Board Recognizes County’s Top Volunteers
Volunteers who help the old, the young, the homeless, the homebound, the needy and the unemployed were recognized for their service Tuesday night.
A meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners was the occasion for the presentation of the 2011 Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards to five individuals and one group.
John Calhoun, who oversees the transportation committee for Family Promise of Moore County, was singled out as the RSVP Medallion winner. He will represent Moore County in the state level competition.
The other volunteer winners are John Mattoon, Britt Meckerman, Donna Staunton, Dr. Robin Moore and Meals on Wheels of the Sandhills.
The volunteer program is administered by the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, an arm of the Moore County Department of Aging. RSVP director Shiela Klein and Bob Sasser, chairman of the RSVP Advisory Council, made the presentations.
“I’ve always believed that in order to be a success, you must be a giver,” said Commissioner Larry Caddell, as he made a motion to adopt a resolution designating April 10-16 as National Volunteer Week in Moore County. “These people represent the epitome of giving.”
Calhoun’s service as Family Promise’s transportation chairman includes coordinating the Wheels to Work program, which solicits used vehicles from the public, restores them and donates them to low-income workers who need wheels to continue working.
Since assuming these duties five years ago, he has been responsible for collecting 71 vehicles for placement with low income workers in the community. He spends hours repairing and cleaning the donated cars, something that saves substantial labor costs for the nonprofit.
Calhoun makes sure the two Family Promise vans remain in good repair and also chairs the personnel committee and serves on the fundraising committee.
He was nominated in the faith-based category. Family Promise is funded by churches and other faith-based groups in Moore County to provide temporary assistance to homeless families.
Meals on Wheels has been delivering more than 20,000 meals yearly since 1974. The meals go to individuals who are homebound and/or unable to prepare meals for themselves.
The nomination notes that these “volunteers provide a smiling face and companionship to people who often don’t have any other social contact.” In addition, volunteers often provide a needed link to emergency care. They use their own vehicles for deliveries.
Mattoon, a volunteer with the Moore County Chapter of the American Red Cross, was recognized in the senior category. Prior to his arrival, the local chapter’s budget was being depleted because of technology maintenance costs.
Mattoon turned that situation around by using his own computer technology, enabling the Red Cross to save money on information technology and use that money for critical needs.
The nomination notes that Mattoon has donated humor as well as talent and resources.
Meckerman began her volunteer service with Habitat for Humanity in 1992. She recruits volunteers, coordinates lunches for volunteers through churches, serves on the Habitat board and now acts as receptionist.
As a result of an early adulthood accident, she works from a wheelchair, a factor in her choice for the perseverance category. The nomination commends her further for a “cheery demeanor” throughout her service.
“Because of my experience, I’m much more compassionate and always for the underdog to help them better their lives,” Meckerman said.
A registered nurse, Staunton was instrumental in formation of the Caregiver Support Group for the Department of Aging. She was recognized in the individual category.
Staunton has acted as a facilitator for more than two years and the group continues to provide monthly support to people who provide 24-hour seven-day-a-week care.
“Donna exhibits patience, compassion, kindness, empathy, warmth and dependability in her respite role,” says the nomination.
Moore was honored in the director of volunteers category. He served on the original Communities In Schools of Moore County Board of Directors and later helped as a volunteer and grant writer.
With an extensive background in both criminal justice and education, Moore has personally recruited more than 100 mentors in the past year to serve students at Southern Middle School.
“The effects of the mentoring can be seen when negative behaviors are modified and Moore County students become capable, responsible and compassionate,” his nomination says. “He has made it his mission to turn around students in danger of failing. He is a quiet, ethical leader, and his commitment to the success of students is his gift to Moore County.”
The resolution adopted by the commissioners says “volunteers are vital to our future as a caring and productive nation” and calls the nation’s volunteer force of 63 million-plus “a great treasure.”
Contact Florence Gilkeson at email@example.com.
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