United Way of Blount County looking for Volunteer Award nominees

United Way is looking for Blount County’s volunteer of the year. Earlier this week, the organization began accepting nominations for its first Live United Volunteer of the Year Award, which the organization will present at its annual meeting in January.

The award will be offered in two categories: One to honor a group/business and one to honor an individual.

Regina Jennings, who chairs the Year of Caring committee that developed the award, wants the award to be an opportunity for the community to show appreciation to the unsung volunteers in Blount County.

“A lot of volunteer hours go unnoticed...not that they’re even asking for recognition,” Jennings said. “But sometimes it’s nice to recognize somebody that really puts a lot of goodwill into the community.”

Jean Williamson, vice president of Community Impact for United Way, said this is one way United Way can give back to those who give so much of themselves every year.

“The work that they do is priceless,” Williamson said. “If there weren’t volunteers, most of the nonprofit organizations in Blount County could not exist because we count on volunteers to do so many things in the community.”

Anyone interested in nominating a group or individual for the award should contact United Way of Blount County at 865-982-2251 or visit liveunitedblount.org/volunteeraward to download a nomination form.

Jennings noted that the award is not only about recognition, but it would also be a way to promote volunteerism within Blount County.

“We hope this will inspire more people to volunteer in their community to make it a better place to live,” Jennings said.

“Success breeds success,” Williamson said. “I think that when people see somebody who has received a thank you for their volunteer service, they’ll say, ‘Maybe I want to be involved with that as well.’”

Williamson said, “The hope is that we can say thank you in a very public way to people who make a real difference.”

United Way of Blount County supports programs that address health, education, and self-sufficiency. For more information or to give to United Way, visit www.liveunitedblount.org or call 865-982-2251.

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