Mayor recognizes local volunteers
COLUMBIA - Local volunteers are officially being recognized for their service throughout Columbia.
Volunteers from many non-profits, including Americorps, Senior Corps and Americorps Vista, spent the morning hugging for pictures and listening to Mayor Bob McDavid read a proclamation commemorating their service to the community.
All participants gathered together at the Urban Farm as part of a national movement to start recognizing these volunteers and to show city officials how these volunteers work to eliminate pressing issues within the community. The mayor proclaimed the day National Service Recognition Day of Columbia.
Julie McNeill is the director of the Foster Grandparent Program, a program under Senior Corps, and she works with volunteers 55 years old and over to help special needs kids in schools, headstart centers and non-profit daycares. McNeill and many of her volunteers showed up today to listen to the mayor honor their service.
"Mr. McDavid recognized the service that our volunteers do and the difference that they make in our communities," McNeill said. "So it was really an honor to have him come, read a proclamation and just appreciate what our volunteers do everyday in the community."
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) sponsored the event. CNCS has more than five million volunteers across the country. McNeill said she has about 45 volunteers for the Foster Grandparents Program throughout Columbia. The Foster Grandparents Program is just one of the many non-profits honored by National Service Recognition Day of Columbia.
MCNeill said this day of recognition is so important because the need for volunteers is never ending.
"This is our 50th year of the program, so we've been trying to do some extra things this year to really celebrate what we do in the community and the fact that the need was shown in 1965, for our seniors who have some time now that they're retired, to work with our kids that really need extra attention in our schools and headstart centers," McNeill said.
McNeill says this commemoration marks a week of celebrating the volunteers and recognizing them for their work within the community.