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Outstanding Winston-Salem Volunteer Recognized as

One of Only 5 Cabot Community Celebrities from Across the Country!


Winston-Salem, NC--September 12, 2016-- Each year, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, a New England cheese and dairy product producer, awards “community celebrities,” or community volunteers from all over the United States with a yearly cruise for their service. The goal is to honor the achievements and contributions of volunteers who are making a significant difference in their communities. 

karl-yena.pngFor the last five years, Cabot has hosted the Community Celebrity Award and Cruise to spotlight those who serve others. Cabot works to inspire more people to contribute time to their communities and is changing the notion of “celebrity” to include the recognition of selfless volunteerism. Cabot has a national partnership with different nonprofits, including Points of Light and its HandsOn Network affiliates, who play a role in discovering volunteers for the Community Celebrity Cruise. This year, local Points of Light affiliate, HandsOn Northwest North Carolina, nominated local volunteer Karl Yena, a past-member of HandOn NWNC’s board, as Winston-Salem’s Community Celebrity—and he won! Hundreds of volunteers from across the United States who have dedicated their hearts and time with little thought to personal recognition were nominated by their local communities for this award. The five chosen winners will be rewarded with a trip of a lifetime on an Alaskan cruise. For this year’s cruise, the Cabot team has invited previous winners to attend to bring new and old winners together to celebrate the power of service.

When Karl Yena retired he took the skills he had honed in the private sector for 33 years and began volunteering his time helping nonprofit organizations in his community. Karl now works annually with more than 100 nonprofits across North Carolina to provide ongoing mentoring/coaching to Executive Directors and provides assistance to nonprofits in education, health, municipalities, human services, churches, foundations, and civic organizations & associations in the areas of strategic planning; Board development, staff development training; mediator/facilitator; and human resources & governance policies. His impact is both deep and wide, and he approaches work with the attitude of a servant and with an intent on helping people increase their capacity to serve effectively. Karl was also recently recognized locally with a “7 Over 70” Award from The Winston-Salem Journal.

HandsOn NWNC, based in Winston-Salem, NC, is one of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network affiliates, and mobilizes people and organizations that create community change. They engage more than 5,000 people a year in meaningful volunteer service across a network of approximately 500 different nonprofits across North Carolina.

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities across more than 30 countries and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. For more information, go

Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of “The World‟s Best Cheddar,” Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast‟s premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit:


Youth and Veterans Come Together to Serve on the 15th Anniversary of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance

Winston-Salem, NC-September 9, 2016--HandsOn Northwest North Carolina has partnered with Whole Man Ministries and their Homes 4 Our Heroes project to rally volunteers to make exterior improvements on five homes for veterans as part of their local participation in the national 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. A team of nearly 60 volunteers that will include both youth, veterans, and veterans’ family members will come together to paint the houses and make significant landscape improvements.

“Service is a great way to honor the memory of those who lost their lives on September 11th, honor the hard work of all those who responded selflessly in the aftermath of the attack, and give back to the veterans that served in the years that followed,” said Amy Lytle, Executive Director of HandsOn NWNC. “This multi-generational event helps to recreate the spirit of togetherness that was so strong in the days following September 11th, which is an event that many of the youth that will participate in the service day on Saturday are too young to remember.”

“We launched Homes 4 Our Heroes as a way to create permanent, supporting housing for veterans that would otherwise be homeless. The project combines safe, energy efficient housing with supportive services that help the veterans achieve their future goals. We are honored to partner with HandsOn NWNC to be able to leverage additional volunteers and supplies to finish the exteriors of these homes. Participating in the 9/11 Day of Service provided us with the opportunity to engage both the youth in our programs, as well as the veterans with which we work, in a project that speaks to the heart of our mission,” remarked Kenneth Holly with Whole Man Ministries.

The project is scheduled from 9:00 am to Noon on Saturday, September 10th, at 1431 - 1439 N. Cameron Avenue Winston-Salem, NC 27105. HandsOn NWNC organizes our community’s participation in the national 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance (www. as part of its mission of mobilizing people and organizations that inspire community change. They work within a network of approximately 500 different nonprofits, and engaged more than 5,500 volunteers in meaningful service in 2015. All of HandsOn NWNC’s volunteer opportunities can be found on their website at; click on “Volunteer Now!”


