Last year, volunteers gave over 4700 hours of service to Eblen Charities! That would be equivalent to $140,824.90 in payroll dollars and and a major savings to Eblen! We could not serve the thousands of people without the help of our faithful volunteers who assist with fundraising events like the annual golf tournament and the Spring coat drive, answering phones, filing, warehouse organization and special assistance programs like the St Nicholas project and Tools for Schools. There are many ways YOU can be apart of the mission of Eblen Charities.
Volunteers play a big role in the success of the programs at Eblen. Thanks to the McMinns, we have a vibrant group of volunteers today! Ray and Mary Ann retired 15 years ago and were looking for something meaningful to do with their time. A friend of theirs, Bill Waddell, had already joined Eblen in his retirement. Mary Ann spoke with him one day at church to ask what kinds of things she might be able to do at Eblen. He welcomed them to come and “hang around” and see how they might fit in. That’s what they did. It wasn’t long before Mary Ann began to realize that an organized volunteer program would be a great benefit to Eblen but there was no one to coordinate it. Therefore, the volunteer program was born. Mary Ann became the volunteer coordinator and Ray, one of the first volunteers (Ann Buckner was THE first as she had done the same thing and been “hanging around” the file room for a time). Mary Ann has often used the line from, Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come” and that is exactly what happened. Eblen now has hundreds of people volunteering in various ways from office assistance to special events.
Mary Ann says that seeing the true miracles of almost impossible situations being met…..Christmas for a family in need, furnishing an apartment for a mother running from an abusive situation with 3 children, a hospital bed to ease the strain for an elderly woman who now has a sick husband to care for, school supplies and clothing for children to return to school and enter the first day looking just like everyone else with their new backpack filled and ready…..the list goes on and on as to so many times a need was answered.
The McMinns have two sons, daughter in laws and four grandchildren. They love to word in the garden, walking, spending time with friends and traveling the world. Mary Ann says that one of the best ways to keep yourself “feeling young” even when your age tells you otherwise is to spend time around others engaged in meaningful activity. What better way than to volunteer. She encourages this for anyone seeking to fill a few hours in their week…..it could be just the best thing you ever did.
Ray and Mary Ann feel so blessed to be part of so many wonderful people who care about the needs of others and seeing those needs met time and time again. Eblen is grateful for Ray’s joyful spirit and enthusiasm to serve and Mary Ann’s vision to develop a thriving volunteer program. Even though Mary Ann recently stepped back as coordinator, they are not gone…you will continue to see them helping out at one of our many events. Thank you, Ray and Mary Ann!
For more information, contact Jennifer at [email protected].