Rowan Helping Ministries honors volunteers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 19, 2022

After postponing the annual banquet for two years, Rowan Helping Ministries hosted an in-person event at the First Baptist Church of Salisbury Ministry Center on Tuesday evening, March 15. Board members, staff and volunteers came together to celebrate volunteerism and hear an inspirational message from Rowan County native Dr. Gary Chapman. Debbie Suggs Catering prepared a delicious dinner and L.A. Murph’s provided a variety of desserts.

Several hundred people gathered and were welcomed by Board Chair Carol Herndon. Prayer was offered by Pastor Jon DeBell of First Baptist Church. Executive Director Kyna Grubb introduced Dr. Chapman whose topic for the evening was “Love as A Way of Life.”

The following volunteers were recognized by Director of Community Relations Raeshawn Palmer and Volunteer Manager Monica Seamon.

For service during 2020, the honorees were:

David Preslar — David helped to streamline the food packing programs to enhance the volunteer experience and has played a big part in the food operations department since becoming a volunteer in 2018. He distributes food bags to feed food-insecure students in the Rowan County School System and is an advocate for the Food for Thought program.

Steve Henman — Steve dedicated countless hours to enriching the lives of clients by providing a listening ear and offering words of encouragement to assist them in making the choices needed to gain a sustainable life. Steve has served as a Rowan Helping Ministries Life Coach for more than a decade

CAN Interviewers — Crisis Assistance Interviewers listen to our clients and provide assistance to meet their needs. They interview clients applying for financial assistance.

For service during 2021, the honorees were:

Trinity Wesleyan Church — Trinity Wesleyan Church served three meals a month in Jeannie’s Kitchen and provided Second Helping drivers each week to pick up and deliver to the food pantry to ensure grocery items were available for clients.

Sandy Bevels — Sandy volunteered 150 hours making sure the food pantry doors were kept open. Sandy also assisted in packing family food bags during the first year of the pandemic twice a month.

Walter Wyzisk and Eva Knight — In a year, the team drove 1,153 miles and delivered 22,191 pounds of food to supply the food pantry.

For service during 2022, the honorees were:

Rev. Steve Combs — The Garden of Eatin was brought to life in 2019 by Steve. He has dedicated countless hours through fellowship and prayer as he guides guests in planting, tending and harvesting crops for Jeannie’s Kitchen.

Chris Bradshaw — Chris served more than 20 years on the board of directors and is the man behind the many Rowan Helping Ministries construction projects. “He has been our wise counsel in all areas in our expansion processes,” Grubb said. He is the quiet force on the ground and takes phone calls from Grubb in the middle of the night about water leaks.

Salisbury Rowan Runners — At the start of the pandemic in 2020, the Salisbury Rowan Runners rushed in to fill vacated meal service times in Jeannie’s Kitchen. Less than two years later, The Salisbury Rowan Runners have served 190 lunches in Jeannie’s Kitchen. In addition to serving meals, The Salisbury Rowan Runners organize and host several charitable 8K/5K run/walk events throughout the year benefiting Rowan Helping Ministries.

Most of the honorees were recognized for their resilience during the pandemic and their contribution to helping Rowan Helping Ministries keep its doors open the entire time.

For the first time publicly, winners were announced for the 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award. Rowan Helping Ministries nominated the winners.

• David Preslar

• Stephen Combs

• Christopher S. Bradshaw

• Salisbury Rowan Runners