Student Hands On Thomas County is proud to present Project IMPACT Summer Service Camp! A week of fun and hands-on volunteer service.
June 5-9, 2023 from
8:30am – 3:00pm.
Open to rising 6-9th graders
Students may earn up to 20 community service hours for their participation (pending prior approval from their school) that may be applied to the upcoming school year. REGISTRATION for prior camper families opens March 1; for new campers in April. There are also limited scholarships available. Please contact our office for more information.
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
MLK Service Day By the Numbers:
385 volunteers – 958 service hours 1286 individuals served – 15 projects
Help Hands On Thomas County celebrate its 20th anniversary by making a commitment to volunteer in 2023! Our goal is to meet or exceed 20,000 service hours in our community this year.
We started the new year under a beautiful winter sky as we honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Projects were scheduled all weekend long, from January 14-16, and focused on literacy, hunger, human services and unification. Check out the project highlights and photos below.
Book Drive – Our annual book drive was a great success! More than 195 new and gently used books were donated and given to local youth organizations like the MNW Boys and Girls Club, the MLK Festival and the Meigs Literacy Fair. Thank you to the Thomas County Public Library for the donation of books, and thank you to The Bookshelf for partnering with us again this year as a book drop-off location!
Manna Drop – Members of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, American Beauty Chapter No. 214 and Joppa Lodge No. 14, as well as individuals and families, gathered to distribute free food to those in need on Saturday, January 14. Held at Restoration Tabernacle in partnership with the MLK Faith Walk, more than 250 individuals received bags of canned goods, fresh bread and pastries, dairy items and more.
Meigs Literacy Fair and Read-A-Thon – This annual event held at the Meigs Community Center is a fun morning for all ages! Volunteers were encouraged to dress as their favorite book character and read to more than 30 kids in attendance. Much thanks to our fellow HOTC Board Chair, Joe Cargile with Whitehurst, Blackburn and Warren for delivering pizzas!
Crafts for a Cause – This year, volunteers made no-sew scarves by taking pieces of fleece, cutting fringe on the ends and tying the fringe pieces into knots. Another DIY project was “soups & socks” kits that are made with one pair of socks, two cans of soup and notes of encouragement. These items will be donated to local human services agencies, like Fountain of Life Rescue and Thomasville Street Church, to distribute to those in need during the cold winter months. We will also place some of these items in the HOTC Blessing Box located by our office next to the Big Oak. More than 90 total Crafts for a Cause items were donated. Thank you to the ladies of AKA and to the First Baptist Church DNow youth for their group donations!
We would also like to recognize the MLK Walk and Festival! The organizers, led by Geneva King, created a fun-filled and jam-packed lineup of events all in honor of Dr. King’s legacy – from comedy acts on Friday night, to the walk Saturday morning and festival Saturday afternoon, to gospel and worship services on Sunday. We are thankful for our ongoing partnership with the MLK Walk and Festival!
Special thanks to these Diamond Level & above Sponsors, The Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation, and all of our donors and sponsors for making volunteer programs and events like these possible.
Mr. Lyle Williams IV
Dr. & Mrs. Philip C. Watt
Click to see full image! See more pics on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
HOTC is currently accepting resumes for the position of Programs and Events Director. This is a full-time (40 hours), salaried position. If you are motivated and friendly, extremely organized, have great computer skills, and a love for volunteers and non-profits, we’d love to hear from you! We will train the right person.
Please be sure you have read and understand the full job description and salary/benefits before applying.
It was a wonderful start to the new year as we honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, January 17. More than 506 volunteers participated on this national and federal holiday through service projects that focused on literacy, hunger, human services, and unification.
Check out the project highlights and photos below.
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
It was a beautiful morning to serve our community as members from Delta Theta Sorority, along with other individuals and families, came together to sort, pack, and distribute bags of free food staples to help feed our neighbors in need. Over 85 households received items such as beef stew, grapefruit juice, canned vegetables, and nearly 10lbs of frozen meat (bacon, ham, chicken, etc.) from our partner, Second Harvest!
