April was National Volunteer Month and we celebrated to the fullest during Thomas County’s very own Volunteer Week April 16-23, presented by Check Mate Industries! Over 840 individuals joined us throughout the week at select volunteer opportunities and as we recognized the many Hands On Heroes at Cheers For Volunteers! Take a look at the highlights and pictures below.
Volunteer Week is a celebration of volunteer service and the many people who make good things happen in our community! We were excited to start the week doing just that by planting roses at the City of Thomasville Pocket Park located at the corner of Smith and Hansell Street! Fifteen individuals came together on Saturday, April 16 to plant roses, graciously given to us by Flowerwood Nursery, in honor of our wonderful volunteers and sponsors. This project brightened & beautified this little spot in town so be sure to drive by and check them out!
This same day, volunteers headed to the Pavo Peacock Center in Pavo to join forces with the Pavo Manna Group to fight hunger! A little over a dozen volunteers sorted, bagged, and distributed more than 500 bags of food which included an assortment of breads, beans, frozen meats, and canned goods to over 204 individuals! We are so proud of the Pavo Manna Group and HOTC volunteers for working so hard, all while dodging the rain!
On Tuesday, April 19, we celebrated our Hands On Heroes (aka volunteer heroes) at our 9th annual Cheers For Volunteers awards and reception at the Ritz Amphitheater. A good time was had by all – so much we had to write another post, which you can read here.
Throughout the week, volunteers participated in rose-themed projects in honor of the City of Thomasville’s 101st Rose Show & Festival such as Rocks and Roses which saw over 30 volunteers who painted and hid rose show related rocks around places like the Big Oak, Paradise Park, The Ritz Amphitheater, Cherokee Lake, and along Downtown. It was neat seeing the rocks made, especially the ones found on the Thomasville Rocks FB page. School groups and individuals also made flower bouquets filled with paper roses and rose boutineers which were given to local residents at The Residence of Oak Grove and Scott Senior Center. The seniors were so happy to receive the beautiful handmade flowers. Take a look at the pics below!
Also throughout the week, volunteers beautified their community by picking up litter and lending a hand at our local food bank Second Harvest. Volunteers also served at the Cherokee Lake Pollinator Garden by pulling invasive weeds as well as helping around the barn at Hands & Hearts For Horses.
We ended the week with some fun at the 101st annual Rose Show Parade themed “Where Roses Reign, New Traditions Bloom“. It was fun having a few of our Hands On Heroes on board as they put on their best parade wave down Broad Street.
All in all, it was a great Volunteer Week and we are proud of our community’s response to this event! We honestly can’t say it enough – THANK YOU to all of our volunteers, sponsors, and donors who make this such a great community to be a part of. We couldn’t do it without you!
Special thanks to these Diamond Level & above Sponsors: 1915 South/Ashley, Belazul, Check-Mate Industries, Flowers Foods, Mr. & Mrs Clint Kadel, and Dr. & Mrs. Philip Watt for making volunteer programs and events like these possible.
April is National Volunteer Month! Join us for Thomas County’s very ownVolunteer Week – April 16-23 as we celebrate volunteer service and the many people who make good things happen in our community! During this annual event – always the week before Rose Show – you have the opportunity to choose from select in-person and DIY volunteer opportunities (see below) PLUS you’re invited toCheers For Volunteers, our annual awards and reception for our Hands On Heroes, now back at The Ritz Amphitheater!
We are truly thankful to all of our volunteers, sponsors, non-profits, and agencies who make this such a great community to be a part of. Together we can really make a difference!
Stay up-to-date on further opportunities, updates and “shout-outs” by liking our Facebook page!
Sign Up To Volunteer Limited Spaces. First Come/First Served
Paint and hide rose themed rocks in honor of the Rose Festival.
Special thanks to these Diamond Level & above Sponsors: 1915 South/Ashley, Belazul, Check-Mate Industries, Flowers Foods, Mr. & Mrs Clint Kadel, and Dr. & Mrs. Philip Watt for making volunteer programs and events like these possible.
