Polk County High senior devotes senior project to Thermal Belt Outreach

“No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.” This anonymous quote speaks to how we feel about our volunteers here at Outreach. We cherish the hundreds of community citizens that give their time to help their neighbors. As April is Volunteer Month, we try to make an extra effort to show our valued volunteers that we appreciate all their efforts.

We utilize right around 100 volunteers every week to carry out our mission at the pantry and countless more volunteers donate their time to help with special events, the Feed-a-Kid program, the School Supply Distribution, the Firewood program and the Holiday Gift distribution. In all, volunteers donated 12,611 hours of their time in 2017!

These volunteers vary in age from toddlers to senior citizens. The Holy Cross Episcopal Church takes the young children food shopping once per month, the cub scouts out of Midway Baptist Church hold an annual food drive, the PCHS Track and Field team hosts the Reindeer Games every year, the PCHS FFA students recently cleaned out all our flower and vegetable beds, and able bodied adults help us split firewood once per month. But the bulk of our regular volunteer pool is retired citizens that have decided to lighten the burden of those in need of a little extra help.

The picture you see above is of Tanner Bishop, a Polk County High School student that is doing his senior project on volunteerism. Not only has Tanner been helping out splitting wood, but last week, he drove to Swannanoa to pick up more than 250 pounds of potatoes that were gleaned by the Society of St. Andrew, and then returned to help in the garden and stocking groceries in the pantry.

Not only is he talking the talk by reporting on the joys and challenges of volunteering, but he is walking the walk by giving his time on a regular basis. So to all our cherished volunteers, we say, THANK YOU!!

Outreach is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide compassionate assistance to Polk County residents who are unable to provide for their basic life needs. For more information on Outreach, please visit www.tboutreach.org or call (828) 894-2988.