Local Woman Selected for National Award
One of Central Florida’s most active volunteers, Helen Greenspun, is being honored by the USA network’s Characters Unite campaign, which identifies leaders in addressing social injustices and bridging cultural divides. USA Network, along with its distribution partners, has announced the 2012 recipients of the Characters Unite Awards. Ten winners were selected from hundreds of nominees nationwide, chosen for their extraordinary efforts in combating prejudice and discrimination while increasing tolerance and acceptance in their communities.
Helen was nominated by the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center in Maitland and the local BrightHouse network for her many years of outreach to area students. A Holocaust Survivor from Poland, she has dedicated her life to teaching younger generations about the atrocities of the Holocaust. Helen was only 15 years old when she was taken by the Nazis, and she miraculously survived two labor camps and five concentration camps. She lost her parents and two youngest siblings in Treblinka and was reunited with her four other siblings who survived after the war.
Instead of trying to forget the horror and suffering she experienced, Helen decided to share her story as often as she could. Over the past three decades she has spoken to thousands of local students, teachers and community organizations. Her life’s purpose has been to raise awareness and to be a voice for those who did not survive.
Helen, who now lives in Longwood, says she is grateful for the honor, and believes that her testimony has made a difference.
“I get beautiful letters from the children,” she says. “They tell me thank you for visiting us, for telling us about your life. They say that now that they know about what happened to me, and to all the people who did not live, they will not let something like that ever happen again. This is good. This is why I do it.”