WASHINGTON — A woman from Corpus Christi,Texas,who devotes herself to helping abused teen-agers won a Jefferson Award for Public Service,joining 56 other “unsung heroes” recognized here this week.
Helen Elaine Brundrett was born 57 years ago in Santon,Texas,and moved to Corpus Christi in 1968. Since her childhood,she said she was surrounded by moral values and educated about commitment to her fellow men. She used to collaborate with her parents in her early ages.
“I used to help my mother and daddy,” she said.
Brundrett,who has two grandchildren and was a schoolteacher,has been working for the past eight years as a volunteer for the Bokencamp Children's Treatment Center,an institution that supports and takes care of children ages 12 to 17 who have been uncared for,abused and mistreated.
“It's very challenging,and they are so good with me,” she said.
In addition,Brundrett participates in fund-rising activities,and she is the chairman of the children center's advisory board. She also has given a lot of time to religious organizations.
She said that her parents and her profound beliefs have been her source of stimulus to serve other people.
“My parents,my religious background and the love of Jesus Christ,” she said,adding,”I could have not done this without the support of my husband.”
A modest woman who enjoys swimming and playing cards with her friends,Brundrett was recognized along with four other recipients from Texas.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,former Sen. Robert Taft Jr. and Sam Beard began the awards,sponsored by the American Institute for Public Service,in 1972. The Corpus Christi Caller Times nominated Brundrett for the award.
Brundrett received her award Tuesday at a reception in the Russell Senate Office Building from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson,R-Texas. Brundrett said she was very excited because she and her husband,Raymond,got their picture taken with Hutchinson.
“Senator Hutchinson is wonderful. I love her,” she said.
After his wife received her award,Raymond Brundrett said that he was very proud of her and,in an emotional voice,said,”Her mother would have been very proud of her.”