Here Are the Nominees for NCFY's 2014 Thank-a-Volunteer Campaign

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Photograph of two smiling volunteers in the snow

This April, in honor of Global Youth Service Day and National Volunteer Week, we asked family- and youth-serving organizations to tell us about their amazing volunteers.

Here are the nominations we received--we're really impressed by how amazing these volunteers are!

Photo: Volunteers Matt and Leigh Ann G stand in front of the four-by-four vehicle they donated to Harmony Family Center at Montvale in Maryvale, TN.

Photo Credit: Evelyn Wilcox, communications and program development manager, Harmony Family Center

Joyce S, nominated by National Runaway Safeline, Chicago, IL

Since 2012, Joyce S. has volunteered more than 300 hours in Chicago's 1-800-RUNAWAY call center, assisting runaway, homeless and at-risk youth and their families through the National Runaway Safeline's crisis hotline. In the past two years, she has reconnected 17 youth with their families through NRS’s Home Free program, a collaboration with Greyhound Lines, Inc. She has handled 1,050 calls, advocating and searching for available resources. Earlier in April, she was named NRS's 2014 Volunteer of the Year for her commitment to helping runaway, homeless and at-risk youth and their families. 

Tina, nominated by Voices Against Violence, Plymouth, NH

Tina handles all of the domestic violence cases that involve children in the New Hampshire county served by Voices Against Violence. She is a tireless anti-violence advocate who has used her personal experiences to inform her commitment to children and families, and especially to victims of domestic violence. She has become a leader in the state of New Hampshire, offering education to police departments, volunteers and schools. Voices serves nearly a thousand victims of domestic and sexual violence per year with a tiny staff of four people, and Tina is at the core of their success. I heartily recommend her!

Leigh Ann and Matt G, nominated by Harmony Family Center, Knoxville and Maryvale, TN

Leigh Ann and Matt first met Harmony 13 years ago, when they adopted their daughter Abby from China with the help of Harmony Adoptions in Knoxville, TN. This winter, Leigh Ann and Matt came to the Harmony Family Center at Montvale for a visit, and they adopted the Montvale renovation project in a big way! Matt, who never seems to slow down, brought his crew from the construction company he owns to restore the old camp bathhouse and remove the old fiberglass pool liner. He has not stopped since. From cutting trees to improving drainage and overseeing kitchen repairs, Matt has done it all. Meanwhile, Leigh Ann has begun donating her marketing skills and raising funds to repair the swimming pool and do other Montvale projects. Leigh Ann and Matt are bringing folks out for site visits so they, too, can catch Montvale fever. They are supporting Harmony’s mission to serve children, families and communities—as our super volunteers!

Falessa S, nominated by He Is My Brother's Keeper, Chicago

Falessa is the perfect example of a true volunteer. She does it all: bringing food to churches throughout the city of Chicago, feeding families, dressing young women for prom, assisting He Is My Brother's Keeper with everything from administrative duties to transportation while working a full-time job at the Chicago Police Department. This young lady is a gem in the city's needed world of community service, and if she could be honored by simply being given some public gratitude, I know she would feel some of what the community thinks about her.

Bonnie H, nominated by Knox Adolescent Partners in Prevention Initiative, Knoxville, TN
Bonnie works for the University of Tennessee Extension Program and has been chairperson of the Knox Adolescent Partners in Prevention Initiative in Knoxville, TN, for the past two years. She has supported KAPPI by conducting monthly meetings, assisting with trainings, and giving television and radio interviews to promote projects supporting teen pregnancy prevention and services to pregnant and parenting teens. She has been supportive of the annual fundraising event, Samples on the Square. This volunteer deserves a big “Thank You” for giving her time to this community coalition.             

Debbie W, nominated by Knox Adolescent Partners in Prevention Initiative, Knoxville, TN

Debbie W. is a school nurse with Knox County Schools. She has been the chairperson of the education committee on the Knox Adolescent Partners in Prevention Initiative in Knoxville, TN for two years. The committee plans outreach to parents each October for Let's Talk Month. She also recruits teens to participate in a conference for pregnant and parenting teens every year.  Debbie deserves a big “Thank You” for the time and energy she gives to this community coalition.

Rena W & Silva C, nominated by Knox Adolescent Partners in Prevention Initiative, Knoxville, TN

Rena and Silva are co-chairs of a program called Petals and Pearls, a mother-daughter communication program held in local schools and afterschool programs in Knoxville, TN. They give their time to plan and implement the programs with passion and sincerity, so we’d like to say “Thank You.”

Diane S, nominated by Bill Wilson Center, Santa Clara, CA

As a volunteer with our drop-in center program in Santa Clara, CA, Diane has been providing meals for our youth every week for 14 years. These meals are more than just cold sandwiches and chips. They are full-spread, home-cooked meals of steak or roast beef or fried chicken. Although the youth love the great meals, the biggest support Diane is providing is that she mentors the youth. She has mentored over a dozen youth at the drop-in center and transitional housing programs. The youth are being mentored through the Kiwanis Turn Around scholarship program, but Diane is also personally sponsoring some—including purchasing laptops or other much-needed supplies. Through support from people like Diane, some of these youth are now working with Bill Wilson Center and continuing their educations.

Cathey E, nominated by Bill Wilson Center, Santa Clara, CA

Since 2005, Cathey E., the executive of a local nonprofit, has volunteered with many of our programs in Santa Clara, CA. She provides lunch every other Friday for youth at the drop-in center and is always working on collecting donations of clothes, gift cards and other needed items that she provides to youth throughout the year. Cathey is currently working on a $5,000 grant for a gardening program for the drop-in center where she, along with other volunteers, will work with the youth to learn gardening and cultivation skills.

Yulia S, nominated by Bill Wilson Center, Santa Clara, CA

Yulia has volunteered with our Contact Care crisis hotline and our expressive arts therapy program in Santa Clara, CA, since 2012. She has a fantastic sense of humor, is warm and genuine with both youth and staff, and brings a wealth of secret talents and skills to her volunteering—earning her the nickname "Swiss Army Knife of Art Volunteers." Here are some of the secret talents that she blesses our expressive arts therapy groups with: accomplished painter, artist, animator, graphic designer, costume designer and seamstress, writer, all-around crafter—oh, and of course, a classical pianist! Our silk-screening project would not have moved off the ground without her, and both of our new murals were due in large part to her efforts.

Want to see the e-certificates we made to show our appreciation to these great nominees? Head over to the NCFY Facebook page. Want to tell us about one of your volunteers? Share their awesomeness on Twitter. Want to learn how to attract and keep great volunteers? We've got five tips for you.

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