Everyday heroes in your community serving as an inspiration to the people whose lives they touch — this is the heart and soul of the Essence of Humanity Award.

Dorothy Heckstall receives Essence of Humanity Award

Dorothy Heckstall of Harrisburg was awarded the Essence of Humanity Award on September 1, 2011, at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank’s Agency Relations Gathering.

The Essence of Humanity Award recognizes individuals who, beyond the requirements
of their work, demonstrate remarkable human qualities including courage, love, strength, determination, and persistence when dealing with adversity.

About Dorothy Heckstall

Dorothy Heckstall’s  nomination essay was submitted by Brad Peterson.  The following are excerpts.

For many years, Ms. Heckstall has been fervently devoting her time and energy to improve the lives of her Dauphin County neighbors who are in need of assistance.  She is considered a champion of hunger by many, as she spends much of her time at the Food Pantry at Antioch Tabernacle.

While Ms. Heckstall has sometimes also personally faced the issue of food insecurity, she has done so with a faith and optimism that is unshakeable. It is this fortitude that has served her well as she has encouraged others to not feel ashamed of their hardship, but rather to persevere, in spite of the adversity they may be facing.  Her understanding and compassion for others has touched many lives, both at the Food Pantry and beyond.  As was so eloquently stated in her nomination, “In spite of her own adversities in life, Dot continues to strive to provide a spirit of caring and inspiration to others on a daily basis by serving those in need, and not only with food and nourishment,  but with dignity and compassion.”

Demonstrating her commitment to this mission, Ms. Heckstall did not waste any time recovering from surgery this past year before she was back at the Food Pantry assisting her hungry neighbors.  It only took her one day of rest before she was back on her feet serving others.

About Essence of Humanity

The Essence of Humanity Award honors those who inspire the best in all of us, through the presentation of the award and also by elevating the narratives of the recipients. The program began in 2001 when business and community leaders in South-Central Pennsylvania established the award. The award is presented by participating organizations in collaboration with the Essence of Humanity program’s steering committee, which evaluates the nominations. For more information, contact Robin Stauffer, Executive Director, at 717-293-4498, or visit the website at www.essenceofhumanity.org.