Camp Hill Woman Wins First Ever Harrisburg Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award

In its first year, Direct Energy and The Patriot-News2012 Harrisburg Volunteer Citizen of the Year award is honoring Nancy Chavez of Camp Hill, PA.  Chavez founded Randi’s House of Angels after her daughter was tragically murdered in 2005 as a result of domestic violence. Chavez, a survivor of domestic violence herself, has since then devoted her life to raising money, creating awareness and speaking for the Domestic Violence Services of Cumberland and Perry Counties.

Chavez created Randi’s House of Angels not only to help cope with her own healing, but to provide a healing place for others that are victims of or exposed to domestic violence. Randi’s House of Angels offers a support, therapy and counseling to victims. Chavez also launched the annual “Randi’s Race: A 5k Run and Walk for Courage” in honor or her beloved daughter. Since its inception, Randi’s Race has raised over $217,000 for Domestic Violence Services. All proceeds go to providing counseling, emergency shelters, legal advocacy and outreach programs for domestic violence victims. Nancy has also been a keynote speaker for many organizations and events in the Harrisburg area, speaking about the importance of getting help in an abusive relationship.

In February of 2007, Chavez formed a group called “Restoring Our Souls” (ROS), a support group for mothers and other family members that have lost a loved one to domestic violence. ROS is the first of its kind in the Harrisburg area and Chavez uses her own personal experience to help others get through and cope with the unthinkable. Continuing her crusade against domestic violence, she also established Randi’s Camp for Hope, an organization specifically for children that are affected by domestic violence in their homes. Through educational, interpersonal and fun activities, children engage in activities designed to increase their self-esteem, self-concept and confidence in their own abilities. Randi’s Camp of Hope empowers children to believe that their thoughts, feelings and actions are important, worthy of expression and that they are valuable contributors to the whole family unit.

By winning the Harrisburg Volunteer Citizen of the Year Award, Nancy will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a $5,000 donation to Randi’s House of Angels. The donation will be used to hire licensed therapists that specialize in working with children who are victims of domestic violence or have had a family member murdered as a result of domestic violence. Additionally, for adult victims, attorneys will be hired to provide legal representation in custody and divorce hearings.

“Nancy has been through a horrific tragedy that no parent should ever have to face. Her perseverance to overcome and honor her daughter’s memory and help her community is truly remarkable,” said Cory Byzewski, Vice President and General Manager for Direct Energy US North Residential.

Lee Carlson, General Manager for the Patriot-News said, “We received 36 nominations and they were all very admirable but Nancy’s story about how she is using her heartbreak to help others is nothing short of amazing. We are honored to be able to help her in her campaign to end domestic violence.”

A special event honoring Nancy Chavez will be held at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building Rotunda on Monday, June 4th, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. Representatives from Direct Energy and The Patriot-News will be on hand to present Nancy with her award. The Pennsylvania State Capitol Building is located at North 3rd Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120.