United Way’s Volunteer Celebrates Community Champions
United Way’s Volunteer Center (a Hands-On affiliate) hosted the annual Volunteer United Awards Banquet to honor local volunteer “Champions” who become engaged in our community by working to solve local problems one day or one person at a time.
In our area during 2011, United Way’s Volunteer Center recruited, engaged or managed 11,172 volunteers; brought in 37,343 volunteer hours to the region at a value of $813,704 in human capital; coordinated 33 corporate days of caring; and helped 125 area nonprofits recruit volunteers for their activities.
The Volunteer United Awards Banquet was hosted by United Way’s Volunteer Center, DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies) and the Corporate Volunteer Council (an advisory committee to the United Way). Area volunteers were celebrated for accomplishing extraordinary feats – such as disaster recovery, conservation and adult education – through service.
One corporation, one nonprofit, and eight individuals were recognized for volunteering to solve problems in their communities. They were ACE Hardware for the Corporate Volunteer of the Year; Chris Hill for the Education Volunteer of the Year; Walter Puckett, MD, for the Health Volunteer of the Year;Kaycee Ensign for the Youth Volunteer of the Year; Paul Betbeze for the Community Volunteer of the Year; David and Phyllis Reed for the Environmental Volunteers of the Year; Jeanne McDaniel for the National Service Volunteer of the Year; Nancy Carroll for the Judges’ Choice Volunteer of the Year; Kristina Shaneyfelt for the Disaster Services Volunteer of the Year (Individual); and Open House Volunteers for the Disaster Services Volunteers of the Year (Group).
Crissy Haslam, First Lady of Tennessee, shared a special message with the audience by video. She regretted that she could not join the Volunteer Center, but the lauded United Way and the Volunteer Center for launching their “Raise Your Hand Chattanooga” campaign to recruit volunteers to work with children for education. Mrs. Haslam is an avid supporter of United Way and its education initiatives and shared with the audience why it is so important for everyone to support education in our communities. She ended by thanking the attendees on behalf of the State of Tennessee for their dedication and hard work.
The awards banquet was made possible thanks to the generosity of both our premier sponsors, TVA and Unum, and our supporting sponsors, Comcast and Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company.
United Way's Volunteer Center, DOVIA and the Corporate Volunteer Council also held a special baseball outing at the Lookouts on April 15 as another way of thanking their hard-working volunteers. About 300 volunteers were in attendance.
With many volunteer projects available, area citizens can join the volunteer movement and get involved. If you are interested in becoming a community volunteer, call Windy Brooks at the Volunteer Center at 423.752.0316. You can also volunteer by visiting www.iHelpChattanooga.org and registering your interests, or go to www.LiveUnitedChattanooga.org and register your cell number to become a member of our SMS Volunteer Team.