We are honored, and humbled, to wish our visionary founder, Gene Krizek, a hearty 93rd Happy Birthday.

A former Congressional Administrative Assistant, a retired Foreign Service Officer and a retired Colonel in the United States Air Force, Eugene “Gene” Krizek served as the Director of White House Liaison with the State Department in 1961-1962 and as State Department Congressional Relations Director from 1962 to 1981.

Following his retirement from government service, Gene founded Americans Helping Americans® in 1990 as a direct response to the extreme poverty in Appalachia that he saw firsthand during his visits to the distressed communities in the region.  He aimed to ease the chronic needless suffering of those children, families, and seniors down on their luck who were not looking for a handout, just a helping hand up. That vision continues still today.

In the three decades since the incorporation of Americans Helping Americans®, Gene has led the way to support the neediest in dozens of communities throughout Appalachia.  With his leadership, AHA has provided tens of thousands of emergency food boxes, thousands of winter coats and boots, thousands of home repairs to elderly and disabled homeowners living on meager fixed incomes, as well as support free afterschool programs and summer camps for impoverished children, providing computers for children to help bridge the digital divide, and much, much more.

While Gene may have retired from his position as President in December 2014, he remains an inspiration to us all at Americans Helping Americans®, and as he stated in his retirement letter:

“I have indeed been blessed to have lived a life of meaning – of achieving many of my personal goals, including helping to make a difference in the lives of so many others in need in so many ways during my exciting tenure with this fine, charitable organization.”

Happy 93rd Birthday Gene Krizek!

“Here are some of our partners wishing him a very happy birthday”