Our Project Warmth collection drive was a huge success! We collected 126 beanies, 500 pairs of socks, 28 pairs of gloves, and 50 no-sew scarves which were distributed to Fountain of Life Rescue, DogTagSS, First Option Care, 3R Ministries, Vashti, and other local human service agencies to keep our friends and neighbors warm through these winter days and nights. Thank you to the members of the Thomasville High School National Honor Society, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority (from Thomasville and Moultrie), and so many others for making this new project so grand!
We also had a great response with our Book Drive. More than 396 new and gently used books were donated and given to our local youth organizations like the MNW Boys and Girls Club. We even have enough used books to fill all of Rotary’s Little Free Libraries around town!
The Meigs Literacy Fair and Read-A-Thon took place at the Meigs Community Center and had over 29 volunteers who dressed up as their favorite book character and read to over 50 kids in attendance! Many thanks to our fellow HOTC Board Member, Joe Cargile with Whitehurst, Blackburn, and Warren for delivering pizzas to top off the day!
Even though we were sad to see the MLK Humantarian Festival postponed until February, we were very happy to see that over 25 volunteers participated in the MLK Faith Walk to show unity for our community. This month-long event took place as a DIY/virtual project and we were glad to see the impact it had for MLKs dream of peace, justice, and equality.
We can’t thank our sponsors, volunteers, non-profits, and groups enough for coming together on this day in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We can’t wait to do it all again next year.
Special thanks to these Diamond Level & above Sponsors: 1915 South/Ashley HomeStore, Belazul, Check-Mate Industries, Flowers Foods, Mr. & Mrs Clint Kadel, Dr. & Mrs. Philip Watt, and The Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation for making volunteer programs and events like these possible.
What a super night we had on Tuesday, April 20 as we honored our local volunteer Hands On Heroes at our 8th annual Cheers For Volunteers at the Big Oak. Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with us!
Hands On Heroes is an annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. More than 60 nominations were submitted by non-profit agencies and community leaders in student, individual, and group categories. Award winners, as well as honorable mentions were selected by a committee based, not just on hours served, but also for their inspiration, commitment, impact, passion, and leadership.
Each nominee received a certificate, a bag of goodies, and their very own Hands On Hero cape compliments of Everfan! Selected winners also received a Hands On Heroes awards, and the student winner received a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship. On behalf of our partners, HOTC is proud to recognize theses very special volunteers who shine brightly in the eyes of local non-profit agencies and community members as Hands On Heroes. Take a look at the winners and photos of the evening below.
2021 Hands On Heroes Award Winners
Individual Category – Volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Award Winner – Mr. Pat Christopher Patriotism runs strong in our community, but unfortunately, there is little actual assistance for veterans in our community. Pat, who has a military background, not only believes all of our veterans deserve respect and dignity in return for their service, but works tirelessly to ensure it happens. Since 2015, Pat has been the Chairman of Dog Tagss, a group originally formed in Thomasville as a veterans’ home, which has now pivoted to a resource center run by volunteers to help veterans who are homeless or on the verge of homelessness, not just in Thomas County, but throughout southwest Georgia. His leadership and efforts help provide food, rent, utilities, clothing, and emotional support. Often personally going out into the community, and unfortunately, often into the streets, to find and assist hundreds of veterans in need each year. For this, we salute you! As our 2021 Award Winner, Pat received an award, and a $250 donation to DogTaggs.
Individual Category Honorable Mention – Rose Marie Robbins, Ellen Henderson
Congratulations also these Individual Nominees: Akoshua Williams, Barbara Johnson, Cheryl Walters, Christine Santos, Cynthia Anderson, Dale Millere, Dawn Phinazee Allen, Dr. Craig Wolff, Ginny Howard, Gretchen Stephens, Jacqueline Knight, Janice Hill, Janice Rauls, Jay Flowers, Jeffery Sigala, Keyla Sigala, Jodi Merritt, Kathy Pipken, Lindsay Leverette, Mary Beth Donalson, Megan Henderson, Melissa Artz, Nancy Tillinghast, Orangie James-McCraw, Rich Curtis, Sandra Crimley-Bell, Shelba Sellers, Tim Hobbs, Valerie West, Wayne Adams, and Wendy Beatty.
