Meridian Star

December 9, 2012

Volunteers ... the backbone of every community

By Diana S. Glover
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — I am fortunate to direct many volunteers who display the “Volunteer Heart."

    I recently became well aware of the value and loyalty of my RSVP volunteers as we planned our Meridian Volunteers Appreciation Day, an event honoring volunteers from every sector of Meridian. In the final stages of planning for this large event, I became ill and was very weak. My volunteers arrived early, came to work and gave me the strength and support to plan and execute this awesome event for those who serve our community.

    I thank the Meridian/Lauderdale County RSVP volunteers for their support and willingness to help. I am so proud of all my volunteers for the more than 30,000 hours they served in their community this year, and I look forward to being their leader in 2013.  I come to work every day knowing that what we do makes a difference to the Meridian community.

    The spirit and willingness to help others is what volunteering is all about. It is not the number of hours that makes volunteering special; it is the spirit of the volunteers that sets them apart.

2012 RSVP

Volunteer of the Year    

    Sandra McMullan has been recognized as our 2012 RSVP Volunteer of the Year.

    Sandra is not only an active member of RSVP, but she also volunteers to prepare taxes for AARP. Sandra served on our committee for the recent Meridian Volunteers Appreciation Day event, and also performed violin solos at an event earlier this month – shortly after recuperating from surgery.

    Our 2012 Volunteer of the Month honorees are:  Dorothy Stovall, January; Helen Shannon, February; Brenda Jefcoat, March; Donna Harrison and Wayne Long, April; Dorothy Burks, May; Corine Nichols and Elnora Carson, June; Jesse Brewster, July; Dorothy Nicholson, August; Sandra McMullan, September; The Volunteer Recognition Committee – Blanche Harmon, Kathleen Jordan, Sarah Jackson, Rose Ellen Reid, Sandra McMullan, Belinda Waters and John Flowers – October; John Flowers, November; and Belinda Waters, December.

Waters December

Volunteer of Month

    Belinda “Faye” Waters is our RSVP Volunteer of the Month for December.

    A Meridian native, Miss Waters attended Meridian Public Schools, Meridian Community College, Mississippi Valley State University (undergraduate), Jackson State University (master graduate studies) and Mississippi State University for extended studies. She has served with the Americorps and Vista programs several times.

    Miss Waters joined the RSVP family of volunteers in February and served on the RSVP committee for the Meridian Volunteers Appreciation Day held earlier this month. She has also been involved with The Red Cross.

    Miss Waters is a people person and loves working with others to better her community.  

Other recognitions

     Our Retired Senior Volunteer Program has been sponsored locally by The United Way of East Mississippi for 40 years.

    As the United Way's 2012-13 Community Campaign continues, I encourage everyone who likes what our program does in this community to support United Way, which also helps fund the activities of many other organizations that provide necessary services to Meridian and the surrounding areas. Together, we can make a significant difference in our community and the lives of those less fortunate.

    Beginning in January, we will recruit new volunteers, hoping to appeal to the Baby Boomer Generation. We will be adding new and exciting possibilities for our volunteers and invite those interested to contact us at (601) 482-0512, or stop by our office at 721 Front St. Ext., Suite 760 (Acme Plaza).

    I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I especially wish to thank those individuals and businesses which  made donations to our Meridian Volunteers Appreciation Day: A&W Rootbeer, Citizen’s National Bank; Brenda Jefcoat & Family; Coca-Cola Bottling Company; Van Zyverden Flowers; Popeye’s Chicken; Sam’s Club; Meridian Community College Art Gallery; 24 KRT, Inc;, Choctaw Area Council, Boy Scouts of America; Soft Shoe; The Rib Shack, Wal-Mart; Cash Saver; Chick-fil-A; Community Bank; Saxon’s Flowers; Sharlee Reynolds; Ja Jamm’s Salon; SO Beauty Salon; Kuts R Us Salon; Little Acres Home and Patio; Mr. Discount Drugs; Berry & Gardner Funeral Home; John O’Neal Johnson Toyota; The Lion Heart B&B; The Bible Book Store; and Budget Printing.

    I also wish to thank all the volunteers in Meridian for making this a better place to live for everyone. I am impressed with the giving of oneself that I witness every day, and the warmth it creates in this community.

    • Diana S. Glover is director of RSVP of Meridian/Lauderdale County.