GIVE ME SPACE HERE PLEASE
Click the pic to sign up directly through these organizations
Who Is Your Hands On Hero? Shine A Light On Those Who Do Good!
Hands On Heroes is an annual award program to recognize those special members of our community who donate their time, energy and skills to support the people, places, and non-profits in Thomas County. These volunteer heroes help make our community a better place for everyone through the simple act of volunteer service.
Nominations are accepted year-round and reviewed every March. Winners are announced in April at Cheers For Volunteers, and will receive awards and/or prizes, including:
a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship for the Student Winner
Downtown Dollars (or other comparable item) for the Individual Winner.
All nominees will also receive their very own SUPER hero cape compliments of Everfan, as well as other goodies and perks.
Nominees are not just judged on number of hours, or years, served as a volunteer, but also on impact, passion, commitment, and inspiration. Nominees do not need to be associated with or volunteer through HOTC to be recognized. Make it easy for us to choose your nominee — tell us a compelling story that explains what makes this person or group so special. Be descriptive and heartfelt! See last year’s winners here.
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.
Normally this time of year, we would be planning to honor local volunteers – we call them Hands On Heroes – and HOTC supporters, in person, at Cheers For Volunteers presented by Ashley HomeStore, in partnership with the City of Thomasville and Everfan. Now in its 7th year, Cheers is a big celebration gathering hundreds of community members to enjoy free food and beverages, entertainment, and lots of fun and goodwill! Unfortunately, with large gatherings cancelled due to COVID-19, this year’s party was put on hold. However, our community spirit and appreciation of all the wonderful people who give back through volunteer service can never be denied.
Hands On Heroes is an annual program to recognize outstanding volunteer efforts in our community. More than 75 nominations were submitted by non-profit agencies and community leaders in student, individual, and group categories. Award Winners, as well as Honorable Mentions, were carefully considered and selected by a committee based, not just on the number of volunteer hours served, but also for their inspiration, commitment, impact, leadership, and passion.
All of our 2020 Hands On Heroes Winners have two things in common. They all have volunteered on HOTC event days, and they all have a focus around youth – elementary school kids just learning what it means to give back, a high school senior inspiring a legacy of learning and giving before he makes his way in the world, and an adult who takes what he learned as a kid to help create new future leaders. On behalf of our partners, HOTC is proud to recognize these very special volunteers who shine brightly in the eyes of local non-profit agencies and community members as Hands On Heroes.
* Heroes! Use one of these Facebook frames to update your profile picture:FRAME 1, FRAME 2, FRAME 3 * Supporters! Continue showing your support by using this special Facebook frame.
2020 Hands On Heroes Award Winners
INDIVIDUAL CATEGORY– volunteers 18+ who serve independently in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Award Winner– Mr. Christopher Henderson Our hope is that the positive actions and traits we learn in our youth, we carry forward into our adult lives. Chris grew up with the positive ideals he learned as a long-time member of the Marguerite Neel Williams Boys & Girls Club which works to build self-esteem, values, and skills in youth – our future leaders. Chris now leads by example, lending his time as a club greeter, tutor, basketball coach, desk clerk – basically, wherever there is a need at the Club, Chris is willing to fill the spot. He also volunteers every Saturday mentoring young men for Omega Psi Phi fraternity, coaching at the YMCA, assisting at Thomasville Community Resource Center, and The Talent Hunt which supports youth in the arts. Chris Henderson is the embodiment of paying-it-forward: Taking what he learned in his youth to motivate and inspire the next generations of hands on heroes. As our 2020 Award Winner, Chris received an award, superhero cape, and 4 Disney Park Hopper Passes.
