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Helga Hung's Spirit of Volunteerism

Helga first volunteered with Reading to Kids in August 2000. Since then, Helga volunteered at 38 reading clubs (all but one at Esperanza Elementary School). To understand the magnitude of her impact on Reading to Kids, you have to know that out of the almost 5,000 people who have volunteered with us since May 1999, Helga ranked an astonishing 14th overall in total reading clubs!

In 2003, Helga joined our Reading to Kids Taskforce and quickly became a co-chair of the Community Outreach Committee and then of the Volunteer Relations Committee. Helga was directly responsible for interacting with many of the volunteer groups who participate with Reading to Kids today. Helga was also a project leader with L.A. Works, coordinating volunteers who join us from that fine organization. Click here to learn more about Helga's volunteer efforts with L.A. Works.

For the past several years, Helga's friendly, smiling face was one of those fixtures we always knew that we could expect to see at the reading clubs on any given Saturday morning. Helga had a generous spirit and gave her heart and soul to volunteering with Reading to Kids and L.A. Works. As one of her fellow volunteers remarked, "Among all her qualities, the one I will remember the most is this -- every day I saw Helga was a good day. She just made people feel good to be around her."

Helga was an amazingly joyous person, and a remarkably beautiful person, both inside and out. She was always giving -- always thinking about someone else. For Helga, giving back to the community was something vital to who she was, not just an activity to be done. Although her passing is a tragedy, the life she lived should inspire us all to be better people.

A wonderful way to honor Helga's memory and all that Helga did and stood for would be to give back to your community. Please sign up for a reading club, register for an L.A. Works project (, or go online to to find a volunteer opportunity that's right for you.

And when you do that act of volunteering, please bring a friend. That's what Helga was all about. She showed up, and she brought people. She made volunteering fun, and she showed others that volunteering is fun. If any of you had the pleasure of reading with Helga over the last five years, you know that you experienced something special.

Helga, although you may no longer be with us in body, you will always be with us in spirit, and your memory will enable us to continue to make sure that our Saturday mornings are smiley and sunny, just as you liked them.

Helga Hung, dear friend, may you rest in peace.