20 Years of Celebrating Volunteering

The Cornucopia Luncheon – October 2016

In the past 20 years, we have had the joy of honoring some pretty outstanding individuals, families, businesses, and community groups on the South Plains. One of these honorees is the Double T Health Service Corps from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center. Well, actually, this amazing group of students has now won not one but two Get Involved Awards. The group won in the college category in 2008, and last year received the prestigious Louise Cummins Outstanding Organization award.

This was a first for the event. We have never had an organization win in one category and then go on to win the Cummins Award. But this is more than the story of an outstanding organization. This is the story of an outstanding family.

Jill Rinehart got her family involved with our From the Heart family volunteering program a little over two years ago. Her children go to Hardwick Elementary, and Jill is involved with the school PTA. Experiencing firsthand the impact service made on her own children and seeing how the Volunteer Center supports nonprofits, Jill encouraged the PTA to become an agency partner. She saw how the partnership could benefit the organization because so often the PTA struggled to find needed volunteers for events like Math Night and the biannual Scholastic Book Fair. They also wanted parents to be able to enjoy school events and to spend time with their children instead of volunteering. After the PTA became a partner, our service coordinator put them in touch with the Double T Health Service Corps. Students from the organization became regular volunteers at Hardwick events, providing the PTA with much-needed support.

You’ve probably guessed how the story ends. Jill and the rest of the PTA board were so grateful to the Double T Health Service Corps that they nominated them for a Get Involved Award. Although the nomination was originally for the college category, last year’s silent panel of judges made the decision to move them into the Cummins Award category and to honor them with the award even though they had already received a Get Involved Award. Jill was over the moon when she found out that the group would receive the award.

Making a difference in the lives of others always begins with something small, like in the case of Jill and her family, but then it grows to be something bigger. The Cornucopia Luncheon is one way we honor those small acts that ripple out across our city.

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