Congratulations to TJ Kim of McLean – winner of the 2021 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Youth Volunteer! Becoming a Navy pilot has been one of TJ Kim’s greatest childhood dreams. To make his dream a reality, he began taking flying lessons as a teen. When TJ’s school and lacrosse season were shut down due to COVID-19, his flight training became one of the only activities he could still enjoy. The high school senior decided to combine his passion for flight with helping others as a way to help serve his community during this challenging time, he decided to combine his passion for flight with helping others. He created Operation SOS (Supplies Over the Skies) as a way to transport PPE to critical access, rural and community hospitals.
Operation SOS began by flying to Page Memorial Hospital in Luray (one of seven critical access hospitals in Virginia). From that mission, TJ received overwhelming gratitude from the hospital during a time when everyone wanted to focus donations on the big city hospitals. This interaction really inspired TJ and helped him recognize how much of an impact he could have by conducting these medical supply missions. Operation SOS now distributes supplies to critical access and other rural and community hospitals throughout Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia.
TJ coordinates every element of mission planning from sourcing PPE to flying the aircraft under dual instruction. For each mission, he sources local vendors, performs hospital outreach to gauge needs, and conducts strategic flight planning. To date, he has completed 22 missions and has sourced and delivered nearly 85,000 PPEs and ventilator supplies to 21 locations. As COVID-19 cases continue to surge, TJ plans to continue in his missions as long as he can source the supplies and fly them to the hospitals in need.
One message that he has continually reinforced in public is telling young people that “you are never too young to be thinking about helping others in times of need. All you need to do to make a difference is to think of others first and the impact you will have will follow.”
Commitment to community has been embedded as a core value for OrthoVirginia, even before its formal founding as a practice. At any given time, over a third of the physicians at OrthoVirginia volunteer as athletic trainers and team physicians, primarily in the Northern Virginia region. As a result of their priority to support the local sports leagues and school systems, they serve as team physicians to 18 public high schools as well as a number of private schools, taking time to answer questions, provide guidance and help in the care of the students. In addition to providing a crucial service...
Dr. Lawrence Fleenor, Jr.
Story of Service: Dr. Lawrence Fleenor, Jr.
Congratulations to Dr. Lawrence Fleenor of Big Stone Gap - winner of the 2019 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Award for Outstanding Senior Volunteer! Dr. Fleenor has taken his love for and dedication to the history of Southwest Virginia and turned it into a remarkable way to serve his community. A tireless advocate and volunteer for the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park, he has volunteered more than 5,550 hours. Additionally, Dr. Fleenor volunteers as historian at Natural Tunnel State Park and the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail Association. He led the work to create the Southwest Virginia Museum's historical bus...
Story of Service: Rachel Haines
Governor McAuliffe Honors Volunteers
Story of Service: Governor McAuliffe Honors Volunteers
2016 Governor's Volunteerism Award Winners Governor Terry McAuliffe announced recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Volunteerism and Community Service Awards today during an awards ceremony held at the Governor’s Mansion on April 18th. These awards spotlight the outstanding efforts individual and organization volunteers make on behalf of citizens throughout the Commonwealth. “I am proud and honored to celebrate Virginia’s outstanding volunteers who have made such enormous contributions to those in need throughout the Commonwealth,” said Governor McAuliffe. “These individuals, organizations and companies set an example for us all to give back to our communities and embody the spirit of service which...
Story of Service: Amber Matkowski
My experience with AmeriCorps was truly life changing. I completed two years of service, during my junior and senior year at Christopher Newport University. Alternatives Inc. is such a warm and friendly organization to work with. They made it a priority to train us not only to be thorough workers, but to be passionate advocates, exceptional leaders, and supportive team members. They showed me the importance of knowing your program and your team inside and now. By the end of my AmeriCorps service, I felt like I could quickly and efficiently solve problems and take on big challenges. I am...
Story of Service: Abigail Gallin
During the height of the pandemic, Abigail, affectionately known as Abby, excelled in creating community in a digital space when many students were cut off from the outside world. Abby served at Aspire Afterschool Learning during the 2020 summer program, the 2020-21 program year ,and the 21- 22 program year as an AmeriCorps State Member. Abby served students in our virtual program during the Covid-19 pandemic by helping them with literacy, math, social-emotional learning, and STEAM-related activities. Abby created and implemented fun activities, helped with homework, and helped make the virtual learning space engaging and supportive. She played an instrumental...