Let’s hear it for area volunteers

KEARNEYSVILLE – Today I received a flyer in the mail about the opportunity to make nominations for the 2013 West Virginia Governor’s Service Awards.

Seeing this reminded me of how many extraordinary volunteers we are honored to have here in the Eastern Panhandle. They make our lives and our community better every day. To quote the flyer, “Every day extraordinary individuals, organizations, families and businesses effect real change in their communities through volunteer service. They are the catalysts that help people and groups move past their differences to build shared understanding and solve common problems. Volunteers give West Virginia hope for the future.”

I suspect we all know of someone, some organization, some family or some business that exemplifies the spirit of volunteerism. I want to encourage everyone reading this to nominate someone that you know who has gone above and beyond to make our community or someone’s life better through their good deeds.

The categories are:

Youth (three categories, ages 6 to 11; 12 to 14, 15 to 18): Recognizes young individuals who have made significant contributions through volunteer efforts or programs that serve as models and inspiration to other young volunteers. Youth should be nominated according to their age during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Young adult: Recognizes the volunteer contributions of an individual aged 19-30 for service in 2012.

Adult: Recognizes the volunteer contributions of an individual aged 31-59 during 2012.

Senior: Recognizes the volunteer contributions of an individual aged 60 or older during 2012.

National service: Recognizes a member of a national service program, such as state or national AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America, Senior Companions or foster grandparents whose service results were above and beyond the expected scope of service in 2012.

Lifetime achievement: Recognizes an individual who, over the course of his or her lifetime, has made significant contributions to West Virginia through volunteer efforts.

Family: Recognizes at least two members of the same family who provided volunteer service together in 2012.

Organization: Recognizes any group of volunteers providing service in 2012, including but not limited to nonprofits, civic and faith-based organization, labor unions, clubs and schools.

Business (one category is for firms with fewer than 50 employees, the other with more than 50 employees): Recognizes businesses that supported volunteerism through their policies and practices in 2012.

For an official nomination form and additional criteria, visit the Volunteer West Virginia website at volunteerwv.org or call 304-558-0111.

Nomination packets must be postmarked by April 12 to Volunteer West Virginia, 710 Central Ave., Charleston 25302.

A list of the 2013 Governor’s Service Award recipients will be posted on Volunteer West Virginia’s website by June 14. The recipient of the Governor’s Service Award will accept the honor from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin at a banquet Aug. 7 at the Charleston Civic Center.

There are many deserving individuals and groups in the Eastern Panhandle. Nominate your favorites to get them some well-deserved recognition.

— Miller is director of Jefferson County Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Kearneysville. Contact her at 304-728-3290 or bmiller@jeffersoncountywv.org.

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