News and Notes: More than 200 people Monarch supports receive Governor’s Volunteer Certificate during National Volunteer Week
Some bake cookies, others work with The Boys & Girls club, or help make pancakes for Kiwanis fundraisers; still others, like David Kling and E.J. Koeleveld volunteer each week to support their communities.
Kling and Koeleveld, who were presented with the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, the state’s highest honor for volunteer service, are among dozens of people with disabilities supported statewide by Monarch, who give their talent and energy each week. In 2013, Monarch volunteers gave exactly 33,215.44 hours of time to community organizations and projects in North Carolina.
That dedication and level of service to communities across the state yielded an economic impact of $634,082.75, according to the Independent Sector, a national organization that estimates value of volunteer time for North Carolina at $19.09 per service hour.
To recognize this hard work and dedication, Governor Pat McCrory’s Constituency Service Office presented 239 people we support with the Governor’s Volunteer Certificate this month.
“Community involvement helps uncover the talents of the people we support, revealing them to others, while helping to make meaningful connections in the lives of the people they assist,” explained Eileen Bress, Monarch’s volunteer & community coordinator.
Riding on the heels of these awards was National Volunteer Week. Observed April 6-12, 2014, the week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage their communities, something people supported by Monarch and staff regularly practice all year long.
Through volunteer work, the people we support are able to connect with the community in ways they might not have otherwise- just like those who are members of the Aktion Club.
Part of the Kiwanis, The Aktion Club, is the only service club for adults with disabilities, with more than 11,000 members worldwide and the club’s goal is to teach its members leadership and volunteer skills and allow opportunities for them to give back to their communities. Club members elect officers, hold monthly meetings and plan for upcoming volunteer events.
This month the club participated in the Kiwanis Pancake Day, an annual fundraiser in Asheboro. Members volunteered by selling tickets, rolling silverware and serving tables during the event. They have also helped in collecting school supplies to fill backpacks for the local Boys & Girls Clubs.
Sharon Brady, a person supported in Randolph County, is the club’s secretary. She explained that part of her responsibilities is to call roll during meetings, take minutes, help send out cards and information and keep up with all correspondence. “I like helping other people and making a difference in people’s lives,” she said.
National Volunteer Week was established by President Richard Nixon with an executive order in 1974. This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, demonstrating the enduring importance of recognizing our country’s volunteers for their vital contributions.