Local nonprofits celebrate volunteers during National Volunteer Appreciation Week

Interns Destiny Saunders (left) and Jada Gray talk with volunteer Paul McGraw about their project at the appreciation event.

Local nonprofits celebrate volunteers during National Volunteer Appreciation Week
April 21
14:35 2021

By Judie Holcomb-Pack

This week we salute all volunteers and thank them for their generous and unselfish service to our community. If nothing else, the pandemic and its accompanying shut-down has taught us how vital volunteers are and how much their services are needed to keep our nonprofits functioning.

The pandemic forced many of our local nonprofits to change how they provided services, eliminating many volunteer positions. Now that more people are getting vaccinated and restrictions are being relaxed, nonprofits are reviewing their volunteer needs and celebrating their volunteers that have hung in there with them over the past year.

Even though many of their volunteers were “sidelined” for most of 2020, the Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem thanked their volunteers with a drive-thru event on Tuesday, April 20, handing out coffee, donuts, and a small gift to recognize their “faithful, wonderful, hardworking and steadfast volunteers,” as Vicki Poore, community outreach/volunteer coordinator, described them. Some volunteers have been able to work virtually, such as the Card Connection, check-in phone calls, and leaders of groups that could pivot to Zoom. The volunteers working on preparing for the book sale, which will be held in September, worked on site, following CDC protocols of face masks and social distancing. Poore predicted, “There is light at the end of the tunnel” and she expects all their volunteers will be back “before summer gets into full swing.”

Crisis Control Ministry also honored their volunteers during this week. Abbey McCall, director of community and volunteer relations, said that they have been slowly bringing back volunteers and that about 60% of volunteers are now serving clients. The free pharmacy and food pantry are fully staffed, although they are limiting the number of clients they can see. Volunteers are doing phone rather than in-person client interviews. 

To celebrate their volunteers, they are offering breakfast and lunch items in their volunteer lounge all week. Their Kernersville location held a drive-thru event on Tuesday where volunteers picked up goody bags donated by Mast General Store, filled with donated items such as cookies from Baked Just So and coupons from Café Gelato and Moji Coffee, among others.

McCall said that during the months they were closed, the staff handled the duties normally performed by volunteers. “It made us appreciate our volunteers!” she commented. In normal times, Crisis Control needs about 288 volunteers per week to do all the activities necessary to keep the ministry operating. “I think we have the most incredible volunteer base at Crisis Control,” remarked McCall. “All were very understanding when we had to close our doors, and they have stayed in contact and engaged with us.”

Samaritan Ministries will thank their volunteers with a festive drive-thru celebration on Sunday afternoon. The event will include music, treats, giveaways, and prizes for each car that drives through. This is a special year as Samaritan celebrates 40 years of service in the community and 40 years of volunteers helping Samaritan fulfill its mission. 

Samaritan’s volunteer needs have changed since the onset of the pandemic, but they still need help daily to provide meals to their guests. Currently, they need eight volunteers every day to help prepare and serve to-go lunches and two volunteers every evening to help with dinner preparation. For more information on volunteering, visit

Holly Beck, volunteer and community engagement manager for Senior Services, said in an email that instead of their annual Volunteer Appreciation luncheon, they thanked their volunteers with a Volunteer Appreciation Drive-thru event sponsored by Modern Chevrolet, Golden Corral, Krispy Kreme, and Richard and Mary Hill. “We provided our wonderful volunteers with coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts while they remained in their cars. Staff from all of our departments created handmade signs expressing how much we appreciate volunteers and the kindness they exhibit to the older adults we serve. Staff waved and cheered volunteers while they drove through our parking lot,” said Beck.

Beck also mentioned that the pandemic forced a change to their Meals-on-Wheels program which transitioned in March 2020 to delivering a box of five frozen meals once a week to clients, delivered with as little contact as possible to keep volunteers and clients safe. She said, “We look forward to our return to daily hot meal delivery beginning May 3, as a result of lower infection numbers and the increasing number of community members who are getting vaccinated.” Beck said they are looking to add more volunteers. “We are grateful for the large number of kind people who have already volunteered … We have been able to fill over 150 routes in the last month, but we still need more volunteers (especially on Thursdays and Fridays).” Deliveries are weekdays between the hours 9:45 a.m. to noon and usually take about 90 minutes. You can volunteer with a friend, spouse, or child. You can deliver when it works with your schedule, once a week, once a month, or anything in-between.” For more information on volunteering, visit

Volunteers are vital to making our community a great place to live. As you encounter a volunteer this week – or any time – please take a moment to thank them for their time and service.

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