For the first time in two years, it has begun to feel like our community is back to normal, or some form of “new normal” that we have all come to know. I am filled with gratitude that we were able to host our first Board of Directors meeting this year in person at our United Way office. Being able to see the faces, shake hands, and simply connect in a personal way brought me so much joy after a difficult two years. As I think of all the strides we have made in getting to this point, I am reminded that one of our most exciting ways of getting the faces of United Way out into the community is through volunteering.
Our volunteers are the hands and feet of what we do- improving the education, basic needs, and health of individuals and families within Whitfield and Murray Counties. Without our volunteers, United Way’s impact during one of the greatest challenges our community has ever seen would have resulted in so many not receiving necessary services to meet critical needs. Our volunteers deserve to be celebrated, especially since they have been on the front lines serving our community.
Our Youth United Volunteer Vacation event hosted several volunteer projects over the course of Spring Break. These projects allowed students the opportunity to earn 20+ volunteer hours through United Way Community Partners. Throughout the week, students signed up for volunteer opportunities including: restocking books in our Little Free Libraries, assisting in daily group activities at RossWoods Adult Day Services, planting flowers at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, playing games with kids at Boys and Girls Club, and hosting a pickleball game and cookout for participants at Cross Plains Community Partner. United Way mobilized 60 youth volunteers to help create a meaningful impact!
National Volunteer Week is April 19-25. National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities, and be a force that transforms the world. United Way of Northwest Georgia is committed to fostering the spirit of volunteerism and the desire to unite our community. Our volunteers inspire us by continuing to lead the charge in bettering our community. We want to celebrate the efforts of those who stepped up even when it seemed impossible.
We hope you will join Stephanie Hogshead, Patti Renz, and Jonathan Sierra for our Virtual Volunteer Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, April 19th at 6:00 pm via Facebook Live Premiere (@unitedwaynwga).
We will be awarding two Elbert Shaw Memorial Scholarship winners, the Connie Woodward Award for Outstanding Volunteerism in Whitfield County, the Elaine Butler Award for Outstanding Volunteerism in Murray County, and we will also be recognizing the Presidential Service Awards that will be awarded at local schools’ awards ceremonies. We hope you can join us as we spotlight these amazing individuals who continue to create a lasting impact even in the midst of difficult times.
Our volunteers inspire us daily and remind us why it is important that we continue to meet the greatest needs of our community. Wondering how you can serve your local community? By giving your time, talent, or financial resources, you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. By giving to the United Way of Northwest Georgia, your dollar stretches so much further to help individuals and families who need it most. Another way is by using your voice and advocating for issues that you are passionate about in our community. And, of course, Volunteering is one of the easiest ways to make a difference. Whether it is taking out the trash for your neighbor, making cards for the elderly, or even sorting canned goods at your local food pantry- a little act of kindness goes a long way. So please Give, Advocate, and of course, Volunteer. Live United!
To view upcoming opportunities, please visit: volunteernwga.org.
Amanda Burt is the President of the United Way of Northwest Georgia. The mission of United Way is Improving Lives. Inspiring Donors. Uniting Community.