David Kovacs has been named Volunteer of the Year by the Central Virginia Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in recognition of his service to local youth through Henrico County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
Kovacs will accept the award Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center as part of a recognition of National Philanthropy Day. He was nominated by Henrico CASA, a nonprofit organization that works on behalf of abused and neglected children before the Henrico Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. CASA’s volunteers served 367 children in fiscal 2015-16, donating nearly 20,000 hours to their cases.
Kovacs has advocated for 63 abused and neglected children in Henrico since his volunteer service began in 1996. He often has served multiple children at a time, devoting more than 2,450 hours to their cases and making more 3,400 contacts with family members and case professionals.
Kovacs, who is retired after a career in urban planning and community organizing, has served longer than any of the 521 volunteers who have supported Henrico CASA since its inception in 1994. He said his decision to volunteer was inspired by his experiences following his father’s death when Kovacs was 15.
“I just remember I would have liked some help and direction,” he said. “When I see situations with children who have a need, I try to help them out so they don’t get lost in the cracks. So much of what CASA is about is looking out for what’s in the best interest of the child.”
In addition to his work with Henrico CASA, Kovacs serves as a volunteer usher for Richmond CenterStage and provides free income tax preparation to elderly residents through AARP. He also has worked through First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond to resettle refugee families from Serbia and Bosnia and has coordinated food drives through FeedMore. He is a blood donor to Virginia Blood Services, has assisted cleanup efforts in the James River Park System, helped to clear an early portion of the Richmond Slave Trail and has participated in activities to combat racism.
For information on Henrico CASA, including volunteer opportunities, call (804) 501-1671 or go to henricocasa.org.