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Halyna Donatelli awarded for serving above and beyond

Lew Weider (left), director of Liberty University’s Center for Christian/Community Service, presented the annual Volunteer of the Year Award to Halyna Donatelli, along with Danielle Roeber (Donatelli’s CSER supervisor) and President Jerry Falwell.

Halyna Donatelli was awarded this year’s Christian/Community Service (CSER) Volunteer of the Year Award during Liberty University’s Convocation on Monday, April 27. The award is presented annually to a student who demonstrates Liberty’s mission to serve others and glorify God within the community.

The plaque, given on behalf of Liberty’s CSER Office, recognized Donatelli’s over 180 hours of volunteer work with Lynchburg’s YWCA Sexual Assault Response Program (SARP).

“Although many students go above and beyond serving through CSER, Halyna is a special young woman whose service and care for people stood out,” said Lew Weider, director of the Center for Christian/Community Service.

“She is a selfless giver of her time and always gives her best to the victims she serves,” added Danielle Roeber (’10), who works for the SARP and is Donatelli’s CSER supervisor.

Donatelli’s responsibilities at the YWCA include being on call to aid sexual assault victims at Lynchburg General Hospital’s Emergency Room, working as a support group supervisor, accompanying victims during forensic exams, and providing emotional support for victims.

Donatelli also provides childcare for parents and caregivers of child victims so they can attend monthly support groups, organizing different activities and entertainment for the children.

Her dedication to others was regularly illustrated; Donatelli worked long hours assisting victims and their families, and even responded to requests when she was not on call.

Donatelli said it was an honor to have been chosen as the CSER award winner and that she hopes the Lord receives the glory; it was His work she was doing.

“The time that I spent volunteering with the Sexual Assault Response Program was life-changing in many ways,” she said. “As a result of my experiences, I decided to become a trauma counselor so I can provide help and support to victims of human trafficking. I strongly believe that the Lord made clear His plan for my life in Isaiah 61, which says: ‘The Lord has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to comfort all who mourn, and to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes.’ I hope to share the love of God with victims of sexual violence so they can experience the true freedom that is available in Christ.”

Liberty students are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of Christian service each semester during their sophomore, junior, and senior years. Many, however, go above and beyond that requirement.

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