December 15, 2016

William H. and Eleanor Crook Win Highest US Award for Volunteerism

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World congratulates Eleanor Crook and her late husband, Ambassador William H. Crook, on receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for Lifetime Achievement. The country’s highest award for volunteerism will be presented to Mrs. Crook today at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.

“Texas, the United States, and the world are much better off because of the work and philanthropy of William and Eleanor Crook,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.

Eleanor Crook has been a long-time leader of Bread for the World. Her philanthropy and advocacy have strengthened Bread for the World for more than four decades, and she served on Bread for the World’s board for many years. She is currently working with family members to make her foundation an effective force against world hunger and malnutrition for decades to come. Her family’s grocery company, H-E-B, donates 5 percent of its pre-tax profits to charities, mainly food banks and other organizations that help hungry people.    

William Crook became national director of the VISTA program 50 years ago. He was part of the team that launched the War on Poverty during the administration of President Lyndon Baines Johnson.  William Crook then served as U.S. ambassador to Australia. He remained active in civic affairs throughout his life. He volunteered in Ethiopia during the famine of 1985 and, in the process, caught a disease that eventually led to his death.

AmeriCorps VISTA Director Max Finberg is presenting the PVSA for Lifetime Achievement to William and Eleanor Crook. The PVSA, an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), honors individuals for their exemplary volunteer service during a 12-month period or over the course of a lifetime.

“Bread for the World is honored to have worked with Eleanor and her family over many years,” Beckmann added. “William and Eleanor Crook are indeed worthy of presidential recognition for their lifetime of commitment to overcoming hunger and poverty.”

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