CLERMONT,FL—-February 19, 2017, ten Give A Day Foundation Volunteers earned medals for their volunteer hours accumulated over the past years. GADF is now going into their sixth year of helping to keep Clermont Beautiful and Making a Difference in the community. Volunteers have many attributes and they standout at events with their blue and yellow shirts, but they will soon standout even more with their new logo. GADF volunteers are always ready to reach out and give a helping hand and 10 volunteers did an outstanding job this past year.
First and and foremost, the founder, Otis Taylor, met the highest benchmark of a volunteer by achieving the Lifetime Achievement Award after accumulating over 4,000 volunteer hours!
“This is cool and I like this achievement,” Otis Taylor exclaimed as his wife handed him the rare and well-earned award. This is the highest honor of a volunteer and something all volunteers can strive to achieve.
Ashanti Mattox earned an award last year and this year she earned the Bronze medal along with Samson Backer.
Four Volunteers earned the silver medal including Diamond and Genesis Backer, Dustin Smith, and Sandra Taylor. Smith has been a volunteer the longest as he finished his fifth year with 280 hours this past year. He already received a medal last year, so he decided to get a coin this year. The volunteers have some award options each year.
Three volunteers earned the gold medal including Ivy Minor, Aaron Upshaw, and Shelby Rosenwinkel. Minor was one of the youngest volunteers to begin volunteering in the organization. Now, Aaron Upshaw joins her as one of the youngest. Minor was excited to wear the gold medal this year as she won silver medal last year. Rosenwinkel won bronze last year and this year she is thrilled to wear gold.
Eight Give a Day Foundation Volunteers Receive Distinguished Awards for their Volunteer Service
By Alicia Weber
On Friday, February 26th, 2016, Give A Day Foundation held their Annual Presidential Volunteer Service Awards Ceremony where eight volunteers were recognized with distinct awards including a medallion, certificate, and congratulatory letters from the President of US, President of Points of Light, and the CEO of the Corporation for National Community Service.
Give A Day Foundation has accumulated 12,000 hours of community service with a total of 360 volunteers, since its inception in Clermont five years ago.
“We are about making a difference in Clermont. Volunteering is not only helping the community, but yourself. It’s very calming and brings out smiles,” said Otis Taylor, President and CEO of Give A Day Foundation (GADF).
The minimum age to be a volunteer is five and it goes all the way up. Volunteers deliver a powerful message and inspire others to take action. GADF Volunteers have produced results that have positively impacted Clermont. The President’s awards are based on a 12-month period and there are different levels of gold, silver, and bronze recognition based on the amount of hours and age of the volunteer.
Ivy Minor, the youngest GADF volunteer at 11 years old, received a silver medal for her 90 hours of volunteer work. She was very thankful and honored to wear her silver medal. She shows the community that you are never too young to make a difference.
Shelby Rosenwinkel earned the bronze medal with her 101 hours, while Dustin Smith earned the silver medal with his 368 hours. Minor, Rosenwinkel, and Smith are commonly seen at the Downtown Clermont Farmer’s Market where they put smiles on peoples’ faces with their generous assistance they provide vendors and customers.
Otis Taylor received the gold medal with his 1,056 hours, while his wife, Sandra, received the bronze medal with her 123 hours.
“I thank Mr. Otis for starting GADF. It’s very good to look upto Mr. Otis as a mentor because of how much he volunteers and he shows us that we can do it too as a teenager. We see him working in conditions that are not optimal. It builds our character to volunteer and it makes us responsible for our actions,” mentioned bronze medal volunteer, Christopher Cooper-Bain who traveled a long distance to volunteer and put in 51 hours.
Ashanti Mattox received the silver medal for her 80 hours, while Richard Carroll received the silver medal with 286 hours.
“Volunteering teaches kids that you can do something out of the goodness of your heart. The older people volunteering really show children that it’s not all about getting paid,” said Carroll and his wife agreed.
“Volunteering is great for youth to learn organizational skills, communication skills, and management. The other side of the coin to volunteering is getting work experience, which can be great to put on a resume,” added Larry Rosenwinkel.
“I have written recommendations and received phone calls from potential employers for the volunteers,” added Taylor.
GADF has a track record of impacting Clermont to positive change especially when they asked Lake County to give them their worst roadway, Blackstill Lake Road, and GADF has turned it around into an attractive area where half a million dollar homes and developments are now moving in.
Nearly 40 volunteers clean roadways like Blackstill Lake Road monthly and Center Lake. When GADF first started cleaning Blackstill Lake Rd, there were 15-20 bags of trash along a 2 mile stretch and mainly beer bottles. Now, that the roadway has become attractive, drivers are happy and they give volunteers thumbs up as they drive by during clean up and people are motivated to keep their road clean.
Another major impact GADF makes is in the nursing homes where they do monthly visits for seniors in memory care where they are in locked wards. They do bowling, games, and bring out a lot of fun, which changes the seniors whole outlook on life. They volunteer at Superior Residences and Clermont Rehab Center. They have performed heartfelt volunteering at Meals on Wheels and during their End of Year Food Drive where families get a holiday dinner and kids receive shirts, pants, and sometimes shoes.
“Volunteering is about giving back and helping one another and this is what we should be doing,” said Carroll.
GADF volunteers are active in downtown Clermont events where they are the first to arrive and the last to leave to ensure the community is helped with event set-up and tear down.
“It was my passion to get something going, but a train without a caboose is just an engine. All the components get it moving and make it special. All the volunteers have made this community special,” declared Taylor.
Otis Tayor and his Give A Day Foundation Celebrate Five Years with a Phenomenal Track Record of Making A Difference in Clermont, Florida.