The Governor’s Commission on Service, “Nevada Volunteers”, has announced the finalists for the 2016 Governor’s Points of Light Awards, the highest honor bestowed on a volunteer in Nevada. Kathy McIntosh, Director of Healthy Communities’ Silver Stage Food Pantry in Silver Springs, was named a finalist in the Volunteer Manager category! Volunteers often hear Kathy say, “What wonderful people we have in this community that give their heart and soul to help people. I love each and everyone of them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you do.”
When and where is the awards ceremony? Finalists will attend the Governor’s Points of Light Award Ceremony on September 29, 2016 in Las Vegas where the winner for each category will be announced.
How are award recipients selected? Award recipients are selected by a panel of leaders in business, government, and nonprofits from across the state based on criteria showing how their volunteerism exemplifies achievement, need, innovation, mobilization and endurance.
About Kathy and the Volunteers: Kathy has engaged hard working community volunteers from all walks of life, ranging in age from 4 to 86. Kathy assists the volunteers in finding the tasks at the Pantry that give them the most joy, from greeting visitors, to delivering weekend food backpacks for local students, to being part of a team that unloads between 2,000 and 29,000 pounds of food per week (depending on whether its a USDA Commodities delivery or other type of delivery).
The volunteers and the pantry visitors all report a warm sense of extended family. Kathy sets the standard of compassion and treats each visitor with dignity. During the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year, the Pantry reached 3,804 children and adults in need of food. Kathy reminds us that “the volunteers do so much. It’s not just about standing at a table handing out food. It’s about so much more. The volunteers are the most wonderful, caring people I’ve ever met.”
Volunteer-Powered: The Silver Stage Food Pantry is a place where everyone is accepted and welcomed because everyone has something important to contribute. Many of the volunteers are also guests of the pantry, and so the pantry is an example of “co-production”, with those receiving the services helping to set the Pantry’s high standards for dignity and kindness.
Job Training, Health Services, Gardening Skills: The Pantry is unusual in that it has an adjacent community garden and hoop house so that locals can learn to grow their own fresh food. By partnering with other agencies, the Pantry is able to provide on the job training. In addition, the nonprofit Community Chest provides onsite employment specialists who can help visitors find job skills training and employment. Many of the volunteers also learn valuable skills such as basic computer skills when they work at the Pantry. In addition, the Pantry invites area health agencies such as CCHHS and state health nurses who offer periodic free vaccines, flu shots, etc on site.
The Governor’s Points of Light Awards honor individuals, community-based organizations and businesses for their contribution to communities through volunteer service. See the entire list of finalists here: