The Heart in the Palm of Your Hand - Volunteer Award is an award dedicated to exceptional people - volunteers, as well as to exceptional volunteer projects. It is an award with a tradition of more than twenty years, which takes place on the occasion of the International Day of Volunteers (5 December) as well as the International Day of Coordinators of Volunteers (5 November).

The award is for those who volunteer their time and energy, without financial reward, to people in need, as well as to great ideas and exceptional projects that make our world a more beautiful and more compassionate place.

The award is given at the regional level as well as at the national level, where it is presented at the Volunteer of the Year event.

The regional awards are usually organised by the regional volunteer centres, which usually present the awards to the most outstanding volunteers at the end of the year in a festive atmosphere in the regional towns across Slovakia.

Since 2018, Martin Giertl, Plenipotentiary of the Slovak Government Office for the Development of Civil Society, has taken over the patronage of these events in the regions.

National awards

Since 2008, the Volunteer of the Year Award has been organised by the National Volunteer Association. The awards are organised at the national level by CARDO - National Volunteer Centre and from 2020 also in cooperation with the Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organisations and regional volunteer centres.

The Volunteer of the Year event is held under the auspices of the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic.


The Platform's place in the awards

Since 2018, the Platform of Volunteer Centres and Organisations has been supporting the Volunteer Centres and their regional Heart in the Palm of Your Hand award campaigns by collaborating on promotion. For this purpose, we have created the website, which provides comprehensive information about the award, its history, as well as the award winners themselves in the regions active in the award. It aims to provide all relevant and continuously updated information in one place.


This project was supported by the grant of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport "Programmes for Youth 2014 - 2020", administered by IUVENTA - Slovak Youth Institute.