Story by David Wickers, Red Cross volunteer

Last Wednesday, January 27, longtime Red Cross volunteer Jeff Fox, PhD, received the highly distinguished President’s Volunteer Service Award in a special ceremony at the Northeastern New York chapter office in Albany. Red Cross Senior Vice President Koby Langley, who oversees worldwide operations of Services to the Armed Forces (SAF), was on hand to present the award, recognizing Dr. Fox for completing more than 700 hours of volunteer service in the last year.

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Pictured left to right: Mathieu Nelessen, Northeast Division Vice President; Jen Baker, Northeast Division SAF Director; Gary Striar, Eastern New York Region Chief Executive Officer; Beatrice Fox (holding Fox’s grandson); Jeff Fox, PVSA recipient; Daniel P. McCoy, Albany County Executive; Koby Langley, Senior Vice President, SAF; Dianna Rios, Eastern New York Region SAF Program Director

The President’s Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) is the nation’s premier volunteer award program, encouraging citizens to live lives of service through presidential gratitude and national recognition. Given the incredible amount of time Dr. Fox has dedicated to providing emotional support and counseling to disaster victims, members of the armed forces, veterans and military families as a Red Cross volunteer, he most certainly embodies a life of service worthy of national recognition.

As an SAF volunteer in the Eastern New York Region, Dr. Fox has been instrumental in the success of our local Reconnection Workshop program. Since the program’s inception, Dr. Fox has helped facilitate more than 22 workshops, including the first-of-its-kind Veterans Day Lunch-and-Learn this November.

According to SAF Program Director Dianna Rios:

Jeff has worked tirelessly to bring Reconnection Workshops to the neediest groups and to help people understand the value of this program. He has assisted in developing training for other workshop facilitators and in promoting Reconnection to many partner groups in our community.  Jeff is frequently invited to facilitate workshops because of his popularity with local veterans. He truly listens, and they know that one of his great passions is helping and guiding them. Besides all of this, Jeff’s enthusiasm and fine work have been a great encouragement to other volunteers. He has been an incredible asset to our local SAF program.

In tandem with his devotion to SAF, Dr. Fox has many years of experience as a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health worker. In addition to offering emotional support to local families impacted by disasters like home fires and floods, Dr. Fox has deployed and served nationally on many major disaster relief operations. His deployment history includes service in Central New York, New York City, Oklahoma, Washington, and Kentucky.  Always willing to share his talents and serve others wherever he is needed, Dr. Fox is an inspiration to his fellow volunteers and Red Cross staff alike.

In addition to the PVSA certificate and pin presented by Koby Langley, Dr. Fox also received accolades from Senator Hugh Farley and Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. McCoy, a member of the New York National Guard, attended the special ceremony and extended his personal thanks to Dr. Fox for his commitment to service members and veterans in our community.