipped with 12 operating rooms.  HOPE volunteers also conducted medical humanitarian missions with the U.S Air Force.  HOPE provided volunteers to land-based global health projects, deploying teams to the Dominican Republic, Tajikistan, China, Haiti, India, South Africa, Hungary and Ghana.  For 54 years, HOPE has delivered health care, education, medical training and humanitarian assistance to people who need it most – striving to help people help themselves.

“I’m extremely honored to recognize the talent and dedication of HOPE volunteers in providing medical care to those in need, as well as teaching local health workers from Venezuela to Vanuatu, how to build stronger communities,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE.   “We are very proud to be aligned with this prestigious volunteer award, and are inspired by the determination of HOPE volunteers who have made service a central part of their lives.”  

HOPE volunteer Faye Pyles, a pediatric nurse practitioner from Norfolk, Virginia is the recipient of both the President’s Volunteer Service Award and HOPE’s Volunteer of the Year Award.  A retired U.S. Navy Captain, Ms. Pyles volunteered 696 volunteer hours with Project HOPE aboard the Mercy for Pacific Partnership for the entire four month sail last year. 

“I’m delighted to accept these awards. I have had the desire to work with Project HOPE from the time I saw a story on HOPE in the Weekly Reader.  I could not imagine anything more exciting than traveling the world taking care of people less fortunate.  Upon retiring from the U.S. Navy, I was able to fulfill this childhood dream,” said Ms. Pyles.  

In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President George W. Bush created the USA Freedom Corps, and called on every American to make a lifelong commitment to volunteer service.  The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes individuals and families who have answered that call. 

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is an award for volunteer service that every American – from every age and every walk of life – can aspire to achieve.  To be eligible to receive the Award, individuals, families and groups submit a record of their annual volunteer service hours to participating Certifying Organizations, such as Project HOPE, that will verify the service and deliver the Award. Award eligibility for individuals and groups is based on hour requirements varying by age.   

The Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created by President Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making to our Nation.  Chaired by two-time Super Bowl Champion Darrell Green, with former U.S. Senators Bob Dole and John Glenn as honorary co-chairs, the Council comprises leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofits and volunteer service organizations, and community volunteering. 

For more information about volunteering for Project HOPE, please visit our website at www.projecthope.org

For more information about how to qualify for the President’s Volunteer Service Award and to find out how to identify additional volunteer opportunities in this area, visit www.PresidentialServiceAwards.gov or call 1-866-545-5307

Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.

Media Contact

Geraldine Carroll Tel. 540.257.3746 gcarroll@projecthope.org

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