Special Lifetime Achievement Award – Mrs. Aldrena Williams Aldrena is a long-time resident and volunteer in Meigs. She has a heart for service which extends beyond herself. Her efforts not only benefit the entire Meigs community, but specifically she acts as a mentor for hundreds of youth through the Virtuous Girls Group of Meigs. For more than 10 years, she has personally arranged, coordinated, and led volunteer efforts for community clean-ups through Keep Thomas County Beautiful, fed neighbors in need, and sewn comfort items for cancer patients at Archbold. She coordinates an annual literacy fair which provides free books to hundreds of children. She is a model volunteer, and you cannot keep Aldrena down. She is always full of smiles, gratitude, and a can-do attitude we should all strive for. As a 2021 Award Winner, Mrs. Aldrena received an award, and four Disney Park Hopper Passes.
Student Category – Youth in grades 6-12 in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Student Award Winner – Mr. Oxzavier Rivers Oxzavier is an 11th Grade student/athlete at Thomasville High School Scholars Academy where he volunteers for a wide variety of school functions and community organizations such as stadium clean-ups, Wildlife Arts Festival, Homeless Coalition, and more through his membership in the Thomasville High School National Honor Society. This year has looked very different in terms of the number of service projects that have been offered in our local community, yet Oxzavier has plugged himself in to support in any way that he can. When our selection committee chooses award winners, they look at not only the type and amount of service, but also their commitment and inspiration to others as reflected on the nomination form. And what really set Oxzavier apart for our committee was the impression he left on his teachers and advisors which in turn left a big impression on us. Comments like — He will do a wonderful job in whatever capacity he is asked to serve. We constantly marvel at this young man’s selfless acts and the positive attitude and wonderful smile that he shows when he is volunteering, and we have said time and time again how wonderful it would be to have a society full of hearts to serve like Oxzavier’s. He sets the bar high for his peers, and the example that he sets through his actions and through his volunteering is creating a legacy for Thomasville High School and our wonderful community. Thank you for being a role model for your peers! As our 2021 Award Winner, Oxzavier received an award, and a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship.
Student Category Honorable Mention – Tisha Stevens, DeAsia Daniels, Jiayi Yao, Andrew Robertson, Xavier Glenn, Peyton Cosby, Anna Pope, Mya Cooney, Randy Sowell, and Katie Giemza
Group Category – Businesses, Organizations, and Civic Clubs in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Group Award Winner – Vital Signs LLC Vital Signs has been a supporter of HOTC and other organizations such as Hands & Hearts for Horses, and the Humane Society for many years, but really stepped up to fulfill an urgent need for the community this past year. When lock-down was ordered, owner Chris Lovelady turned Vital Signs into a full-time mask-making effort with the help of a group of 50 volunteers (led by Dawn Phinazee Allen). Chris, had just taught himself how to sew and devoted company efforts to making more than 8000 masks that were then distributed free to individuals and groups, as well as essential workers during a very critical time. He did not do it for the credit, but because he saw a need. Even when his business re-opened, he continued to devote his own time, his staff, and resources to this effort. Although many companies pivoted during the pandemic to stay in business, Vital Signs pivoted to fill an urgent need to protect our community and for that we are truly thankful. As a 2021 Award Winner, Vital Signs received an award.
