USO Naples Volunteer of the Quarter, Spring 2017: April Hofford-Orona Goes Above and Beyond for NSA Naples Community
April Hofford-Orona is one of our most recognizable volunteers at USO Naples; a key player for events large and small that impact our NSA Naples community in countless ways.
From our weekly snack attack to family night bingo, every opportunity April takes on with USO Naples is transformed into a special celebration for our military families, thanks to her tremendous creativity and fierce commitment to delivering magical experiences that make our community feel at home.
“I genuinely enjoy giving to my community and seeing happy faces,” she says. “I think the little things in life really are the big things, and if I can add something to make someone’s day a little brighter or to make an event a little more colorful, why not?”
Of all the programs USO Naples provides, April gravitates towards the programs that support a very special cohort: our military children.
“Her appreciation for our young, military heroes is immediately evident and she works hard to provide a memorable program on a weekly basis,” says Niki Leiva, USO Naples center manager, who recalls April’s eagerness to support USO’s weekly After-School Snack Attack, an event that has grown from serving 65 teens and children to more than 200 every Thursday. “She wanted to bring a taste of home to the children each week and began baking cookies and cupcakes in her hotel room while still living in TLA. As a former military spouse, April’s experiences help her to better serve the members in our community.
“[I] know first-hand how challenging, unpredictable, and lonely military life can sometimes be,” she says. “So, if I am able to add a little extra to make things more special for those serving our military, then I welcome the opportunity.”
Sabrina Pullido, area director, USO Naples, Rome, Sigonella, Vicenza, recognizes April as an outstanding volunteer that stands out among USO centers in Italy.
“April’s commitment to our military community runs deep,” she says. “She volunteers not only her time, but also her ideas, her creativity, and her drive. She propels our committee to newer heights with her ingenuity, and we look forward to all the ways our USO will continue to serve the families at NSA Naples.”
April says what keeps her going is the family aspect of being a part of the USO Naples Committee.
“While I absolutely love the variety of events I get to take part in, the creativity I have the opportunity to use, and the new faces I get to meet, it’s the USO family that makes everything so much more enjoyable,” she says. “I have met amazing people through the USO that I know will be friends for life. The kindness, positivity, generosity, and enthusiasm of USO volunteers really makes every event, meeting, and activity so much fun. With the USO I really do feel like part of a big family, not just part of an organization, and I think that’s what makes volunteering with the USO so special.”