Duke Energy to Honor Veterans By Enhancing

Forest Lawn Cemetery’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial

Greensboro, NC-- Friday, June 3, 2016–Thirty local Duke Energy employees and retirees teamed up with Greensboro Parks and Recreation’s Cemeteries Division to honor local veterans by cleaning head stones, planting perennial shrubs and flowers, and assembling park benches at Forest Lawn Cemetery Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Memorial, commonly known as Veterans’ Circle.

 Forest Lawn Cemetery opened in 1928 and is the largest of the City of Greensboro’s cemeteries, with more than 70 acres. A Veteran's section, section 1, formally dedicated as a Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial and known as Veteran's Circle, is provided for the burial of honorably discharged Veterans. A copy of the DD214 military document, indicating the honorable discharge, is required for burial here. Duke Energy volunteers worked to restore a clean luster to the headstones in the Circle, as well as planted a variety of shrubs and flowers in landscaped areas encircling the headstones. The also assembled eight park benches that will border the circle, providing seating for contemplation and reflection for veterans’ families for the first time.

 In addition to the projects that helped beautify Veteran’s Circle, the Duke Energy volunteers also assembled accessible equipment to be used by campers at Parks and Rec’s Camp Joy, the City’s inclusive summer camp for children of all abilities.

 Janet Silvers, the Duke Energy employee lead for the project, has a strong history of service within the Greensboro, NC community. “After a reflective Memorial Day earlier in the week, we thought this was a great way to honor our veterans and recognize their sacrifice. Our employees are pleased be to be able to give back to our community in this way.”

 The volunteers were directed by Parks and Rec staff, with project support being provided by HandsOn NWNC, a NC-based affiliate of the national Points of Light, which is partnering with Duke Energy across its footprint on the #Care4Environment projects.

 “We were eager to help this #Care4Environment project be a success for both Duke Energy and Parks and Rec. The cemetery is such a special, sacred place, and we were pleased to be able to provide these enhancements, especially the benches, that will make a true difference to the families of the veterans buried here. Our expertise in managing large-scale corporate service events helped everything go smoothly,” said Amy Lytle, Executive Director of HandsOn NWNC.

Points of Light– the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages four million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. Points of Light connects people to their power to make a meaningful difference by providing access to tools, resources and opportunities to help volunteers use their time, talent, voice and money to meet the critical needs of our communities.

HandsOn NWNC, based in Winston-Salem, NC, is one of Points of Light’s HandsOn Network affiliates, and mobilizes people and organizations that create community change. They engage more than 5,000 people a year in meaningful volunteer service across a network of approximately 500 different nonprofits across North Carolina.

The City of Greensboro's Parks and Recreation Cemeteries Division has overseen the operation of City cemeteries for more than 130 years. Today, the division operates four public cemeteries, including Forest Lawn. The Division is responsible for maintaining burial records, selling lots and graves, providing burial and interment services, coordination of all activities within the cemeteries, and care and maintenance of the cemetery grounds. They are a member of the North Carolina Cemetery Association.

Duke Energy is one of the largest electric power holding companies in the United States. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.4 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest, representing a population of approximately 24 million people. Its Commercial Portfolio and International business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at

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Outstanding Volunteers in Forsyth County Are Recognized

Winston-Salem, NC--May 10, 2016– HandsOn Northwest North Carolina in partnership with the United Way of Forsyth County, Salem College, and The Winston-Salem Journal will present the 2016 Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards to eleven recipients from across Forsyth County. HandsOn, which works to increase volunteerism and build the capacity of local nonprofits, will present the awards at a breakfast at 8am on Tuesday, May 10th at Salem College’s Bryant Hall. Winners were selected by a volunteer committee from a diverse pool of nominations. Award recipients are: Todd Barr (Outstanding Mentor Volunteer), Ann Berlin (Perseverance in Volunteerism), Juanita Carter (Faith-Based Volunteer), Thomas “Hill” Douglas (Youth Volunteer), The Egg Divas of Holy Family Catholic Church (Group/Team Volunteers), Labor Finders of Winston-Salem (Corporate/Business Volunteers), The Lamy Family (Family Volunteers), Martin Levin (Lifetime Achievement Volunteer), Edna “Lee” Smith (Senior Volunteer,) and Bobbi Wolfe (Individual Volunteer). The People’s Choice Award winner, chosen from amongst all of the nominees by voters at, will be Kenneth Holly for his work to provide affordable veteran’s housing with Homes 4 Our Heroes. The program will feature all of the winners sharing their individual and inspirational stories. The emcee will be Michelle Kennedy, WXII.

