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.
Volunteer Week got an early start when almost 200 Thomas County Middle School MERIT students from 6th and 8th grade volunteered in groups around town at project sites like Hand-In-Hand School, Second Harvest, Homeless Hookup, Miss Kitty Feline Sanctuary, Hands & Hearts for Horses, Friends of Lost Creek Butterfly Garden, and the Vashti Center. The students really worked hard to get things done… just take a look at the pictures below to see! Thank you Thomas County Schools, teachers and staff for being champions of service learning each year, and many thanks to the non-profits for having them!
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!
A huge thank you to our Appreciation Stations who donated free or discounted goodies for our volunteers during the week: Jonah’s Fish & Grits for the t-shirts; Grassroots for the cups of coffee; Wash-N-Go Express for the $5 off a full service wash; Onward Reserve for the decals; and Longhorn Steakhouse for the free appetizer cards! We can’t thank you enough for your generosity.
To all of our sponsors, volunteers, non-profits, and groups who came together to help make it all happen, THANK YOU! We couldn’t do it without your support.