Group Category Honorable Mention – South Georgia Adventures, Thomas County School – 3D Printer Group
Congratulations also to these Group Nominees – City of Thomasville Public Works, First Missionary Baptist Church, Magnolia High School Alumni Association, PBL Chapter of Southern Regional Technical College, Providence Missionary Baptist Church Leadership, The Lomax Family, Thomas County Health Department, Thomasville Jeepers, Victory Fellowship Church Food Pantry, Thomas County Central Key Club, Thomasville High School JROTC
Our first ever Community Impact Award – Ashley HomeStore Ashley HomeStore has a corporate culture of stewardship that shines brightly through their Thomasville division. Their commitment to community starts with its leadership. This top-down approach inspires employees at every level. Locally, their far-reaching support as volunteers and donors benefits the arts, environment, healthcare, veterans, schools and youth. Examples of their corporate civic-mindedness include Hope to Dream which provides mattresses to organizations like The Boys & Girls Club. in 2019, Ashley employees and partners created teachers lounges and updated the bathroom and kitchen at Scholars Academy and MacIntyre Park Middle School with a commitment to continue this work in other schools in our area. They have provided design assistance and furnishings for the Chamber of Commerce, Vashti Center and local festivals; provided over 400 meals to local healthcare staff during the pandemic; and support local organizations like Thomas University, Troupe, Thomasville Antiques Show foundation, Tall Timbers, the Humane Society, and of course HOTC where they come out every year to volunteer for at least one project site – this past year at a Manna Drop in Pavo. Ashley HomeStore is committed to the present and future well-being of this community as also noted by their recent investment — the 1915 South Building in the West Jackson Street Corridor. Thank you for being a model corporate citizen! As a 2021 Award Winner, Ashley HomeStore received an award.
BIG CHEERS to all those who volunteer tirelessly and selflessly every day. Super thanks to Everfan, City of Thomasville, Thomas County Schools, Banks Italian Ice, Jennifer Rhodes Photography; as well as all of our sponsors and grantors who make free, community-minded events like these possible, especially Diamond Level and above sponsors Ashley HomeStore, New Hire Solutions, Mr. & Mrs. Russell Chubb, Mr. & Mrs. Howell L. Ferguson, Ms. Diane W. Parker, and Dr. & Mrs. Philip C. Watt.
Take a look at the photos below. Click to enlarge.
More than 100 volunteers spent this federal holiday, and national day of service, helping others by completing DIY, virtual, and in-person projects in honor of the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Locally, project sites focused on food insecurity, homelessness, and literacy. Check out some project highlights and photos below.
“Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
It was a bright and sunny, but cold, Monday morning as members from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, American Beauty Chapter No 214 Prince Hall Order of the Easter Star, along with other families and HOTC Board members, came together to help feed their neighbors at Harper Elementary School. Bags of food including chicken, fruit, juice, and non-perishables from Second Harvest were handed out to nearly 300 households, serving more than 840 individuals altogether.
We introduced a new DIY project, Soups and Socks. In total, 78 pairs of socks were received, each filled with a can of soup, spoon and note of encouragement. These donations were given to local human service agencies such as Dog Taggs, Fountain of Life Rescue, Thomasville Police Department, and The Walk Youth Group who will then distribute them to those in need throughout the community.
Virtually, volunteers participated in the vMLK Project, a simulation experience of one of Dr. King’s speeches. Afterwards they shared their “Idea whose time has come.”
Our Book Drive was once again a success! Thanks to our generous volunteers, we received 236 books that were then distributed to the Meigs Literacy Fair, Head Start, Thomasville Community Resource Center, and the Vashti Center.
Even though the Meigs Literacy Fair was not able to be an in-person event this year due to COVID concerns, the Virtuous Girls Youth Group still managed to share the joy of reading by giving out 371 books. More than 21 volunteers from Thomas County Central High School FCCLA club also participated in a Virtual Literacy Fair, recording themselves reading children’s books that will be shared with local youth organizations throughout the year.
It was a wonderful morning of service in honor of Dr. King’s legacy. THANK YOU to all of our sponsors, volunteers, non-profits, and groups who came together to help make it all happen, especially our Diamond Level (and above) Sponsors Ashley HomeStore, New Hire Solutions, Mr. & Mrs. Russell Chubb, Mr. & Mrs. Howell L. Ferguson, Ms. Diane W. Parker, and Dr. & Mrs. Philip C. Watt; as well as the Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation for making volunteer events and programs like these possible.