Since her childhood, Betsy Chandler Vatavuk has been dedicated to helping the youth and disadvantaged in her community through the 4-H Club and other humanitarian programs. Mrs. Vatavuk, 58, has volunteered thousands of hours over the last 50 years to serving others.
At the young age of 10, Mrs. Vatavuk began tutoring at her school and she has not stopped since then. Most recently, she tutored at one of the lowest performing schools in North Carolina, helping many at-risk students improve their grades and self-confidence. She has also aided the youth in her community by serving on various committees that include but are not limited to the Durham Youth Management Board.
Mrs. Vatavuk teaches children at 4-H camps and classes. Today, she is the 4-H Community Resource Development Volunteer and President of the 4-H Advisory Board. Mrs. Vatavuk has also served as a volunteer 4-H Leader and on the Board of Directors of the State 4-H Development Fund, where again she helped deserving youth. She has been a very diligent and successful 4-H Club fundraiser at the local and state levels for the past 40 years. Mrs. Vatavuk has raised thousands of dollars for the needy youth to enable them to attend 4-H camps, conferences and classes. She has helped provide money for nine scholarships for needy outstanding youth through a 4-H scholarship fund she and her family established in memory of her parents.
Mrs. Vatavuk single-handedly organized and prepared for “Make a Difference Day” activities at Durham’s Opportunity Place, a home for abused and homeless mothers and their children. For this event, she helped provide clothing, books and toys for all the residents. She also helped obtain contributions for necessities for the residents from local businesses. Also, she is the precinct volunteer for “Kids Voting – Durham,” a program that teaches youth about democracy and the voting process.
For many years, Mrs. Vatavuk has assisted with relief efforts, many of them international. She has collected and organized many “Operation Christmas Child” donations for children around the world who live in poverty. She has also provided hundreds of toys to needy children at Christmas from her own funds. Moreover, Mrs. Vatavuk has organized many drives to provide warm clothing to the homeless.
Despite having been diagnosed with cancer eight years ago, Mrs. Vatavuk has dedicated her life to helping the youth and the needy in her community. She believes and lives the fact that one person can truly make a difference. Through her selfless service, she sets an example for others.