Hohenfels awards volunteer highest honor
Karissa Borders comforts a pup brought in to the U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels Veterinary Treatment Facility where she works as a volunteer. Borders received the first Community Volunteer of the Quarter award in recognition of the hundreds of hours she has spent this year volunteering for numerous organizations throughout the Hohenfels community.

HOHENFELS, Germany - As Karissa Borders began to talk about being the first ever Community Volunteer of the Quarter, she continued to shuffle through the piles of paperwork and receipts on the table in front of her.

She explained that her two daughters, Alex and Megan, are in Girl Scouts and said she had volunteered to help out with this year's cookie sales. So Borders sorted piles of bills into Euros and dollars, counted each pile's value, and recorded the totals on one of the many papers fighting for her attention.

Believe it or not, she doesn't even consider this one of her "official" volunteer positions; this was just something small she offered to help out with.

Borders has an impressive volunteer resume under any circumstances, and even more so considering she has been in Hohenfels for less than one year and her husband has been deployed for most of that time.

After being nominated by multiple organizations, Borders was named the first volunteer of the quarter for her service to the Hohenfels community during the first quarter of the 2009 fiscal year, which runs from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, 2008.

"Ms. Borders is an exceptional volunteer. She gives her time at many organizations on post and she was a great nomination. Her support to the community is invaluable. We are lucky to have her as our first ever Community Volunteer of the Quarter," said Lori Starnes, U.S. Army Garrison Hohenfels Army Volunteer Corps coordinator.

"Receiving several nominations is very flattering to me." said Borders. "It was a surprise to get this award at all, and when I found out I had more than one nomination it made me feel really good."

When she is not doing something for her daughter's Girl Scout troop, she is shelving books at the Elementary School library. Or she may be performing tasks associated with her role as the Parent/Teacher Association treasurer or as secretary for the Headquarters, Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment Family Readiness Group.

Her favorite time though is spent helping Hohenfels' four-legged community members at the Veterinary Treatment Facility.

Her face lights up when she talks about her work at the vet clinic, enthusiasm that she plans to turn into a career when she returns to the United States. Borders said she plans to attend veterinary technician school and hopes to eventually enter veterinary medical school. Some weeks she works multiple full days at the vet clinic.

Add that to her many other positions and Borders said she has volunteered hundreds of hours since the summer.

"Some (volunteer positions) are things the girls are involved with. If I'm going to be there anyway I might as well help out. I like being involved and helping out and being able to say 'hey, this is an idea,' because you can never have too many ideas," she said.

"Also, it lets me get to know their environment and their teachers. I started with the PTA to be involved with their school. It's nice for them to know when they talk to me I know what they're saying, that it (school) is not a totally separate thing from the home."

When her daughter Alex moves to the Middle/High School next year, Borders said she will probably start volunteering there too, in addition to the times she gives to other organizations.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16