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.

Wilfredo Hernandez receives Essence of Humanity Award

Wilfredo Hernandez of Lancaster was honored with an Essence of Humanity Award on October 20, 2012, by The Spanish American Civic Association. The award was presented at its annual gala held at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square.

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. The award also honors those who demonstrate a spirit of caring and provide inspiration to such individuals on a daily basis. About Wilfredo Hernandez (source: nomination by Carlos Graupera)

Wilfredo Hernandez was presented with an Essence of Humanity Award in recognition of his outstanding service and leadership in the Hispanic recovery community, his generosity in sharing time and resources with all who struggle with addiction, and his devotion to promoting 12-step recovery principles as a local, national, and international representative of Narcotics Anonymous and Solo Por Hoy (“Just for Today”).

Hernandez is originally from Puerto Rico and at the age of 14 began experiencing addiction and alcohol abuse after working in a bar to help support his mother and eight siblings. After years of struggling with addiction, in 2003 he found himself in a Lancaster County detox unit and soon afterwards received treatment at SACA’s Nuestra Clinica Residencial. From that time forward, he committed himself to a life of recovery and service to others. As a spokesman and leader of Narcotics Anonymous, he has helped sponsor countless individuals in the 12-step tradition.

Wilfredo has two mottos that guide him and provide inspiration to others: “Giving is the best way to receive,” and, “To be responsible is an achievement, not a gift.”

This humility, accompanied by a constant cheerfulness and ever-present sense of fun, help all those who encounter him. His generosity of spirit, willingness to spend countless hours with those who need help, and constant advocacy for 12-step programs are a true gift to the Lancaster Latino Community and to all who know him.

About Essence of Humanity

The intent of the Essence of Humanity Award is to honor those who inspire the best in all of us through the award and by elevating their stories. 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.