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WKU ALIVE Center to recognize outstanding volunteer service in region

Making phone calls, driving clients, mentoring children, teaching youth, planning fundraisers, speaking to groups… The list of how volunteers help nonprofits and the community can go on and on because people serve as a community’s most valuable resource.

The WKU ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships, as a certifying organization through the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, offers community leaders the opportunity to recognize their volunteers through the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

The ALIVE Center shares information about volunteer opportunities in the region via email and by visiting the website at http://www.wkualivecenter.com. More than 1,000 WKU students and community members receive email from the Center about volunteer opportunities. Students visit the Center to find opportunities for classwork, and youth and church groups call the Center for assistance setting up projects. Plus, many individuals visit the website. About 4,000 individuals contacted the ALIVE Center to obtain volunteer opportunities in 2011, and the staff hopes to see that number grow this year. Encouraging more people to volunteer starts with showing volunteer appreciation and ensuring that they know their work is meaningful.

WKU graduate Sandhya Bhoyar (third from left) received the President’s Volunteer Service Award silver pin in 2011 for her volunteer work with the Housing Authority of Bowling Green. Bhoyar completed 329 hours in 2010. Housing Authority staff joined her for the recognition ceremony. The deadline for this year's award is Feb. 10.

“People may volunteer for any number of reasons but a major factor for volunteers is that each of them desires to do meaningful work. By saying ‘thank you’ or recognizing their efforts, you validate their work as meaningful,” said Michael Hall, Program Director for the Community Action of Southern Kentucky’s Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award recognizes youth, adults and groups for their service. Based on the number of hours served in 2011, the award recipients are awarded a gold, silver or bronze pin and certificate from the President of the United States. If you are interested in recognizing someone for the award, feel free to download the PVSA award information and volunteer verification forms from www.wkualivecenter.com. A form is available for nonprofits to submit hours for their volunteers, groups to submit hours, and individuals to submit their own hours. The deadline to submit hours is Feb. 10.

“Volunteers need to feel appreciated and need to know their contributions are beneficial and valued; after all, they could be spending their time elsewhere,” said Sharon Tabor, Executive Director for the L & N Depot.

The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was created in 2003 to recognize citizens’ volunteer efforts and encourage more people to serve in their communities. The President’s Volunteer Service Award was created to acknowledge those who have gone above and beyond the call of service and completed a designated amount of volunteer hours within one calendar year.

Contact: WKU ALIVE Center, (270) 782-0082.

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