They coach teams - sports, academics and special-interest ones.
They teach Sunday school, plant flowers in public gardens and rock babies.
They collect canned goods and distribute the food to those who need it.
They read to children - and teach the children how to read.
What would we do without volunteers?
So often, the difference that volunteers make is not widely seen by the public. Typically, a volunteer meets a need quietly and says little about the service provided. Those who give back often tend to keep their good deeds to themselves.
For the summer issue of Her magazine for women, we would like to honor the contributions of area women who give so much of themselves in the community simply because they feel the need. And not only do they feel it, they meet it.
We are inviting the public to send emails or notes directly to the newspaper office to publicly explain why a particular female volunteer should be recognized. The her staff will read each nomination carefully and once the submission deadline is complete, select one woman as Her Volunteer of the Year. That woman will be contacted and with her permission, we will feature her on the cover of the summer issue, due out in mid-July.
As many essays as space allows will be published in the magazine.
Deadline to submit the name, contact information and either an essay or some thoughts on why a certain person should be named our top volunteer is 10 a.m. Thursday, May 16. A photo of the person, particularly one of her volunteering, is most welcome, but not required. There is no minimum or maximum length when submitting the nomination. Be sure to tell where and how the woman volunteers.
Not only do we want to recognize this community's female volunteers, but we hope that drawing attention to what they do and how they give of their time will inspire others in the community to offer their time and talents in a positive way. And, it will showcase organizations that are in need of volunteers and could perhaps benefit by others giving of themselves.
To email a nomination: Send to Her Editor Donna Cronk at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the subject line, please put: Her Volunteer of the Year nomination.
To mail a nomination (or drop it off): bring it to The Courier-Times, 201 S. 14th St., New Castle, IN 47362. Attention: Donna Cronk, Her Volunteer of the Year nomination.
For more information on this project, call me at 529-1111, ext. 232.
Donna Cronk is Neighbors Editor of The Courier-Times and editor of the quarterly "Her" magazine for women. Follow her on Twitter @DonnaCronk.