VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The co-executive director of a local nonprofit is up for international recognition.
Nicole Pixler is currently one of three finalists in the SAP – Manchester City’s Community Hero Award. She is the co-executive director ot “StandUp for Kids Hampton Roads”, which works to end youth homelessness in the area.
“It’s incredibly humbling, honestly. It’s gonna make me cry,” said Pixler. “Yeah its amazing, it really is. Just to be named one of the three in the world.”
She started volunteering with the organization three years ago.
“There are kids that actually say you know ‘you’re making a difference in my life’,” said Pixler.
Winning the contest would mean a volunteer trip in Thailand for her and international recognition for StandUp for Kids. She hopes that recognition will turn into donations that will go toward a permanent home for the nonprofit.
“Right now we have a borrowed location which we’re super, super grateful for,” said Pixler. “But the thought of having our own location for them, for where we could be face-to-face with them seven days per week would be amazing. Just to know that they could have a one-stop-shop and get career training and food and friendship and clothing.”
StandUp for Kids has been in the area since 1991. Last year, they helped at least 1,500 kids and teens. Last month, they helped 200 kids.
Pixler says those numbers are way too high.
“I think youth and teen homelessness is something people don’t want to think about,” she said. “It is a huge issue here and it’s one that needs to be addressed. I feel like if we can keep a teen or a youth from being homeless, then we can help them from being a homeless adult.”
She hopes sharing their mission worldwide brings those numbers down.