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Volunteer of the Year: Children's home, HonorFlight, Blue Ridge Humane, Four Seasons

Volunteer of the Year 2020 Volunteer of the Year 2020

In our annual Season of Giving salute to nonprofits and volunteers, we ask organizations to nominate a Volunteer of the Year. We're running the 2020 volunteers four at a time in three stories on the website.

 

Virginia ‘Ginny’ Bradford

Black Mountain Home for Children

What do you do in your volunteer job?

The Mountain Home Thrift Store: Cheryl’s Place that also houses Thirteen Pennies Café is located on the campus of Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth and Families and just celebrated its one-year anniversary. I work several days a week in receiving in the clothing area where I prepare clothing and accessories to be sold at the store. I have brought interested people to the Home for tours, hosted Guided Ministry Tours and also organized clothing and furniture donation drives to be brought to my church for pick-up by BMH’s truck. I also serve on the Board of Directors.


How long have you been volunteering?


I have been volunteering at BMH for about 8 years.


Why do you volunteer?


My heart is in caring for all of God’s children in any way that I can. I believe I have been given a great opportunity to help in changing the lives of children as they grow to be self-sufficient and responsible adults. The thrift store provides jobs and training for older youth and provides income for the ministry. The Home’s mission statement is Glorifying God by Caring for Children and Families.


What’s the best thing about volunteering?


The humbling realization of knowing that I am giving back for all that God has made possible in my life.

 

If someone is interested in volunteering, what advice would you give based on your own experience?

Sign up! What better way to meet new people who have the same interests in caring for children. There is a need for more volunteers at the thrift store to help in all areas as donations increase each week. Just check out Facebook.com/blackmountainhome on how to get involved as a volunteer.

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Kevin Rumley

Blue Ridge Honor Flight

What do you do in your volunteer job?

I serve as a Guardian for the Blue Ridge Honor Flight.  I have the great privilege of escorting a Hero through their ‘Day of Honor.’ My role as a guardian is to support my assigned veteran (WWII, Korea, Vietnam) throughout the entire daylong celebration, making sure they feel safe, supported, and encouraged as they experience the many offerings of the Blue Ridge Honor Flight.

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been volunteering with Blue Ridge Honor Flight since 2017.  And yet, every flight is uniquely memorable.  I cannot put into words the joy and happiness that comes from having these American Hero’s get the true recognition and homecoming they deserve.

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because it is healing! And not just for the heroes who the BRHF serves. As a combat wounded Marine Corps veteran myself (32 surgeries), to become friends with these veterans, to listen to their stories, and to bear witness to their lived-experiences, I find tremendous hope and courage in this partnership.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

My favorite part of volunteering is the amazing friendships I have made along the way. From Jeff Miller and the entire team at BRHF, to the veteran heroes I went on trips to Washington DC with as a guardian, I am most grateful for the friendships that have developed.

If someone is interested in volunteering, what advice would you give based on your own experience?

The BRHF community is passionate about creating the most memorable and meaningful experience for these veterans.  If you share this passion for service and honoring our veteran community, you are a perfect fit. You can go to https://www.blueridgehonorflight.com for more information. If I had to give advice to anyone interested in volunteering, (and this is advice I share with other veterans I served with), I always say to approach it without the expectation of receiving anything in return (a ‘service’ mindset). From here, the benefits are often immeasurable.

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Tom Marshall

Blue Ridge Humane Society

What do you do in your volunteer job?


I have just finished my second term as board chair for the Blue Ridge Humane Society. In addition to serving as board chair, I have served on various committees within the organization that involve board engagement, events and strategic planning.

How long have you been volunteering?

I have served on four non-profit boards during the past 17 years.

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because of the love of my special community and the desire to give back to those who are less fortunate or in need in order to improve their quality of life.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

The best thing about volunteering is the self-satisfaction and personal fulfillment you receive knowing your selfless efforts have made a true difference in the lives of animals and or individuals in need.

If someone is interested in volunteering, what advice would you give based on your own experience?

If you are interested in volunteering then I’d recommend you first consider what issues you are passionate about and then channel that passion by looking for organizations or programs that address those issues.  

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Mary Coffey

Four Seasons

What do you do in your volunteer job?

I do several things. First off, I'm on the foundation board as an inaugural member, which is basically the fundraising element of Four Seasons. My primary role has kind of evolved into the window display. Typically, a store will have a display window and things get sold out of it, you know, which is wonderful because everything we sell the store basically goes into paying and helps support people who need hospice services.

How long have you been volunteering?

 I've been involved for nearly nine years as a volunteer at the Hospice Home Store.

Why do you volunteer?

My husband and I are both retired now. I had done work at a retail shop before in Texas—it was to help underprivileged people in the community we were in—and I just found that very rewarding. When we moved to Hendersonville, we both wanted to get into some volunteer opportunities. I chose to do the retail side of it, which I enjoy. And it's just a wonderful, great feeling to give back to the community, to contribute and, and feel like you are in your own way making a difference somehow.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

Overall, I guess, the biggest is giving something back. I've been blessed to have a good life. I've got some skill sets and when you volunteer, you can take advantage of the skill sets you have. That's just a wonderful thing and a good way to get involved in the community and get to know about the community.

If someone is interested in volunteering, what advice would you give based on your own experience?

What you want to do is find something that you enjoy. I learned this a long time ago, when I volunteered in Chicago and the director of the volunteer program said, “if you don't enjoy what you're doing volunteering, it shows that it looks more like work.” For example, at our store, people love what they're doing. … We enjoy what we do there and there's a positive energy in our store.