Virginia Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards

These awards annually recognize the significant contributions of Virginia citizens to the life and welfare of the Commonwealth and its people. One award is presented in each of 10 categories. These outstanding award winners represent the millions of generous Virginians who offer their time and talents to others each year. Nominations are open from April through June annually.

Read about previous honorees here. Have questions? Reach out to Alex Vanik at

Award Guidelines

The Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards annually recognize the significant contributions of Virginians to the life and welfare of the Commonwealth and its people. One award is presented in each of 10 categories. These outstanding award winners represent the millions of generous Virginians who offer their time and talents to others each year.

Honorees are selected in the following categories:

Individual Awards

  • Youth (aged 18 and under)
  • Young Adult (aged 19-30)
  • Adult (aged 31-59)
  • Senior (aged 60+)

Group Awards

  • Independent Group (Family, friends, neighborhood, or other informal group organized as volunteers for a project or organization)
  • Community Organization (nonprofit, government, or tax-exempt organization)
  • Faith-Based Organization (Spiritual community or faith-based group involved in volunteer service)
  • Educational Organization (K-12 school or university/college program involved in volunteer service)
  • Small Business (For-profit organization with 50 or less employees)
  • Corporation (For-profit organization with 51+ employees)


Nominees must reside and serve within the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the nomination characteristics and identified service must fall within the parameters of the description for the category selected.

If nominating an individual for a category with age-based parameters, please use the age of the individual at the start of the considered period of service (July 1, 2022).

Nomination Requirements

Nominators are required to fill out the nomination form online (or available as a PDF by request) and provide two letters of support for the nominee.

All nominations must be submitted and received online no later than 5 p.m., on the deadline date. Any nomination received after 5:00 p.m. on the deadline date will not be considered.

The nomination form must be complete and accurate to be accepted. Nominations that use the nominator’s contact information for the nominee will be disqualified. If you fill in your contact information for the nominee the nomination will not be accepted as complete.

Letters of support must be uploaded or received and acknowledged before your nomination will be accepted as officially submitted. Two letters of support are required and must be no longer than a page each. Each letter must be written by different individuals, not the same person, and a letter of support from someone who is a relative of the nominee is not allowable.

No self-nominations will be accepted. The nominator cannot be part of a group or serve with a group that they are nominating for a group award. Family members cannot nominate each other or a group with a family member in it. Nominators cannot nominate themselves in the individual category.

Only one nomination will be considered for a particular person or group. If more than one nomination is received, the first nomination accepted as complete with the accompanying letters of support will be the one considered for scoring purposes.

It is important that to adhere to all the guidelines for accurate and complete nominations to ensure a fair and efficient process for all nominees and nominators. We know and value the effort that is needed to write and submit a quality nomination, and we are grateful for your time to recognize amazing Virginians across the Commonwealth. Please ensure you follow all guidelines and FAQs to ensure that your nomination moves forward for scoring. Please contact us at if you have any questions during the process.

On This Page


Blazer Heating, Air, & Plumbing

Story of Service: Blazer Heating, Air, & Plumbing

In Hanover and King William counties, Blazer Heating, Air, & Plumbing has become a champion for Habitat for Humanity. For more than two years, the local business has worked to share their unique skills and expertise to directly change the lives of community members.  Blazer Heating, Air, & Plumbing has become a valued partner in every aspect of Habitat’s organization and “sets the standard for what it means to be a business that cares about its community,” according to nominator Debbie Preston. In the Critical Repair program, the Blazer team provides no-cost HVAC replacement or repair for low-income homeowners who...

Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries 

Story of Service: Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries 

The Salem Area Ecumenical Ministries (SAEM) is a gathering of lay and pastoral representatives from Salem, Virginia, and western Roanoke County churches and local service agencies, working to strengthen community resilience by encouraging collaboration in the areas of food, clothing, and educational resources. With the support of more than 300 volunteers, SAEM offers elementary and middle school meal programs and school gardens as well as Mrs. Dorsey's Clothes Closet. SAEM actively engages members of diverse faith congregations and encourages previous recipients of their ministries to assist with programs. SAEM is recognized as the lead ministry partner in providing food, clothes,...
Frank & Mae 2016

Frank and Mae Antkievicz

Story of Service: Frank and Mae Antkievicz

For more than 20 years, Frank and Mae Antkievicz have volunteered with the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at Walnut Grove Baptist Church in Hanover County. Of the more than 40,000 people living in Hanover County, approximately 4.5% speak languages other than English. An inability to speak English affects residents’ lives in many ways, especially for work and education. Without ESL programs, many would be unable to truly become connected with the community in which they live.  Starting their service as ESL volunteers and assistants, they now run the program serving as both directors and teachers. During their...

