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H-E-B’s Eleanor Crook Wins Highest U.S. Award For Volunteerism

Eleanor Butt Crook
Eleanor Butt Crook

Last updated on December 20th, 2016 at 11:41 am

H-E-B’s Eleanor Butt Crook, along with her late husband Ambassador William H. Crook, has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) for Lifetime Achievement. The country’s highest award for volunteerism was presented to Crook on Thursday 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, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.

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 the group’s board for many years. She currently is 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 B. Johnson. He then served as U.S. ambassador to Australia. He remained active in civic affairs throughout his life. Crook 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 presented Mrs. Crook with the award Thursday.

The PVSA, an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service, honors leaders 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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