NYACK, N.Y. -- The lives of hundreds of Rockland folks are a whole lot better thanks to one volunteer extraordinaire from Nyack, said County Executive Ed Day.
Frandy Osias-Louis' tireless service to those in need in his community and around the region, Day said, has earned him a spot on the ever-growing list of recipients of the Daily Point of Light award.
Osias-Louis “represents the very best of Rockland County and the very best of the spirit of volunteerism,” the county executive said Tuesday at award ceremonies in Nanuet.
The Points of Light program was started in 1989 by President George H. W. Bush.
To date, more than 5,000 such awards have been given to movie stars, military veterans, elementary school students and single moms, people who all share a single thing in common -- their ability to “spark change in their community and inspire others to join them in service,” Day said.
Osias-Louis has spent the last six years helping out at organizations such as Soup Angels, Meals On Wheels Programs & Services of Rockland, Midnight Run, Volunteer New York!, and Habitat For Humanity.
He got bitten by the volunteering bug while a student at Dominican College, a liberal arts school in Orangeburg. It was there he took part in a service initiative – and also met his future wife, and partner in the volunteering world, Elena (Deforest). The couple married in June.
“I got inspired to do something bigger than myself,” said Osias-Louis. “Growing up my mother always tried to do what was best for us, so when I came to (Dominican College) I felt like I was giving back and I wanted to be involved as much as possible.”
“We are in a society where everybody is thinking ‘how can I make the next buck’? Volunteering is not about that,” he added.
What’s unusual about Osias-Louis is that volunteering is not just a once-in-a-while thing, it’s part of his daily life, those that work with him say.
His “day job” is as a direct suppport professional working with people with disabilities.
As a member of the Volunteer New York! family, he has participated in community safety days, clean-up events and charity 5Ks.
But the issues he said he is most passionate about are hunger and homelessness.
He is a regular volunteer with Soup Angels, a program that provides hot meals twice a week to those in need.
Earlier this month, he was named a community celebrity by Cabot Creamery Cooperative, a New England-based dairy product producer. That honor only goes to five volunteers in the entire country each year. The award package included an Alaskan cruise with other community change-makers.
Osias-Louis was nominated by the Westchester, Rockland and Putnam volunteer connector agency, Volunteer New York!
“Frandy is a strong example of how one person’s volunteerism can and will create positive change. Volunteer New York! is so pleased that he is receiving this national recognition -- shine on!” said the group’s executive director, Alisa Kesten.
For more information about Volunteer New York! and volunteering opportunities, click here or call (914) 948-4452.