These volunteers give their time to a variety of different organizations. Mr. Barr won for his service with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Ann Berlin won for her service to Susan G. Komen NWNC Chapter as a way of helping other breast cancer survivors. Juanita Carter is being recognized for more than 50 years of service to Crestwood Baptist Church. Hill Douglas has been spending his Saturday mornings in high school helping H.O.P.E. of Winston-Salem prepare food for delivery to needy children and families. The Egg Divas won for their weekly shift hand-sorting eggs at Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC, while Labor Finders was singled out for the staff person they “lend” to the Food Bank for one full day each week. The multi-generational Lamy Family is being lauded for their 25 year commitment to Samaritan Ministries. The 91-year-old Martin Levin has dedicated a lifetime’s worth of work to The Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem’s annual book sale, while Ms. Smith, at 89, still volunteers for an overnight shift once a week at both Brenner’s Children Hospital and Novant Forsyth Medical Center. Lastly, Bobbie Wolf won for her work in developing children’s education programming at Korner’s Folly in Kernersville.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards were first awarded by the Governor’s Office and its Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service in 1979. The award honors citizens who have shown significant concern and compassion for their neighbors through volunteer service. In Forsyth County, the awards were coordinated for over a dozen years by the United Way. Since 2007, the United Way and HandsOn NWNC have worked together to co-host the awards breakfast. Salem College joined the planning team in 2013, and, in 2014, The Winston-Salem Journal helped launch the online nomination and voting system for the awards, significantly growing the number and diversity of nominations received for the awards.

Please see a PDF of the attached program, which includes profiles of each winner and the names of the additional nominees, for more details.


Local Service Partners Hold “Read-In” to Honor King Holiday

Winston-Salem, NC- Saturday, January 16- HandsOn Northwest North Carolina, in conjunction with Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, Salem College, UNC-School of the Arts, and Girl Talk Triad Chapter, will lead the Seventh Annual MLK Read-In event in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Event organizers plan to promote Dr. King’s messages of social justice, non-violence, service, and literacy.  The event will be held on Winston-Salem State’s Campus from 9:30 to Noon at the Reaves Center.

At the Read-In, approximately 150 pre-registered children, aged 4-10, will be matched with a community volunteer, most of them local college students. Together, they will spend the morning learning about Dr. King’s ideals through engaging in activities at 15 "service" stations that relate to Dr. King's legacy of service, literacy, education, and self-empowerment.  At the Reading Station, each child will be given one donated age-appropriate book and one new civil-rights themed book to keep and read with their Reading Buddy volunteer.  At the other stations, the children will perform acts of service such as writing letters to their role models, creating a visual representation of Dr. King’s dream in addition to many other activities. 

MLK Day can be a springboard for service throughout the year. “This event serves as an inspiration for the volunteers involved. We hope many who are serving today will make an ongoing commitment to serve throughout the year,” said Amy Lytle, Executive Director of HandsOn Northwest North Carolina. Approximately 175 volunteers will participate in the Read-In. For the youth participants, the event can lead to higher educational attainment aspirations, as for many of them, it will be their first time on a college campus and interacting with college students.


The Martin Luther King Day of Service is a national event presented by the Corporation for National and Community. HandsOn Northwest North Carolina leads local efforts to celebrate the day of service as part of its mission to strengthen our community by building the capacity of local nonprofits and increasing volunteers.  They engage more than 4,500 volunteers in service across a network of nearly 400 nonprofits each year.