Nov. 14, 2022
By John Bailey
No matter how large a non-profit or public agency’s staff is, each one will tell you without their volunteers their ability to help those in need would be greatly diminished.
So as a way to say thank you to all those who give so much, so selflessly every day, the Catawba County United Way recently hosted the annual Giving from the Heart (GFH) Volunteer Awards at The Heritage Barn in Conover.
Along with announcing the 30 nominations made by local non-profits at the event, awards were also presented in all three categories (individual, youth and group).
The individual adult awardee was Mike Turney – nominated by The Corner Table Soup Kitchen.
The youth awardee was Samantha Hawn – nominated by The Corner Table Kitchen.
The group (adult) awardee was The Hope Center Van Volunteer Drivers nominated by The Hope Center at the Hickory Soup Kitchen.
“We wouldn’t exist without their help. We rely so heavily on our volunteers,” The Corner Table Soup Kitchen executive director Summer Jenkins said. “We have a very small staff, so with all of our programs, with our community kitchen it takes an average of 20 volunteers a day to operate.”
The category winners will each have $500 from the PNG Foundation donated in their name to the non-profit of their choice.
The 2022 GFH individual nominees included: Jennifer Bandy – nominated by Walk With Me Healing Steps, Jennifer Beane – nominated by Council on Adolescents of Catawba County, Todd Byrd – nominated by Family Care Center, Crystal Cook – nominated by Safe Harbor, Donald DeFago – nominated by Conflict Resolution Center, Anita Deal – nominated by Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian, Stephen Lee Deitz – nominated by Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry, Sharon Gilmore – nominated by Safe Harbor, Barbara Goforth nominated by Safe Harbor, Stephanie Holland – nominated by Women’s Resource Center, Marcia Hubbard – nominated by Volunteer Outreach in Community Efforts, Mark Ivey – nominated by Beverly Danner City of Newton Council Member, Emily Kanupp – nominated by Catawba County 4-H, Dr. Ronald Key – nominated by Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian, Betty Lynch – nominated by Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry, Leslie Porter – nominated by Volunteer Outreach In Community Efforts, Joyce Prince – nominated by Volunteer Outreach In Community Efforts, Bea Sherrill – nominated by Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry, Dr. Robbin Todhunter – nominated by Safe Harbor and Mike Turney – nominated by The Corner Table Soup Kitchen.
Group GFH nominees included: Catawba County Guardian ad Litem Volunteers – nominated by Guardian Ad Litem, The HOPE Center Van Volunteer Drivers – nominated by The Hope Center at the Hickory Soup Kitchen, iChurch Project Wave and Project iCare – nominated by Catawba County Social Services, Mt. Zion Baptist Church’s Meals on Wheels volunteers – nominated by Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services, CAPC Prevention Council – nominated by Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center and V.O.I.C.E. – nominated by Marcia Hubbard.
Youth GFH nominees included: Elizabeth Garmon – nominated by The HOPE Center at the Hickory Soup Kitchen, Samantha Hawn – nominated by The Corner Table Soup Kitchen, Jack Thomas Hillis – nominated by Conflict Resolution Center and Selah Sigmon – nominated by Catawba County 4-H.
For Mike Turney, the most rewarding part of being a volunteer at The Corner Table is experiencing the collaborative effort to help those in need every day.
“We try to learn their names and treat them with dignity and respect. It’s more than just a meal,” Turney said.
NC Governor’s Volunteer Awards
The Catawba County Volunteer Center annually submits nominations for the NC Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service from the GFH list of nominees. They were also recognized at this year’s GFH event.
The 2022 NC Governor’s Award for Volunteer Service recipients from Catawba County included: Brooks Nichols – volunteer at Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry; Jack Edwards – volunteer at Exodus Homes; Jackson Stewart – volunteer at Catawba Valley YMCA and Hickory Soup Kitchen; Douglas Edward "Eddie" Marlowe – volunteer at Centro Latino and Family Guidance Center; Melanie Elrod – volunteer for Safe Harbor and Carla Hafer – volunteer for The Corner Table Soup Kitchen.
To learn more about local volunteer services call the Catawba County United Way at 828-327-6851 or visit ccunitedway.com.