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Press Releases (Most Recent)

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. www.pointsoflight.org

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 duke-energy.com.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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 JournalNow.com, 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 bothBrenner’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 16HandsOn 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.

HandsOn NWNC Awards Sixth Annual High Five Award for Innovation to SECU Family House!

Winston-Salem, NC (November 18, 2015)– HandsOn Northwest North Carolina presented its sixth annual High Five Award for Nonprofit Innovation at a breakfast held today, November 18, at 8:00 am. The breakfast, which is held annually as part of our community’s recognition of November as Nonprofit Awareness Month, gives local nonprofit and business leaders a chance to come together to learn about emerging best practices within the nonprofit sector and highlight innovations within local nonprofits. This year, the breakfast is being sponsored by Truliant Federal Credit Unionand will bring together approximately 100 nonprofit representatives.

The High Five Award is designed to recognize and honor a nonprofit within Forsyth, Davidson, Davie, Stokes, Surry or Yadkin County that has demonstrated an imaginative or creative way to improve program and/ or service delivery, create a new program, or develop a unique or inventive method to address a particular problem or challenge.  Ultimately, the goal of the Award is to inspire and encourage other nonprofits to create new and unusual ways to be more effective, efficient, and responsive to the needs of our community.  The winner is selected through a competitive process from local nominations, and the award comes with a $5,000 cash prize that can be used at the winner’s discretion.

This year’s High Five winner, chosen by a volunteer review committee, is SECU Family House, and their Caregiver Education Program. The SECU Family House is a nonprofit that provides affordable lodging for referred adult patients and/or their caregivers who travel to Winston-Salem for medical treatment. One of their founding board members, a physician, noticed several problems throughout his experience in the medical profession, including the failure to incorporate caregivers into medical discussions and treatment plans, a lack of appreciation for the skills and perspectives of those working in various health care disciplines, and a lack of medical student interaction with caregivers.  With that need in mind, the SECU Family House developed and piloted this innovative program, which involves a collaboration between health care students—including nurses, doctors, physician assistants, and chaplains–and the guests who stay at the Family House.  By allowing students to talk directly with Family House guests, they could learn the importance of the role of caregivers and observe first-hand the challenges faced by families during a medical crisis.  The program also provides enhanced care and individualized services to the guests of the SCEU Family House; a unique community-based teaching environment for health care students in various fields of study; and, an innovative learning strategy which better trains health care providers and ultimately results in improved patient satisfaction and health outcomes. And it’s a model that can be easily replicated by other hospitality house organizations across the country.

“The selection committee was impressed by the collaboration represented by the Education Program, that it was developed to meet a unique need, and that it was a relatively simple idea that could be easily replicated throughout the Hospitality House network nationwide. It is exactly these kinds of new ideas—simple on the surface, but transformative to the organization and the community—that the High Five Award is designed to highlight,” says Amy Lytle, HandsOn NWNC’s Executive Director, which oversees the nomination process and convenes the volunteers who serve on the committee. “While all of the nominees were doing great work, the committee truly felt that SECU Family House’s Education Program best embodied the spirit of innovation.”

The breakfast, which began with the award ceremony and included a presentation by Leading to Change, was held from8:00 am to 10:00 at WinMock at Kinderton on Tuesday, November 28th. HandsOn NWNC organizes this yearly event as part of its mission to strengthen our community by building the capacity of local nonprofits and increasing volunteerism. They work within a network of approximately 400 different nonprofits, and engaged more than 4,500 volunteers in meaningful service in 2014.

HandsOn Northwest North Carolina Helps Improve Ward Elementary School

Partners local WME | IMG employees with school as part of annual day of service

Winston-Salem, NC (October 15, 2015)HandsOn Northwest North Carolina is performing a variety of service projects today, October 15 aimed at enhancing Ward Elementary School, a local Title I school where more than half of its 800 students receive free or reduced lunch. Partnering with local WME | IMG employees, the projects are part of the company’s Walk the Walk event, an annual company-wide service day with approximately 5,000 employees across more than 25 countries participating.

Nearly 150 employees based in WME | IMG’s Winston-Salem office are expected to serve at Ward Elementary today and participate in activities such as extensive landscaping projects, including transforming an empty space into a usable outdoor classroom for teachers and students. Employees will also be working directly with students, serving as teacher’s assistants in individual classrooms and turning a small conference room into a space to be used by parents volunteering with students.

“We were thrilled to help Walk the Walk here in Winston-Salem,” said Amy Lytle, Executive Director of HandsOn NWNC. “We work with corporate groups on a regular basis, and, when we learned about this opportunity, knew that Ward Elementary would be an ideal partner for them.”

HandsOn works with a variety of local elementary schools on an ongoing basis to help recruit volunteers to serve as classroom tutors and literacy volunteers in afterschool programs. “We worked with the school’s parent engagement coordinator on previous service projects at other school, and were able to bring potential projects at his new school—Ward Elementary – that could be tackled by this kind of dedicated effort. These projects also reflect the unique interests and skills of WME | IMG’s employees, which will help ensure a truly meaningful day of service for both the school and the volunteers,” Lytle said.

The objective of Walk the Walk is to unite WME | IMG employees through service, bringing colleagues together from all levels of the company to help make a difference in the communities where they live and work. While local IMG College employees will be serving at Ward Elementary, WME | IMG employees across the globe will be engaging in a wide variety of activities, including sorting food for local food banks; playing games with residents at retirement homes; participating in a think tank session at the United Nations; working with animal shelters to promote pet adoption; building homes with Habitat for Humanity; and reading to children at the company’s partner schools in Compton, CA, Nashville, TN, and New York, NY.

The project is scheduled from 10:00am to 2:30 pm at Ward Elementary School (3775 Fraternity Church Road Winston-Salem, NC 27127) on October 15. HandsOn NWNC mobilizes corporate volunteers as part of its mission to strengthen the community by building the capacity of local nonprofits and increasing volunteerism. They work within a network of approximately 400 different nonprofits, and engaged more than 4,500 volunteers in meaningful service in 2014. All of HandsOn NWNC’s volunteer opportunities can be found on their website at www.HandsOnNWNC.org; click on “Volunteer Now!”