On July 22, RSVP Trailblazer Volunteer Gary Jones was honored at the Governor's Mansion with the 2014 Governor's Volunteer Service Award. Governor Steve Breshear was present to hand out the awards and to meet all of those Kentucky volunteers who, like Gary, are shining examples in their community of the value of volunteerism and service.
Gary participated in the meal preparation, delivery scheduling, volunteer recruiting and record keeping for approximately 4,560 meals served in Mentors & Meals (M&Ms) after school tutoring program in Versailles. M&Ms provdes a hot meal to students Monday through Thursday during the school year and once a week in the summer. This Woodford County RSVP Trailblazer program proves this focus and academic success improves when they are nourished! M&Ms also thrives on the efforts of several RSVP Trailblazers tutors and mentors who work with high school students to engage middle school students to succeed in all core subject areas!
M&Ms director Lisa Johnson - herself a previous Governor's Service Award recipient - truly believes in the value of intergenerational learning and so do her volunteers!
Gary was also instrumental in creating the Woodford County Ministerial Association Soup Kitchen. The soup kitchen currently provides a hot meal every Monday. For those who are homebound, meals are delivered to their doors, which helps seniors continue living in their own homes and reduce food insecurity. The soup kitchen prepares food for 118 deliveries and 30 dine-in clients each week. In 2013, the program served more tha 16,700 meals and Gary served more than 1,500 hours. His passion has helped provide nutritious food to all ages of people in need in Woodford County. Next year, Gary hopes to add an additonal meal night.
Pictured L-R: Representative James Kay, RSVP Trailblazers Coordinator Alyce Emerson, Governor's Service Award Winner Gary Jones, RSVP Trailblazers Director Patrick Tuck, M&Ms Director Lisa Johnson.