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    John McMillin: Thank you goes a long way for local volunteers

    By John McMillin -

    For a nonprofit to utilize volunteers at their best potential, you generally have to have involved employees supporting them. A former nonprofit director friend of mine used to say volunteers aren’t free. That’s true, but still there’s little recognition for the good volunteer. With that in mind, I want to offer some praise for a couple of long-term board volunteers.

    Our board of directors is made up of 15 local volunteers for Wilson County along with two new volunteers who will represent the Upper Cumberland area; that number will grow as we are more involved with the newly expanded service area. For most board members, it means at least one hour of service a month. That means their employer has to be supportive of United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland, enough to allow that employee to serve time away from work.

    In the case of some board members, the time commitment may be considerably more. Recently we honored two such volunteers. David Taylor was presented a plaque for his completion of two three-year terms with our United Way. David has served as an officer and will further offer more of his time on one of our allocations panels this year. David has been one of our most consistent board members, always showing up to regular and called meetings.

    David is a shining example of what you hope a volunteer will be. He has been positive but bold enough to challenge old ideas and always willing to step in for new projects and tackle leading others to help in fundraising, marketing and helping us support our communities.

    We also had the occasion to honor Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp.’s Anthony Maxwell as he turned over the role of board chair to Farm Bureau’s Wes Dugan. Anthony spent many hours helping office staff as we worked to accept a much-expanded service area. At the beginning of Anthony’s tenure as chair, we were a single county. We are now working with 12 counties. Anthony service as the former board legal chair came in handy on more than one occasion as we worked our way through the initial phases of our transformation.

    Of course, we want to thank all of our board members, their employees for allowing them to serve and also their families for allowing them to give up a few hours with them in working with United Way. Should you run into these volunteers, I hope you mention their contribution and offer a word of thanks. They never ask to be recognized, but it’s always nice when it happens.

    John McMillin is president of United Way of Wilson County and the Upper Cumberland. Email him at [email protected].

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