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The Highland Lakes Crisis Network was presented the 2022 Hometown Hero award by the Texas Division of Emergency Management at a conference in San Antonio on June 2. 

The Hometown Hero award recognizes groups that exhibit extraordinary service and leadership in helping fellow residents during an emergency situation, disaster, or crisis. Previous winners of the award include Meals on Wheels Corpus Christi in 2021 and Gulf Coast Rescue Squad in 2020.

“To see volunteers who have given so much to the organization being recognized for doing something special is a wonderful thing,” said Crisis Network Executive Director Kevin Naumann. “At the same time, all glory goes back to people seeing where God wants them to serve and then them stepping in and doing that.”

The network of churches was given this award due to its efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization worked to cook, package, and deliver over 175,000 meals to residents across the Highland Lakes during this period. The group also deployed hundreds of people to help with COVID testing in the area.

“At the end of the day, we built this network so that relationships are established,” Naumann said. “That way, when the next big disaster like COVID-19 happens, we can be ready to respond to it.”

The organization consists of over 750 volunteers as well as roughly 40 churches across Burnet and Llano counties. The group was recently deployed to Blanco County after two wildfires ravaged hundreds of acres of land in the county.

“Our primary response area is Burnet and Llano counties,” Naumann said. “Recently, when those big fires happened in Blanco (County), we deployed some volunteers and a food truck with rehab supplies like food and water for people responding to those fires.”

The Crisis Network also works closely with Fire Chief Russell Sander and Marble Falls Fire Rescue.

“Chief Sander deserves a huge thank you,” Naumann said. “He has allowed us to step in and help during a lot of these emergency situations. We’re very appreciative of all the work he has done.”

Visit the Highland Lakes Crisis Network website to learn how to volunteer with the organization.