By Jean A. Flanagan
While August seems like a long way away, it will be here before we know it. In Hardy County, August means hot and humid days, the end of summer vacation, back to school, and Volunteer Hardy.
Volunteer Hardy, sponsored by the Hardy County Community Foundation, is a countywide event that focuses on the volunteer efforts of the many nonprofit and community organizations in the county. This will be Volunteer Hardy’s third year.
“We started off small with only four organizations in 2014,” said Amy Pancake, executive director of HCCF. “Last year we increased to six groups. It’s an event we’re hoping will grow.”
During the month of August, community groups and nonprofits organize individual fundraising events throughout the county. Last year the Wardensville Lions Club hosted a Dessert Theater, the Mathias Ruritan Club hosted an Ice Cream Social and the Moorefield Lions Club sold their famous BBQ Chicken. The Baker Ruritans held a Basket Bingo, the Friends of the Library held a Back-To-School raffle and the Epiphany Catholic Church hosted a Wal-Mart gift card raffle.
“Our goal is to support and encourage participation in local nonprofit and volunteer organizations,” Pancake said. “This is our attempt to draw attention to the good works they do.”
Proceeds are split between the individual organizations and the HCCF. The local groups keep 80 percent and the HCCF gets 20 percent of the funds raised. Last year the groups raised more than $5,000, of which $1,000 was shared with the HCCF.
“The Foundation funds go to our unrestricted fund,” Pancake said. “It is used to address a wide variety of local needs not met by our other funds.
“We’re looking for more organizations to participate. We hoping Boy Scouts, 4-H Clubs, local church groups and CEOS Clubs will join us this year.”
The HCCF will help promote the individual organizations’ fundraising event through social media, radio, newspaper and posters. They will coordinate the activities and have a HCCF representative at each one.
In addition, the top four fundraising organizations will be asked to name a Spirit of Hardy County volunteer.
“In November, we recognize a person chosen by their organization as the Spirit of Volunteerism,” Pancake said.
To be included in the promotional activities, organizations must be registered with HCCF by June 1.
Working with established and well-known philanthropic organizations across the county is the HCCF’s way of highlighting the vibrant community service sector and the work they have done for years, Pancake said.
“They are really the fabric of our community. They do more to create positive outreach than people realize.
“We hope the community will support these organizations, not just during August, but will perhaps consider joining the organization and participating on a regular basis.”
For information or to register your organization contact Pancake at 304-538-3431 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.