The Union Recorder

November 12, 2012

HOM distinguishes volunteer efforts, commitment of locals

From staff reports
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Hands On Milledgeville (HOM) recognized local individuals for determining the needs of Milledgeville and Baldwin County and devoting themselves to volunteering their efforts toward various organizations, businesses and community partners to help make a difference.

HOM held the award ceremony during the November First Friday event to distinguish Barrett Roell as the Youth Volunteer of the Year, Laura Thompson as the Volunteer of the Year, Gamma Sigma Sigma as the Youth Volunteer Group of the Year, Oconee Regional Medical Center (ORMC) Auxiliary as the Volunteer Group of the Year, and Paula Barnes as the Volunteer Administrator of the Year.

Since last year, Roell has had an active role in giving his time to the Georgia College GIVE Center and putting his efforts specifically toward blood drives. Through his commitment, Georgia College’s first blood drive of the year held in August was able to collect 253 pints, exceeding the goal by 47 pints.

Thompson’s dedication to helping each Community Action Team member strive to be the best they can be to better serve youth participating within the Baldwin County Ferst Foundation of Childhood Literacy is what Stiles admires, nominating her as the Volunteer of the Year.

Gamma Sigma Sigma, a Georgia College service organization, will have completed nearly 40,000 hours of service by the end of this year since being founded in 1997. The group has received the National Service Merit Award from the Gamma Sigma Sigma national office as well as the National Presidential Volunteer Service Award.

With 49 active members, ORMC Auxiliary members volunteered more than 5,600 hours between January and July of this year, earning the Volunteer Group of the Year designation. The Auxiliary manages and operates the Pink Bow Gift Shop at the local hospital, which is the sole source of income for the organization and has enabled the Auxiliary to donate more than $1 million to the hospital.

Founder and president of the nonprofit HorseDreams Youth Ranch, Barnes offers a safe haven and nurturing environment for children and college students on her property. Her hope and desire to impact the lives of at-risk youth in a positive way has earned her the Volunteer Administrator of the Year award.

According to the Hands On Georgia website, the local organization is an affiliate of the statewide initiative and was developed from a $10,000 challenge grant given to the Georgia College GIVE Center by Hands on Georgia and presented by former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. 

The purpose of HOM is to promote sound leadership and management practices and to support professional volunteer administrators. HOM strives to strengthen the Milledgeville-Baldwin County community by providing resources to community partners, assessing community needs and encouraging volunteerism among individuals, civic groups and businesses.

Interested individuals can join HOM for a $35 yearly membership fee, students can participate for $25, faith-based organizations can join for $100, and businesses and vendors can get involved for $250.

For more information about the organization, to volunteer, or become a member, contact Stiles at (478) 445-5936.

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