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McMillin: Still time to nominate an outstanding volunteer

dfox • Nov 21, 2015 at 6:00 PM

Well, maybe it was, but it’s mostly just me trying to get the word out to as many people as possible that it’s not too late to get your nominations in for outstanding volunteers in our community.

Now going on our eighth year, Wilson County is again seeking nominations of volunteers you may know who do so much for no reward other than knowing they’ve helped their community. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized? The process is simple and will only take a few minutes of your time.

The simplest way to nominate someone is to visit The Lebanon Democrat website at lebanondemocrat.com, where you will find two choices on the right side of the webpage that state: County Award Recipient Form. One is an application for an adult and the other for a youth – 25 years or younger. The deadline to submit an application is Nov. 30.

In the past we’ve had a handful of nominees in either the youth or the adult categories, but this year we want to knock it out of the park, so to speak. We would love to have a room filled with volunteers who deserve a little pat on the back. There’s good reason to recognize these volunteers. Sure they do nice things and are generally a cooperative, nice bunch of folks. However, there’s more to this volunteering thing that most of us realize.

Economically, volunteers contribute their time at a rate the Internal Revenue Service deems worth a little more than $22 an hour. For our state this volunteer time adds up to millions of dollars. In 2013, for example, as a nation we reaped over $173 billion in services offered by volunteers. Not only that, believe it or not, but volunteers actually spur job growth.

From a social point, not only does the act of volunteering make the volunteer feel better, it also inspires others and leads to a chain of giving, doing and improving our communities. For our younger residents, volunteering makes sense on another level. Volunteering is not only helpful for communities, it also builds skills, confidence and is a quality many employers look for in a competitive job marketplace.

For more information or if you would rather submit a paper application, contact me at United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland at 615-443-1871.

The Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards is an initiative from Volunteer Tennessee that seeks to recognize outstanding volunteers from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties.  Participating counties conduct a call for nominations and recognize one outstanding youth and one outstanding adult volunteer.  Those named will be honored locally in early 2016 and, from these nominees, one adult and one youth, will be recognized at the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards ceremony in Franklin on Feb. 28.

John McMillin is president of United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberlands. Email him at [email protected].

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