CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - An oversight was corrected twice over Wednesday afternoon, when the United Way of the Coastal Empire recognized those who fill a need in this community.
"As we heard from all these volunteers, they do it because they love doing it and they get a lot out of it," said Steve Pound, the United Way's board chair. "So, it means a lot to see them being recognized for doing the things they love to do."
The United Way's annual Volunteer Awards identify the individuals who do the most and the best for others, selecting winners in five categories and from among dozens of nominees who amassed 79,000 volunteer hours in the last year.
"It felt amazing," said Abreonda Batts, who was honored for her work with Horizons Savannah as one of the Education Award winners. "When I volunteer, I feel like it's my job to put a smile on their faces and I honestly was not expecting to be called."
And that's what makes the awards so meaningful, that no one receiving it expected anything for their efforts, that these WTOC Hometown Heroes all help for the sake of helping.
"These volunteers," said Pound, "are really the hands that carry out the mission of the United Way."
Few carry it farther than Rosalie Wilson, who serves as a senior companion five days a week and also delivers Meals on Wheels for Senior Citizen's Inc.
"The reason I do this is because this gentleman has no family nearby," Wilson said of the person she cares for five days a week. "And nobody's going to take care of him. If I don't take of him, who's going to take care of him?"
Wednesday, she saw how much she is appreciated when she was doubly honored as the Human Services category winner and the overall Volunteer of the Year.
"When I got this, inside I was crying and I feel like crying now," Wilson said holding up one of her two awards. "And his made it even more."
And all the honors made up for a lifetime of selfless service to others for a lot of award-winning volunteers.