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John McMillin: Help us recognize our most outstanding volunteers

John McMillin • Updated Nov 21, 2017 at 6:00 PM

Some of the most heroic deeds of our time would not be remembered if not for one thing. There had to be a witness; there had to be someone to tell the story of the selfless deed. I say this now because you still have time to get your nominations in for outstanding volunteers in our community.

Now going on our 10th year, Wilson County is again seeking nominations of outstanding volunteers in our community. Do you know someone who deserves to be recognized? The process is simple and will only take a few minutes of your time.

The simplest way to nominate someone is to visit the Wilson County official website, wilsoncountyn.gov, where you will see a resource tab on the left side of the page. Following this tab, you will find a dropdown menu, which includes the Governors Volunteer Stars application. You can also submit a nominee at lebanondemocrat.com/gvsa.

As a nominator, you can submit an application for an adult or for a youth 25 years or younger. The deadline to submit an application is Dec. 15.

In the past, we’ve had a handful of nominees in either the youth or the adult categories, but this year we want to knock it out of the park, so to speak. We would love to have a room filled with volunteers who deserve some recognition and will, in turn, inspire others. There’s good reason to recognize these volunteers. Sure they do nice things and are generally a cooperative, nice bunch of folks. However, there’s more to this volunteering thing than most of us realize.

Economically, volunteers contribute their time at a rate the Internal Revenue Service deems worth a little more than $22 an hour. For our state, this volunteer time adds up to millions of dollars. In 2013, for example, as a nation we reaped more than $173 billion in services offered by volunteers. Not only that, believe it or not, volunteers actually spur job growth.

From a social point, not only does the act of volunteering make the volunteer feel better, it inspires others and leads to a chain of giving, doing and improving our communities. For our younger residents, volunteering makes sense on another level. Volunteering is not only helpful for communities, it also builds skills, confidence and is a quality many employers look for in a competitive job marketplace.

For more information or if you would rather submit a paper application, contact me at United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland at 615-443-1871.

The Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards is an initiative from Volunteer Tennessee that seeks to recognize outstanding volunteers from each of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Participating counties conduct a call for nominations and recognize one outstanding youth and one outstanding adult volunteer. Those named will be honored locally in early 2018 and, from these nominees, one adult and one youth will be recognized at the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards ceremony in Franklin early in 2018.

John McMillin is president of the United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland. Email him at john@givetouwwc.org.

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