NORFOLK, Va. - Erika Bartley wiped away tears as she accepted the News 3 People Take Action Humanitarian Award on behalf of her mom Constance Solheim.
Solheim was a teacher instrumental with the Operation Smile club at Virginia Beach's Princess Anne Middle School.
Operation Smile is a program where students like Grant Rose spend their lunch breaks and free time after school making books and toys to send to kids overseas recovering from surgery.
Solheim, who battled with cancer, passed away last year.
Her daughter was honored to receive the Humanitarian Award on her behalf.
"I knew she was amazing, so it just means everybody else now knows!" she said.
The award is for $2,500 dollars from News 3, plus a $1,000 donation to the charity of her choice courtesy of Southern Bank.
Southern Bank Executive Vice-president Taylor Harrell believes it's important to invest in the community.
"It's all about giving back to the community. People Taking Action is a way to tell stories, to share the positive things going on in the community, to make this a better place," Harrell said.
Erika already knows where that $1,000 donation from Southern Bank will go, continuing the work of her mom.
"We started a scholarship in honor of her name because she would still want to touch kids' lives, even not here. We're trying to offer it to many kids as we can. She would want everyone to benefit," she said.