Each year, Colquitt Regional Volunteer Services forms a committee to create a community service project. The 2022-2023 committee recommended “Blessing Meals” boxes to be distributed during different holidays throughout the year to families of students that are in need.
Committee members Carolyn Christie, Donna Lee, Annie Ruth Hall, Joyce Tye, Patsy Akridge, Laura Brooks, and Jimmy Heirs introduced the idea to the remainder of the membership during their monthly meeting. A plan was developed to partner with three local elementary schools to identify families that could benefit from Blessing Meals.
“Holidays are a hard time financially on many families,” said Colquitt Regional Volunteer Services President Laura Brooks. “Our hope was to relieve some of that burden for the families of our local elementary school students in need.”
With the help of local businesses, the volunteers were able to distribute 60 Blessing Meals boxes to families of students at Doerun, Norman Park, and Odom Elementary Schools. Each Blessing Meal contained a large ham, a wide variety of non-perishable items, a large aluminum pan, a decoration for the holiday in which it was distributed, and an encouraging note from the Colquitt Regional Volunteers. A minimum of six servings was included in each meal box.
“We can’t thank the staff of the Moultrie Piggly Wiggly enough for all of their help and generosity in assisting us with assembling these boxes for this wonderful cause,” said Committee Chairman Carolyn Christie. “They were essential to the success of this project and were incredibly helpful.”
Each school was designated a holiday – Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter. The week before each designated holiday, the volunteers gathered supplies to assemble and distribute the Blessing Meal boxes. Sixteen boxes were delivered to Doerun Elementary during Thanksgiving, 20 were delivered to Norman Park Elementary during Christmas, and 24 were delivered to Odom Elementary during Easter. Boxes were distributed to students’ families during morning drop off and afternoon pick up.
The volunteers wrapped up the 2022-2023 project during the Easter holiday and will soon select the 2023-2024 community service project.
“The volunteers at Colquitt Regional are the embodiment of servant’s hearts,” said Colquitt Regional President and CEO Jim Matney. “They have served our hospital and community for decades, always looking for ways they can help and give benevolently.”
The special project committee is formed each year to identify a need in the community and form an annual community service project to contribute to that need. Previously, the volunteers delivered 1,880 socks to children at Cox and Stringfellow Elementary schools for the “Happy Feet” community service project. Previous community service projects include a donation and aid in promotion of the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) and the delivery of 120 gift bags to three Colquitt County senior care facilities for residents.
“We are excited to see what the 2023-2024 community service project committee chooses for next year’s special project,” said Brooks. “I know it will be for a great cause and will greatly benefit the Colquitt County community”.
These annual community service contributions are made possible through the proceeds of The Pink Pearl Gift Shop, located in the main lobby of the hospital. The Pink Pearl carries a variety of gift items, apparel, jewelry, flowers, and candies. The earnings of the gift shop allow volunteers to purchase necessary equipment for the hospital, donate annually to hospital improvement projects, and contribute to the community through many community service projects.