AmeriCorps CEO Presents President’s Volunteer Service Award to Hurricane Ian Recovery Volunteer
National service agency recognizes Florida resident for 650 hours of service rebuilding homes affected by disaster
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, Jan. 23, AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith awarded the Gold President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award to Philip DeRitis in recognition of more than 650 hours of volunteer service he has given to his community through Inspiritus. The award was presented during an AmeriCorps NCCC home restoration project tour with Sherry Buresh, Inspiritus executive director of disaster relief, and the Coachlight Manor Homeowners Association.
DeRitis served all 650 hours in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, during which his own home was destroyed. DeRitis is a team lead for Inspiritus and provides training to other volunteers to effectively muck and gut out damaged buildings, provide mold sanitation services and complete small home repairs. In addition to his on-the-ground support, he has assisted with administrative tasks like tool and inventory management.
“Anyone who works with Philip walks away with a new skill and a profound sense of hope,” said AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith. “Not only has he become the go-to volunteer to solve problems, Philip also embodies the spirit of service communities like Fort Meyers’ needs to move forward after disasters. On behalf of AmeriCorps, thank you for volunteering your time and showing that service is a uniting force.”
Led by AmeriCorps and managed in partnership with Points of Light, the President’s Volunteer Service Award allows organizations to recognize their most exceptional volunteers based on service over a 12-month period or a lifetime. The awards program began in 2003 and honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires others to act.
Throughout Florida, more than 9,200 Americans of all ages and backgrounds unite each year to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and expand opportunity at more than 1,300 locations across the state. Last year, AmeriCorps invested more than $44.3 million in federal funding to support cost-effective community solutions, working hand-in-hand with local partners to empower individuals to help communities tackle their toughest challenges.