United Way of Greater Kingsport (UWGK) hosted its annual Volunteer Breakfast with approximately 100 people in attendance, including those who volunteer with UWGK’s 30 member agencies and other area nonprofit organizations.
UWGK Board President Craig Denison welcomed attendees to the event, saying “We live in the Volunteer State and Kingsport is the epitome of volunteerism.” Denison was followed by Mayor Clark, who spoke of the impact of volunteerism on Kingsport. “People want to live where their neighbor is a friend,” said Mayor Clark. He then issued a proclamation declaring the week of April 10 – 16, 2016 as Volunteer Appreciation Week in Kingsport. The proclamation highlighted the work of community volunteers, including the “thousands of hours a year” dedicated to “mentoring our children, feeding our hungry, comforting our lonely, improving our safety, and providing leadership and oversight for charitable organizations,” which “shape a community big enough and bold enough to accommodate the hopes of all our people.”
The keynote speaker was singer, humorist, and radio personality Beth Green. Green, who recently moved to Kingsport as a pastor’s wife with First Broad Street United Methodist Church, entertained attendees with stories about her life and travels. She shared how much she and her husband enjoyed Kingsport, and how the giving nature of the community made it an attractive place to live. “I am very appreciative when I see people who volunteer,” said Green. “Kingsport is a good place because of people like you.”
Becca Sutphen, UWGK Community Impact Director, thanked the volunteers for generously giving back to their community in order to continue improving lives and creating a better life for all. She shared that the United Way of Greater Kingsport benefitted from over 12,000 hours of volunteer service last year. UWGK Executive Director Danelle Glasscock then recognized those organizations present: American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Tri-Cities, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kingsport, CASA for Kids, Contact Concern of Northeast Tennessee, First Book of Greater Kingsport, Friends in Need, Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachians, Girls Inc. of Kingsport, Holston Habitat, Holston Habitat ReStore, Hope House, Hosanna House, Kingsport Child Development Center, Kingsport Lifesaving Crew, Legal Aid of East Tennessee, Literacy Council of Kingsport, Meals on Wheels of Kingsport, Mountain Region Speech & Hearing, RSVP of Northeast Tennessee, Safe House, Salvation Army, Boy Scouts Sequoyah Council, Shepherd Center, Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Sullivan South Meals on Wheels, United Way of Greater Kingsport, and United WE READ. She also thanked the staff of Piccadilly Cafeteria for their sponsorship of the breakfast. Glasscock closed with a quote from DeAnn Hollis on volunteerism: “The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.”