Virginia Beach, Va., July 8, 2011 – Michael Woodworth of Virginia Beach is this year’s honored recipient of the GEICO Volunteer Service Award.
Woodworth, a staff attorney in GEICO’s Virginia Beach regional headquarters, became involved with orphanages in Honduras during a mission trip with his church in 2002. The children in Honduras became orphans as a result of their parents having HIV/AIDS. Although most of their parents died from the disease, several parents abandoned their children at the orphanage because they were unable to take care of their HIV-positive children.
After regular visits, Woodworth decided to take a leave from GEICO in 2007 to assist the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas as they fed, clothed and helped educate dozens of orphans. After spending almost four years in the "Heart of Mercy" house, he returned to GEICO in January 2011.
“My years in Honduras allowed me to experience a very different lifestyle than I have been accustomed to in the U.S.," said Woodworth. "These young children look to you for guidance and support. They really make you feel like you are making a difference. While it was extremely difficult to leave the kids in Honduras, I will continue to visit them several weeks a year during my vacations."
Ruby Hypes, a data and budget analyst for GEICO’s staff counsel administration who nominated Woodworth for the award, said, "I believe Michael lives a life of helping others. He deserves this award for his commitment to children in Honduras and dedication to making a difference in a child’s life."
In addition to recognizing Woodworth for his contributions, GEICO honored Christine Smith of Chevy Chase, Md. as this year's recipient of the John Thorne GEICO Corporate Community Citizens (GCCC) Volunteer of the Year Award. This award recognizes the spirit of volunteerism that former GEICO associate John Thorne exemplified during his career at the company’s Woodbury, N.Y. office. Smith was recognized for her outstanding fundraising efforts for the 2011 Relay for Life of Freedom Area.
The John Thorne GCCC Volunteer of the Year and GEICO Volunteer Service Awards are presented annually to two GEICO volunteer associates who exemplify the spirit of volunteer service both individually or through the GEICO Corporate Community Citizens. Smith and Woodworth will take part in special ceremonies at GEICO’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., that will recognize the contributions they have made in their respective communities.
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurance company in the United States. GEICO provides millions of auto insurance quotes to U.S. drivers annually. The company is pleased to serve more than 11 million private passenger customers and insures more than 18 million vehicles (auto & cycle).
GEICO's online service center helps policyholders take care of policy sales, policy changes, claims reporting and to print insurance ID cards.
GEICO also provides insurance quotes on motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), travel trailers and motorhomes (RVs). Coverage for boats, life, homes and apartments is written by non-affiliated insurance companies and is secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Commercial auto insurance and personal umbrella protection are also available.
For more information, go to www.geico.com.