Mayor Honors Volunteers in Day of Recognition

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COLUMBIA - The second annual Mayor's Day of Recognition took place Tuesday at Derby Ridge Elementary School. 

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Among those recognized were organizations such as Jumpstart, Foster Grandparents, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Job Point and more.  Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe said that Columbia has a lot more volunteer involvement than most communities throughout Missouri.

"It's really exciting to see younger people and older people wanting to spend their time to do positive things in the community and enjoy the work and feel it's rewarding and meaningful," Hoppe said.

Britany Holton is one of these younger people getting involved.  She also knows what it's like to reap the benefits of what volunteering does for individuals.

Holton was struggling with her life decisions until she came to Job Point, which she says gave her a second chance. 

"I am going to have a chance to go to college and get my CNA and become a nurse," Holton said.

Holton now helps others to obtain internships and go to college with Community Youth Center.

Pat Bond is another volunteer that is helping in the community.  Known to many as Grandma Pat, she volunteers 3-to-4 days a week at Derby Ridge Elementary school as a foster grandma. Through the Foster Grandparent program, third graders read to Bond and she helps them with rocket math testing.

"They get incorporated into the school system a lot better and they learn how to read and write and do math," said Bond.

Hoppe said that new volunteers are always needed in the organizations and that she encourages anyone who is interested to get involved.

"I would just encourage people to volunteer because it's very rewarding to you, it's very helpful to the community, it's fun, you meet new people and you feel good about yourself," said Hoppe.

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