Val J. Halamandaris, President of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) joined millions of people around the world in lamenting the loss of author, poet, and Caring Award honoree Maya Angelou.
“We will never forget Maya Angelou,” said Halamandaris. “She was a lyrical voice for civil rights, as well as a national treasure who defied simple labels. Though she faced prejudice and poverty, she became a singer, dancer, director, actress, teacher, and world-class writer. She was also a deeply caring person who urged others to volunteer. In 2002, her commitment to service earned her recognition from the Caring Institute, a nonprofit organization that NAHC supports. The Caring Award she received that year was acknowledgement of her ability to rise above obstacles, her crusade against want, and her loving encouragement of others.”
When she received the award, she talked about the importance of serving others and bringing more love into the world. “Our greatest urge is to be loved,” she pointed out. “The most hateful person, the most actively cruel person, acts out of a need to be loved. The need to be loved is fundamental. I believe it is love that links those molecules in the DNA. It is love that holds us together as human beings,” Angelou said.
And she will be remembered with love, said Halamandaris. “Maya Angelou taught us how to live and how to care for other people. She reminded us that we must not be defeated despite the obstacles we face. Few people have been more successful in finding ways to serve. Her life and work have uplifted the nation and inspired millions to be better people. She called on all of us to ‘give something’ because ‘good done anywhere is good done everywhere.’”