Couple Receives National Volunteer Award

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National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) has awarded Fred and Mary Visser its Award for Excellence.

The Vissers have volunteered with the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee since 1996. As CRWRC regional project managers, they are responsible for seven states. When an area is declared a national disaster, the Vissers move in to make national as well as local connections.

“It’s a capacity-building role,” Fred Visser said. In the national disaster-response realm, it’s amazing how much respect CRWRC has, he added.

The Vissers’ first assignment was in Modesto, Calif., after flooding caused major damage. The Vissers were also site managers at the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy in New York City.

The Vissers are members of Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Big Rapids, Mich. Since Hurricane Katrina struck, they spend three weeks out of every month in Mississippi.

“We’ve been blessed, and we turn that around to be a blessing,” Fred Visser said. “It’s been our goal in our marriage and life.”

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