Last week we shared some of the inspiring nominations that were submitted by the public for our annual WKNO televised awards show, The SPARK Awards. The show honors individuals and organizations making a difference in our community. The SPARK Awards 2019 is available for viewing online at SPARKawardsTV.com, but since we could only feature 13 stories during the broadcast, let’s continue sharing some of the heartwarming nominations that came in. Once again, these were not honorees, but they easily could have been; and their efforts deserve to be spotlighted. The quotes below were taken directly from the public nominations, and I hope they’ll inspire you, as they’ve inspired me.
“I believe David Haines is deserving of this award because of his unspoken and unnoticed years of service to the City of Memphis. David strongly supports several organizations like ABC/AGC and pushed those organizations to do things like raise money for school teachers so they can afford the necessary supplies for their students. He not only gave financial donations but also volunteered in Shelby County Schools. He also has a strong voice to help the African American community and has an incredible story of how he ended up adopting one boy that grew up near his office. To briefly summarize the story, one day he was leaving work and saw 3 young boys acting like they were playing basketball. They did not have a basketball or a goal so you can only imagine how silly they must have looked. He stopped and asked them what they were doing and after they told him, he told them that they should come and play at his shop. That night he went out and bought a goal and a ball and put it at his shop. He began to get to know the boys and he even made them do their homework before they could play ball. He ended up adopting one of the boys, putting him through college, and has since helped him create and run his own Minority-owned electric company.”
“Girls on the Run Memphis (GOTR) helps girls realize they CAN do whatever they set their minds to. Launched in Fall 2018, GOTR Memphis is a social and emotional development program for girls in grades 3rd-8th that creatively integrates running. This program is not about how fast someone can run, it is about building confidence and teaching critical life skills at an age when confidence levels start to plummet. GOTR is for every girl in our community, which is why no girl is ever turned away for an inability to pay the registration fee. And while still in its infancy, the curriculum has already had such a positive impact on participants and their families. From the girl who was frequently absent from school and suddenly started to attend because she didn’t want to miss a GOTR practice to the mom who started to run on her own because she wanted to be able to complete the 5K alongside her daughter – the examples of positive change are far reaching and will only continue to grow. If we teach girls how to be joyful, healthy, and confident now, we teach them how to lead our community tomorrow.”
“Volunteer Odyssey is able to harness the energy, power, and spirit of volunteers in Shelby County to help other nonprofits achieve their crucial missions. To date, Volunteer Odyssey has helped over 10,000 individuals serve over 160,000 hours which equates back to almost $4 million in economic impact back into the county.”