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Nominations now open for the 39th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards

A version of this press release was originally posted here by the Office of the Texas Governor.

Governor’s Volunteer Awards honor those who have made a difference through service across Texas

AUSTIN — Just in time for Global Volunteer Month, nominations are now open for the 39th Annual Governor’s Volunteer Awards. The Governor’s Volunteer Awards are administered by OneStar Foundation and are an opportunity for the state of Texas to honor the exemplary service and volunteerism of individuals and organizations making a significant impact in communities across Texas even as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded.

“Promoting volunteerism and service throughout Texas is my top priority,” said Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott. “Greg and I are inspired by the organizations and individuals across Texas who are making a difference in their communities, and we are honored to recognize them through the Governor’s Volunteer Awards. The true strength of the Lone Star State is in our people, and nothing brings us more joy than celebrating the spirit of service that is a hallmark of being Texan.”

Nominations for the awards are open in nine categories:

  • Governor’s Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award
  • First Lady’s Youth Volunteer Rising Star Award
  • Volunteer of the Year Award
  • Volunteer Family of the Year Award
  • Corporate Volunteering Champion Award
  • Service-Learning Champion Award
  • Innovation in Volunteerism Award
  • Excellence in Disaster Volunteerism Award
  • National Service “Make a Difference” Award

For descriptions of the award categories or to nominate an individual or organization, visit onestarfoundation.org/governors-volunteer-awards.

A list of last year’s 2021 Governor’s Volunteer Award winners can be found at onestarfoundation.org/first-lady-cecilia-abbott-onestar-announce-2021-governors-volunteer-awards-recipients. (Previous award winners may be available for media interviews upon request.)

“As Texas communities address the needs that have emerged in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits are more dependent than ever on the generosity of volunteers,” said Chris Bugbee, President & CEO of OneStar Foundation. “We are grateful to Texas Governor Greg Abbott and First Lady Cecilia Abbott for their enduring commitment to promoting service and volunteering to strengthen and uplift every community in our great state.”

The National COVID-19 Community Impact Survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank in August 2021 found that nearly 70 percent of the nonprofits surveyed experienced an increased demand for their services compared to pre-pandemic levels. When needs increase, volunteers stand in the gap to address the growing and evolving issues facing local communities. However, surveys found that total volunteers declined by 33 percent on average in 2020, with nonprofits in rural areas experiencing the largest declines. This has resulted in challenges for nonprofits relying on volunteer resources. Meanwhile, 40 percent of these community organizations experienced a decline in staffing levels.

“The Governor’s Volunteer Awards offer a unique opportunity to honor the individuals and organizations that took action in their communities when they were needed most, despite the challenges of the pandemic,” says Bugbee. “They set an example for others to give back in their own communities and show us what’s possible when we work together. Just look around you, and you’ll find that volunteer heroes can come from anywhere. We hope to inspire all Texans to consider how you can make a difference through service.”

Nominations will close Friday July 29, 2022. Awardees will be honored during next year’s Global Volunteer Month in April 2023 at an evening reception at the Governor’s Mansion. For more information visit onestarfoundation.org/governors-volunteer-awards.

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About OneStar

OneStar strengthens Texas communities by creating pathways for individuals and organizations to engage, connect and accelerate their impact. We advance service and volunteering as effective solutions to our state’s toughest social challenges. We are recognized as a statewide voice for the Texas nonprofit sector and a respected partner to foundations, state agencies and the business community. As a nonprofit born from state government, we carry out our unique mission with direction and guidance from the Office of the Texas Governor. Learn more at onestarfoundation.org.