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Rowan Helping Ministries honors volunteers

SALISBURY — During its 2016-17 fiscal year, Rowan Helping Ministries served almost 100,000 meals and provided shelter to more than 700 people in need. None of that, board Chairman David Jordan said, would be possible without the organization’s volunteers.

On Tuesday night, Rowan Helping Ministries threw its annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet to honor the families, men, women and organizations that help the shelter run smoothly and who provide a helping hand to those who need it most. More than 300 volunteers attended.

According to Jordan, the group put in roughly 58,487 volunteer hours over the course of a year.

The banquet was a chance to not only thank volunteers but to assure them that their work did, and still does, make a difference

“Nothing we can do in life is more important than helping those in need,” Jordan said.

Keynote speaker Warren Cole Smith, a Christian author and radio host, told stories of how volunteers and people caring for others have drastically changed the course of lives — and of history. Volunteers, he said, don’t just help individuals, they help uphold society.

“You may think that what you’re doing is a small thing,” he said, “but I’m here to tell you, it’s a big thing.”

Volunteering can have positive impacts on the global economy and social connections and helps build safer, stronger communities, Smith said.

“Volunteerism changes lives,” he said. “Volunteerism changes cultures. Volunteerism changes nations — and I believe it can change the world.”

Rowan Helping Ministries also recognized volunteers of the year. Patricia “PJ” Ricks and Karen Fleming were both honored as the 2018 Volunteers of the Year. Catawba College was awarded the 2018 Group Volunteer Award.

“We love our volunteers,” Executive Director Kyna Grub said. “I am so thankful for the opportunity to celebrate them and recognize their remarkable efforts.”

During the 2016-17 fiscal year, Rowan Helping Ministries distributed clothing during 6,083 household visits, gave out more than 847,241 pounds of groceries and provided $834,669 in financial assistance to 3,363 local households.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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