Family Volunteer Day By the Numbers:
476 volunteers – 1021 service hours
1382 individuals served – 12 projects
It was a picture-perfect day as families of all sizes – work, school, church, friends – came together for Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, November 5. Many projects on this day honor our Veterans and Active Duty Service Members. In fact, this year, Family Volunteer Day kicked off an entire month-long celebration of our Military!
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Projects this year included:
Holidays for Heroes – Volunteers created more than 300 thank you cards and Christmas cards to distribute to Veterans in our local community, as well as to active duty service members away from their families this holiday season. Thank you to HOTC Board Vice-Chair, Tangela Hayes, for being our Veteran representative on this day!
Veterans Day Posters – Volunteers created more than 100 posters thanking Veterans for their service. More than 20 local businesses participated in this project by allowing volunteers to place the posters in their storefronts. What a way to come together to show community-wide support for those who served for our country!
Flag Repository – This is the first project of its kind for HOTC! We brought together representatives from the Allen-Cook Veterans of Foreign War Post 4995 and students from Rich Curtis’s class at Thomas University to design a patriotic flag repository. Citizens can bring their American flags to the repository – now located at the Veteran Services Office at 406 Smith Ave – so the VFW can properly retire the flags.
Flag Ceremony – The rain stopped just in time on November 11 for the annual Veteran’s Day Flag Ceremony at the Historic Courthouse. The flag repository was proudly unveiled at this ceremony by Allen-Cook Veterans of Foreign War Post 4995 Commander Greg Thweatt. In addition, more than 30 students from the Cross Creek K-Klub program and more than 10 students from TCCHS Key Club were present at the ceremony. The K-Klub students enjoyed parading around to show off their posters and handing out cards thanking Veterans for their service.
DID YOU KNOW?
Veterans from all major conflicts
from WWII to present were represented
at the flag ceremony at the
Historic Thomas County Courthouse!
VetFest – Presented by DogTagSS, this annual music festival raises money and awareness for Veteran services in South Georgia. Volunteers helped with event setup and breakdown, vendor assistance and more. You could also spot Holidays for Heroes posters at the entrance of the Exchange Club Fairgrounds!
Judy’s Heroes Collection Drive – Another first-time partnership for HOTC! We were delighted to team up with Brandy Kirkham this year to support her initiative – Judy’s Heroes – in honor of her mother, Judy Davis. Judy’s Heroes mails military care packages each December to active duty service members who are currently deployed. HOTC helped support Brandy’s efforts by promoting a month-long donation drive to collect items for care packages – more than 100 volunteers donated items to the drive!
Judy’s Heroes Boxes – As part of Holidays for Heroes, volunteers decorated the inside of the care package boxes with uplifting and patriotic messages. Many people included “Made with love in Thomasville, GA” messages on the boxes! As part of another project day, volunteers gathered at the Allen-Cook Veterans of Foreign War Post 4995 to stuff the care package boxes and prepare them for mailing. In all, more than 75 care packages were sent to active duty service members stationed both stateside and abroad!
From a 2022 Judy’s Heroes Boxes recipient: “I received your packages
and I would like to say I really appreciate your family…
sometimes it gets lonely or you need a reminder
why you joined the military in the first place, and things like this…
really remind you what you’re doing it for. Thank you for everything you all do.
Nominate a Hero – Yet, ANOTHER new project for HOTC this year! As a way to help Judy’s Heroes make local connections to deployed active duty service members, HOTC asked the community to submit names and mailing information for active duty service members and Veterans. We received more than 65 nominees to recognize!
Manna Drop – Brookwood School SGA and families in the community hosted a Manna Drop at Harper Elementary School. Nearly 300 neighbors in need received non-perishable items through this free food distribution event!
While “Family Volunteer Month” may now more accurately describe these community-wide acts of service that lasted all of November, the purpose of the projects remains the same – to honor and support our active duty service members and our Veterans. What greater tribute to these men and women than ensuring that the generations after them learn about and pay honor to the sacrifices they made.
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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.