Local volunteers honored for selfless good deeds - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Local volunteers honored for selfless good deeds

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

They're recognized as being the heart of our community- those who give of their time to give back to others.

And on Thursday night, volunteers were honored during a ceremony sponsored by HandsOn River Region and the Junior League of Montgomery.

The annual Volunteer of the Year celebration was held at Trinity Presbyterian Church. 

It honored individuals and groups who have dedicated their time to many organizations and also marked HandsOn River Region's decades of service to the community. 

HandsOn River Region connects volunteers with service opportunities throughout the five-county River Region: Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore, Lowndes and Macon Counties. The organization recruits and mobilizes volunteers for various volunteer needs and projects. Their programs include Alabama 211 Information and Referral, volunteer management, disaster preparedness and response, HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) and Christmas Clearinghouse which helps provide thousands of needy children with gifts. 

"This year marks our 40th anniversary of service to the River Region. We are celebrating now only our anniversary today but also a lot of the people that make our work so rewarding and so many organizations in the community able to do great things. And we're thrilled to have 24 individuals and groups that we're recognizing," said Caroline Clark, Executive Director of HandsOn River Region.

"It is a great joy for me to see this agency grow from one desk in the hall of the United Way building which was then the United Appeal to a multi-faceted agency that recruits thousands of volunteers and places them throughout this community every year," added Judy Kyser, who served as the agency's first president.
Award winners in six categories (Youth Volunteer, Youth Group, Adult Volunteer, Adult Group, Senior Volunteer and Lifetime Achievement Award) received awards and all nominees were individually recognized.  

Among those honored was a local foundation called "A HERO" (America's Heroes Enjoying Recreation Outdoors) that serves America's wounded veterans by offering them the healing opportunity that comes from time spent in the outdoors with fellow veterans. 

Ann Longshore was named Volunteer of the Year in the senior volunteer category for her work with the First United Methodist Church Respite Ministry. Three days a week, she works with patients suffering from Dementia, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease, giving their caretakers a "respite." She also volunteers with the Special Olympics, Meals on Wheels and at the Father Walter Memorial Child Care Center in Montgomery, spending time with wheelchair-bound children. 

"Everything I do is just because I love it and I love the people that I work with and it's an honor. It's a pleasure definitely to be able to be able to do this. I'm so happy that I can do and give what I can to it," Longshore told WSFA. 

The event also highlighted 12 area non-profit organizations where members of the community can volunteer. Attendees received information regarding each agency and their volunteer needs.

If you would like to get involved, contact HandsOn at 264-3335 or register as a volunteer at www.handsonriverregion.org. 

 

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