Volunteers honored at prayer breakfast
Capt. Tamara Gonzales, 11th ADA Bde. Public Affairs | Fort Bliss Monitor | 22 May 2008
The 2007 Army Family of the Year’s husband and wife team gathered with local community leaders in appreciation of volunteer recognition during the 32nd annual Community Leadership Prayer Breakfast May 14 at El Paso’s Northeast Christian Academy.
Lt. Col. John Chavez, commander of 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, and his wife Holly were nominated the 2007 Army Family of the Year because of their dedication and selfless service to their communities.
John served as guest speaker for the event, addressing Family values and challenges, the importance of parents instilling values in their children, and his pride in his Family and their contributions to local communities. He also spoke of materialism and social pressures to keep up with the latest trends and how it is up to the Family to instill values versus materialism.
“Time is fleeting; we must make every moment count,” said John.
The Chavez Family’s community service contributions began in El Paso in 1990, when Holly was recognized as the Red Cross Volunteer of the Year, and their spirit of volunteerism continues strong today.
Each of the seven members of the Chavez Family, including children ranging from ages 4 to 19 years old, takes part in community service activities. Some of these events include coaching swimming, teaching children’s liturgy at Fort Bliss, being a peer mentor at Osan American High School and being a den chief for cub scouts in both Korea and Virginia.
“When you see something that needs to be done … take action,” said Holly.
Some of the contributions the Family participated in together include working with Korean orphanages in Osan and Suwon, helping to build a mission church known as Church of the Divine Mercy, and volunteering at Little Sisters of the Poor, a retirement home in Suwon run by local nuns.
Holly said one of her most precious volunteer memories was when their youngest son sang the Korean anthem to residents at Little Sisters of the Poor.
“He did more for us (the Chavez Family and retirees) at that moment than we could have ever planned,” said Holly.