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Honoring those who volunteer
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Forsyth County News

On June 27, I attended Forsyth County Community Connection’s Celebration of Hands dinner at Windermere Golf Club.

If you are not familiar with this amazing organization and what it does for our community, please read on.

The mission of Community Connection is to identify the community’s needs and develop strategies to meet them.

Its executive director, Nicole Morgan, works tirelessly with many groups, including local businesses, churches and other nonprofits. The goal is to make the community a better place for adults and children.

I first met Nicole many years ago when I wrote an article about her for the Forsyth County News.

Nobody meets Nicole without being taken back by her lovely smile and welcoming personality. You get the feeling she would do just about anything to help someone.

Her sidekick at Community Connection is Kerry Rosewall. Kerry serves as volunteer coordinator for Hands on Forsyth.

Kerry and I cross paths often and have known each other for years. Nicole and Kerry always inspire me with the work they do for others.

Have you ever wondered how volunteers get plugged into the community? Well, Hands on Forsyth is a "volunteer recruitment initiative."

Kerry is always looking to match youth and adults who have a desire to get involved with projects that are a good fit for them.

"We love to help volunteers find what they are passionate about," Kerry said. "We also encourage volunteers to keep track of their volunteer hours on our Web site."

The best way to get plugged in is to go to and check out the current volunteer opportunities.

There are so many to choose from. There truly is something for everybody.

Currently, there are 7,000 volunteers in the system, though the organization’s goal is to have 10,000. Considering the population of our county, this seems attainable.

Kerry said local volunteers typically don’t want any recognition. However, Community Connection holds its annual dinner for exactly that purpose.

The 2011 celebration was truly inspiring. To hear story after story of nominees who give so much of their time and resources to help others was nothing short of astonishing.

How many times do you hear people say they are too busy to volunteer?

Yet there are so many thousands of people who manage to fit volunteering into their lives and are never recognized for it.

In fact, most people who volunteer shy away from any recognition. If you ask, nearly all of them will tell you that they get much more out of it than they give.

I have met hundreds of community volunteers during my 20-plus years living in this county. They vary in age and come from all walks of life.

Their common thread is their desire to help others and make our community a better place to live.

Hearing their stories always makes me want to do more. The mantra at the dinner was "Be the change."

I met some amazing people who certainly are trying to be that positive change.

Please check out Hands on Forsyth and see what you can do to help continue its work in Forsyth County. And thanks again to Nicole and Kerry for an amazing evening with so many wonderful people.


Adlen Robinson is author of "Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home." E-mail her at