Congratulations also to these Individual Nominees: Ann Larson, Jessica Rivera, Tracy Zolt, Todd Bennett, Rebecca Ramsey, Emily Eckels, Jackie Spadoni, Larry Plank, Mary Beth Donalson, Jay Flowers, Mark Harmon, Jodi Merritt, Allen Thornhill, Kay Davis, Liz Williams, Patricia Kinnee, Shelba Sellers, Ashley Henderson, Jacqueline Lamons, Cynthia Anderson, Janice Hill, Verna Rauls, Julie Nixon-Berry, Akoshua Williams, Orangie James-McCraw, Sue Davis, Telvis Crimley, Sandra Crimley-Bell, Andrew Wells, Helen Cody, Cheryl Walters, Vivian Washington, Valerie West, Jandell Griffin, Laverne Bell, Pamela Jenkins, Emma Holton, Constance James, Teresa James, Keyla Sigala, Jefferey Sigala, Sarah Glass, Janice Rauls
STUDENT CATEGORY– youth in grades 6-12 in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Student Award Winner– Mr. Winston Cornish Sometimes a volunteer makes the biggest impact, not through the number of hours or years served, but through their passion and inspiration to others. Winston, a senior at Scholars Academy, is a talented artist who has volunteered throughout high school for the Thomasville Center for the Arts, Thom Magazine, and the Plantation Wildlife Arts Festival, and a junior entomologist. Yes, he studies bugs. He has combined these passions to create exquisite art and envied insect collections that were recently showcased in the Thomasville Center for the Arts public art event – Bug Out. Then for 9 months, through coLab – a collaborative learning experience with sixty 3rd graders from Brookwood and Harper Elementary School – he shared his passion and artistic skills to educate kids about insects, their essential role in our ecosystem, and their often underappreciated beauty. Through his big love for little creatures, Winston may have inspired a future biologist or researcher. As the Dalai Lama said, if you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito. As our 2020 Award Winner, Winston received an award, 6-month YMCA membership, and a $500 Bobbie Flowers Quiet Leader Scholarship.
Student Category Honorable Mention – Edjenee Corbin, Camryn Williams, Peyton Owens, Maylon Cochran, Tahj Brown, Mauri Leroux, Maston Whigham, Hayden Johnson, Joseph Kimler, Melia Saunders, Kate Griffith
GROUP CATEGORY– businesses, organizations and civic clubs in Thomas County
Hands On Heroes Group Award Winner– Cross Creek Elementary K-Kids led by Ms. Leslie Aracri & Ms. Lanie West Kiwanis K-Kids clubs teaches leadership through volunteer activities within the school and community, and creates a heart for service that will grow with them into their adult lives. Throughout the year, K-Kids learn how to give back through hands-on service – such as making cards for soldiers, serving at the annual pancake supper, and heading recycling efforts within their school; through philanthropy – they collected $1000 for the Humane Society, and enough in donations to provide tetanus shots to 232 expectant mothers; and through awareness-building – encouraging their peers to sign the Youth Environmental Stewardship Pledge and get involved in school and community matters. We look forward to seeing what these kids do as they take these seeds planted now and grow. As a 2020 Winner, K-Kids received an award and superhero cape.
Group Category Honorable Mention – Dodge Boyz 229, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated Theta Chi Zeta Chapter
Congratulations to these Group Nominees: ServPro of Thomas Colquitt & Grady Counties, Thomasville High School Football, Thomasville High School JROTC, Thomasville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., TJ Maxx, St. Luke CME Missionary & Youth Ministries, Retired Nurses & Teachers of Thomas County
BIG CHEERS to everyone who volunteers tirelessly and selflessly every day!
Special thank you to all of our sponsors and grantors who make free, community-minded events like these possible, especially Diamond Level and above sponsors Ashley Homestore, Hurst Boiler, and Ms. Diane W. Parker; as well as the Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation for making volunteer programs like these possible. We look forward to being able to celebrate with all of you in person soon!
April is National Volunteer Month. Join us as we celebrate Thomas County’s very own Volunteer Week, April 18-25…with, like many things nowadays, a social-distance twist! We’ll honor our 2020 Hands On Heroes, promote select in-home and virtual volunteer opportunities, and do fun daily giveaways (read more below). Things are a little different right now, but our volunteer spirit never wavers. We hope you’ll be a part of our activities!
Although we are disappointed we can’t gather together in person to celebrate at Cheers For Volunteers, we are still excited to announce this year’s Hands On Heroes Award Winners who were selected for their outstanding volunteer service in our community:
♦ Individual– Mr. Chris Henderson ♦ Student– Mr. Winston Cornish ♦ Group– K-Kids of Cross Creek Elementary
There are many kinds of heroes in our community, and during difficult times we see many in action. Let us know your favorite every day hero on our Facebook page during Volunteer Week. Five lucky heroes will receive $10 in Downtown Dollars! Be on the lookout for Facebook posts starting Sunday, April 19 where you can nominate someone who is making a difference right now.
Normally this time of year, local businesses are honoring our volunteers by offering freebies and discounts. During this unusual time, we are asking our volunteers to return the love instead. Show your appreciation for all the local businesses who continually support HOTC by supporting them with online and curbside-pickup. To see what many local businesses are doing and offering, click here.
Volunteer Opportunities At Home, Virtually, and More!
There are currently no known risks for healthy people donating blood during this time. This will be by appointment only to ensure social distancing guidelines are followed. Make an appointment with Oneblood here.
Send encouragement to our local healthcare workers. Let them know how much they are appreciated by sending drawings, notes or encouraging words. Send electronically here.
Brighten a seniors’ day by sending cards with encouraging messages, and drawings. This is a great way to show our seniors – many of whom are self-quarantined – that we care. Send electronically here.
Foster A Shelter Pet
Foster a shelter pet for a couple hours or a couple days. This is a great way to help get them ready for a “fur”ever home, and you’ll have great company while sheltering from home. Call our local Humane Society at (229) 228.1613
There is a great need of individuals who can sew masks or cut patterns.
To help local Essential Businesses – sign up here. If you are an essential business which needs masks, click here.
April was National Volunteer Month and we had the best time during Thomas County’s very own Volunteer Week, April 20-27. This event, always the week before Rose Show & Festival, is a celebration of service and all the volunteers who help make good things happen in our community. We had select volunteer opportunities (with over 428 participants!), volunteer “shout-outs”, and Appreciation Stations at select businesses around town. THANK YOU to all of our volunteers who make this such a great community to be a part of!See our recaps and pictures below.
On Saturday, April 20, we officially kicked off Volunteer Week by planting more than 20 beautiful rose bushes donated by Flowerwood Nursery at the Rose Garden with the help from several volunteers, HOTC Board members and the City of Thomasville Public Works Department.
On Monday, April 22, we dressed in our finest Everfan superhero gear to personally honor and cape over 200 local superheroes nominated for their service and commitment to our community. Each individual received a superhero cape, an appreciation card with discounts to local businesses, and an invitation to Cheer For Volunteers (an event so amazing, it warranted its own post which you can view here).
Also during the week, volunteers lent a hand at the Rescue Mission Soup Kitchen (prepping and handing out meals to our local neighbors), Second Harvest(sorting and packing food boxes),Keep Thomas County Beautiful(picking up litter), Rose Show Parade (serving meals to band members after the parade), and Art in the Park (helping with arts & crafts). We also held our annual toiletry drive which collected a bin full of travel sized toiletry items that will be sorted and packed as comfort kits for local human service agencies.
On Friday, April 26, we started the day by meeting the beautiful Miss Georgia and ended it riding on the Everfan float in the Rose Parade with over 50 of our Hands On Heroes! On Saturday April 27, The Walk Youth Group wrapped up the week by hosting our Manna Drop (a free food distribution) at Scott Senior Center, serving over 361 individuals in need. WOW, what a week!
It’s official! Read the Mayoral Proclamation declaring April 19-26, 2014, HOTC Volunteer Week! Thank you to the Thomasville City Council and Mayor Max Beverly for recognizing the importance of volunteer service to creating a vibrant and successful community. To learn more about Volunteer Week and how you can participate, click here or view our Events Calendar.