The Hegland Family is a mother and adult son duo who began volunteering at UCM in October 2014. Last year, they each volunteered at UCM for a total of 2,472 hours, which is equivalent to one full-time staff person.
“There are many ways that Nancy and Kenny support UCM’s mission,” says Elizabeth McNally, UCM Deputy Executive Director. “The most critical is with our Basic Needs program. Through their community service, the Heglands help UCM address the most basic need of food for families who have been struck by unemployment, disability, domestic violence, and a number of other challenges. Nancy and Kenny make many contributions to UCM, the primary one being the challenging and unending task of managing our rear loading dock.”
“UCM is extremely fortunate to have Nancy and her son Kenny as volunteers at our agency,” says Nichelle A. Mitchem, UCM Executive Director.“They are extremely generous with time and resources. No job is too great or too small for Nancy and Kenny. It is my sincere hope that they will continue to volunteer for our agency for many years to come.”
“We decided to volunteer at UCM because the agency had the right tasks for Kenny, who has autism,” says Nancy Hegland. “He has tasks that are meaningful to do, and he can do them. We are seeing the fruit of his knowledge from school come out through his volunteer work at UCM. The staff is supportive of Kenny and being at UCM is a safe and welcoming environment for him. What we enjoy most about volunteering here is that UCM provides an opportunity for a mother-son team where I can see my son excel. I enjoy working with people who help other people and really enjoy the dedicated staff and other volunteers here at UCM.
Nancy continues, “Two events in Kenny’s life have been crowning achievements for me. First was his birth. And the second was standing on stage with him at the Volunteer Fairfax Awards. Thank you to everyone at UCM for this honor for my son and me.”
"Last year, when a truck wasn’t available, Nancy brought her personal SUV trailer to UCM, helped load furniture for a new client being served in our program for families fleeing domestic violence, and assisted with the delivery of the furniture to the client’s new home. he generosity, thoughtfulness, and desire to contribute are seemingly endless in the Hegland family. We are proud to honor their work."
The Fairfax County Volunteer Service Awards serve as a community-wide celebration of volunteerism. Every spring, the county-wide awards honor individuals, groups and organizations that have given outstanding volunteer service through a broad range of activities and programs. Individuals and groups can be nominated in one of 15 competitive categories and four non-competitive categories. Over 24 years, Volunteer Fairfax has recognized more than 2,900 individuals for their commitment to the community.
All of this year’s nominees were recognized as community “shining stars” at the April 8 event. Additional nominees from United Community Ministries were Joseph S. Conti, UCM Board Treasurer, in the category of “Adult Volunteer with 250 or More Hours” and Diane Tollefson, former President of The Friends of UCM and past UCM Board Member in the “Adult Volunteer with 250 Hours and Under” Category.
“Volunteers like Nancy, Kenny, Joe, and Diane change lives for the better, each and every day, helping thousands of vulnerable families, youth, and children to achieve stability and success,” says Mitchem. “The hard work and donations of time and talent by our hundreds of volunteers make our work possible. Without their service, UCM would not be able to provide our community with such extensive, quality services that provide positive outcomes for the thousands of people in need we serve every year.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of our UCM volunteers and supporters. All of our community benefits when we work together to enhance the quality of life for each of our neighbors.”