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By David Madden

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – A Camden based non-profit group has been selected for a federal award highlighting community involvement.

The FBI office in Philadelphia has selected Guadalupe Family Services for its Director’s Community Leadership Award, one of 56 around the country. The organization has spent more than 20 years focusing on helping people in distress.

“It’s amazing what happens when we sit with families, sit with students, sit with somebody really distraught and we can say to them ‘You’re going to get through this. We’re going to help you,'” said Sister Helen Cole, the group’s founder. “The transformation that we have seen gives us so much energy.”

Camden Police Chief Scott Thomson was on hand, and stressed how Sister Helen and her crew have been vital to ongoing efforts to turn the city around.

“We’re trying to make it a safer, better place,” Thomson said. “But when a community has experienced high levels of trauma, it has to heal first. And that is what we get from Sister Helen and her people,” said Thomson.

The organization will receive its honor next month at ceremonies in Washington, along with recipients from coast to coast.

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