Mercy Ships Founder Receives Service Award
Don Stephens presented with award from Points of Light with recognition for more than 35 years of leading Mercy Ships volunteers in more than 70 countries
Mercy Ships, a global charity based in Garden Valley, Texas, operates the world’s largest civilian hospital ship. Mercy Ships founder Don Stephens was recognized this week with the Daily Point of Light Award from Points of Light, a U.S. organization dedicated to volunteer service. The national award was presented at a special event held at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston. The event, “Advancing Hope and Healing in Africa,” featured President George W. Bush and Laura Bush.
Stephens received Daily Point of Light Award #5335, acknowledging the success of Mercy Ships in mobilizing an estimated 35,000 volunteers since 1978 to deliver medical care in developing nations. Since its inception, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $1 billion, treating more than 2.5 million direct beneficiaries. Each year Mercy Ships has more than 1,600 volunteers from more than 40 nations. Volunteer medical professionals and crew have completed 581 port visits in 57 developing nations.
“I’m honored to be part of an organization that shines light where disease, hunger and poverty keep so many people in bondage. I accept this on behalf of all my coworkers in Mercy Ships,” said Stephens. “On behalf of the hundreds of volunteers, as well as those who support the work of Mercy Ships, it is an honor to receive this award. Our daily acts of service do indeed make a difference around the world.”
Originating out of the White House during George H.W. Bush’s presidency, the Daily Point of Light Award celebrates the work of volunteers to spark change and improve the world through community service. Since 1989, more than 5,000 honorees have been recognized with the Daily Point of Light Award.
As a Daily Point of Light Award honoree, Stephens received a special commemorative certificate from Points of Light board chair Neil Bush and signed by Bush’s father, former president Bush.