Robert Schnapp

Story of Service: Robert Schnapp

In Reston, Virginia, Robert Schnapp is the founder and leader of A Simple Gesture Reston, an effort that inspires and enables his community to help neighbors overcome the growing threat of hunger and food insecurity. Eight years ago, Bob realized that many donors work Monday through Friday “business hours” and that local pantries were mainly open for donations during those same hours, making it a challenge to donate. In the beginning, he served more than 40 hours a week to get the program off the ground, doing everything from signing up donors and drivers, to creating routes, sending emails, delivering...
Planting Shade

Evan Nied

Story of Service: Evan Nied

In his volunteer service, Evan Nied has made notable contributions on the local and national levels. He is the founder of Planting Shade, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has planted more than 13,000 trees through 10 local chapters in 7 states. Planting Shade also hosts educational events for students to learn the benefits of planting trees.   Since starting Planting Shade on his own, Evan has forged relationships with arborists and forestry agencies in Virginia and elsewhere; collaborated with private landowners, country clubs, homeowners' associations, and colleges to identify places to plant trees; solicited cash and in-kind contributions ranging from regional banks...
Team McKesson

McKesson Medical-Surgical

Story of Service: McKesson Medical-Surgical

A committed volunteer with Feed More's Meals on Wheels program in Richmond over the past two decades, McKesson Medical-Surgical is an invaluable corporate partner in the effort to collect, prepare, and distribute food to neighbors in need across Central Virginia. As a medical distributor, McKesson believes that being a global healthcare leader offers an opportunity to become a responsible corporate citizenship by committing to bringing about positive change in their local community. Since 2004, their employees have volunteered nearly 10,000 hours of time with Feed More, mobilizing hundreds of their employees to get involved and give back. "The impact of...
Frequently Asked Questions
Ineligible nominations include any nominations substantiated with volunteer service performed outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia, organizations or businesses located outside of Virginia; individuals/families residing outside of the Commonwealth of Virginia; employees of the Virginia Service Commission (Virginia Office on Volunteerism and Community Service), members of the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism, and members of the Virginia Service Foundation.
National Service Members are NOT eligible for nomination. This includes AmeriCorps State, AmeriCorps National, VISTA, Senior Companions, Foster Grandparents, RSVP Volunteers, and AmeriCorps Alums. National Service Members may be nominated for the Virginia National Service Awards. National Service programs can, however, nominate VOLUNTEERS who assist their organizations.
Previous winners of a Governor’s Award are eligible to be nominated again provided that five (5) years have elapsed since receipt of the previous award.
It is very important that the category selected is that of the nominee, rather than the affiliation or category of the nominator. If you are unsure of which category your nominee falls under, please contact us for guidance prior to submitting the nomination. To ensure you receive the attention you need, please contact us a week before the nomination deadline.
If the category has an age stipulation you would consider the age of the individual volunteer when the service period for the nomination started, in other words how old they were in July of this year.
Nominees in the “Independent Group” category do not need to be formalized as nonprofit or other types of organizations. Nominees for “Faith-Based Organization”, “Educational Organization”, or “Community Organization” should be formalized as 501c3, governmental, or other appropriate formalized organization types. If you aren’t sure of the category or if your group can be nominated, please reach out to us at
No. Nominators must select only one of the listed categories. You will be unable to select multiple categories for the same candidate. If you are unsure of which category your nominee falls under you can contact us for guidance prior to submitting the nomination. To ensure you receive the attention you need, please don’t wait until the last day that nominations are accepted.
The nomination should reflect the service period from July of the previous year through June of this year.
Yes, please include the full name or full legal name (for organizations or businesses) and contact information for both the nominator and nominee. The information should be complete and accurate for each of the profiles. Do not use the nominator contact information for the nominee.
Each criteria requires an answer and should be no longer than 300 words. We suggest you write your nominations in Word or other word processing application and copy and paste the final drafts into the form.
Yes. The nomination entries should answer all of the questions as stated on the nomination questions section of the nomination form and in the order presented.
Yes, you can nominate multiple individuals and organizations. Please only nominate each individual or organization once. Individuals may be nominated for an individual category, as well as belong to a nominated organization.
Two letters of support are required, no longer than one page each. Letters should clearly state the author’s relationship to the nominee and knowledge of his/her service in order to provide sufficient information on the individual or organization. Letters may not be used to serve as both a letter of support and the nomination narrative. Letters must be submitted by someone other than the nominator or nominating organization and by someone not directly related to the nominee. If possible, letters of support should be submitted on organizational letterhead.
The nominator will be asked to provide the contact information of those submitting letters of support when filling out the nomination form. Providing the contact information allows us to contact the author in case we need to track the letter of support.
No. A letter of support must be submitted by an independent party, someone other than the nominator. These letters support your nomination.
Additional information beyond the two required letters of reference will not be considered. However, you may mention this information in the narrative.
Nominations are reviewed by Serve Virginia staff in the preliminary scoring round. The members of the Governor’s Advisory Board on Service and Volunteerism complete final scoring. The Governor’s Office approves award recipients.
You may contact Serve Virginia at or call 804-726-7065.

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