Heart & Soul Hero Award: Citizen’s Fire Company #1

July 14, 2020

Congratulations to Citizen’s Fire Company #1(Mount Holly Springs) for receiving one of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council’s first-ever Pennsylvania Heart & Soul Hero Awards!

The COVID-19 crisis and subsequent shutdown brought many challenges to cities and towns across the world as they adapted to social distancing and other health and safety requirements. Despite the difficulties, Pennsylvania’s residents showed their resilience and strength by working together to meet the needs of their neighbors. 

To acknowledge some of the many people who supported their communities during this time, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council (PHC) created the Pennsylvania Heart & Soul Hero Award. The award honors local heroes in communities that PHC has partnered with through Community Heart & Soul, a humanities-based initiative that uses resident stories and community conversations to spark collective decision-making and action.   

Citizen’s Fire Company #1, nominated by members of the Mount Holly Springs Heart & Soul Leadership Team, was among six recipients recognized as Heart & Soul Heroes for their outstanding community service. Each awardee receives a certificate, virtual award ceremony, and a spotlight article. 

“The recipients of these awards displayed resilience, compassion, and action in time when their communities needed it most,” said Jen Danifo, PHC’s Senior Program Officer and host of the Heart & Soul Hero virtual award ceremonies. “This is what Community Heart & Soul is all about and PHC is honored to have the opportunity to uplift their work.”

Citizen’s Fire Company #1 was selected to receive a Pennsylvania Heart & Soul Hero Award for its exceptional service to the Mount Holly Springs community during the COVID-19 shutdown. Accepting the award on behalf of the team was Tim Yingst, Fire Chief, and Dennis Russell, President of the fire company.

Citizen’s Fire Company #1 has long played a vital role in the community, not just in its job of keeping residents safe but also helping with fundraisers and education programs.

The team responded to the COVID-19 shutdown by working to keep the town’s spirits up in spite of the restrictions. For example, they did drive by-birthday celebrations for those unable to leave their house and helped to honor graduating high school seniors. As they approach their 125th anniversary, the station’s legacy of service to the Mount Holly Springs community continues.

“Our fire company is the heart and soul of Mount Holly Springs,” said Carmen James, a member of Mount Holly Springs Heart & Soul. “No matter where you live — or who you are — you can count on [them].”

Related Stories

Stay Up To Date

Sign up for the PA Humanities newsletter now.