OTTAWA – United Way Ottawa surprised Hélène Campbell with a Community Builder Award at the Kindness Week Charity Fair today at City Hall.
The award was presented to Campbell in front of the Wall of Inspiration, and her name will be added to it in March 2014 along with past recipients.
Campbell told 1310News she hates surprises, but said she’s very grateful.
“It’s just really inspiring to know that the community feels that I’ve given back,” said Campbell. “I want to encourage people to keep giving.”
“If it weren’t for the community of Ottawa I wouldn’t be who I am today. I am so grateful to all of you.”
After receiving her award, Campbell decided to start a spontaneous dance party by playing a Tegan and Sara song into the microphone.
The bubbly 21-year-old waved her hands in the air on the stage, as she urged the audience to dance with her.
Campbell underwent successful double-lung transplant and her story has drawn attention to the issue of organ donation.
The social media campaign she launched before her operation prompted thousands to register as organ donors in her home province, and ultimately came to the attention of the federal health minister.
Last July, Leona Aglukkaq announced $10 million in funding to support a national transplant research program.
Campbell appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show Tuesday nearly a year after her surgery.
Kindness Week is a city-wide initiative that encourages community members to choose to be kind and recognizes those who engage in everyday acts of kindness.