The weather was just right earlier this week for a noontime walk around downtown Poplar Bluff. The sun was shining and it was 60 degrees. The conditions were just too good to pass up.
On my way back to the newspaper I noticed the line outside the United Gospel Rescue Mission as lunch was about to be served. It made me think of all the volunteer work that goes into preparing those meals, and all the other work by hundreds of volunteers in Butler and surrounding counties.
The Daily American Republic has put together a campaign to shine a spotlight on the many volunteers we have in our area. We are calling it Difference Makers.
From May to early July, we will ask readers to nominate those who make a difference in our communities. Nomination forms will be available in the newspaper and online, including our website and Facebook page.
Ten finalists will be selected and honored at a banquet, and a Difference Maker of the Year will be announced that night.
The banquet will be Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at the United Gospel Rescue Mission. We will also have a guest speaker that night.
The DAR is currently speaking with area businesses about being a part of the campaign, and also offering a significant advertising package for their sponsorship.
Ten percent of all sponsorships will be donated to the mission, and the DAR will also make a donation. We’re hoping the evening not only sheds light on our Difference Makers but also the mission. We believe it’s a win-win.
What type of volunteers are we seeking? Any and all.
It might be a neighbor who helps take care of an elderly couple by mowing their grass, cleaning their house or doing their grocery shopping.
It also could be someone who always takes charge when tragedy strikes. A family loses their home to fire, and this person steps up to help them find a place to stay and clothing.
Maybe it’s that person at your school who has helped organize the Angel Tree project at Christmas time for years. They just can’t stand to see children go without.
It might be a youth coach who goes above and beyond and teaches his or her athletes more about life than sports.
I’m sure there are several people who could be recognized for helping the less fortunate, homeless or those with addictions.
I think you get the idea. Anyone who lends a helping hand is eligible.
We will announce our guest speaker and additional details of the campaign in the coming weeks and months. So be on the lookout for details and when it’s time to offer nominations.
The DAR is excited about honoring these individuals and helping the United Gospel Rescue Mission.
Chris is publisher of the Daily American Republic. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .