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Wishing Wednesday- June 4, 2014

POSTED ON: JUN. 04, 2014

We have recently been inspired by our sister volunteer center, Volunteer Starkville, and we will now be posting "Wishing Wednesday" and "Mission Monday."

Thank you, Jamey Bachman and Volunteer Starkville, for allowing us to use your very clever idea!

 Without further ado, here is our first installation of Wishing Wednesday.

Southern Friends Animal Society in Hernando currently has a pressing need for the folllowing items:

  • Animal food- including dog and cat food
  • Cat Litter
  • Dog and Cat Toys
  • Dog and Cat Treats
  • Crates of All Sizes
  • Dog Beds
  • Cat Beds
  • Blankets

Donated items can be dropped off by contactin Tara Murphy with Southern Friends at

Many of our Nonprofit Partners like the Southern Friends Animal Society are in need of various items. To view a complete list of tangible donations needs of Volunteer Northwest Mississippi's Wish List, please visit



2014 President's Volunteer Service Award Winners Announced

POSTED ON: MAR. 16, 2014

Volunteer Northwest Mississippi will honor recipients of the 2014 President’s Volunteer Service Awards on April 8, 2014 at a dinner to be held at the Landers Center in Southaven, Mississippi. The public is invited to attend this event to support our wonderful volunteers. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased through the Community Foundation no later than April 2, 2014.

The awards are made possible through The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation established in 2003 to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making in our communities and encourage more people to serve. The Council created the President’s Volunteer Service Award program as a way to thank and honor Americans who, by their demonstrated commitment and example, inspire others to engage in volunteer service. For more information on the award or the honorees, please visit

Individuals from throughout the ten-county region serviced by Volunteer Northwest Mississippi and the Community Foundation have been chosen to receive this award. To find out more about each of these individuals and their volunteer efforts, please attend our banquet on April the 8th at the Landers Center.

Bolivar County:

Nan Sanders of Cleveland is a friend of the arts in Mississippi and a dedicated volunteer with Delta State University and the Mississippi Arts Commission as well as the Grammy Museum Project. Nan has three children and six grandchildren and has received numerous awards including the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni Service Award with Delta State University.

Coahoma County:

Jason Shelby of Clarksdale is a friend and committed volunteer of Spring Initiative, an organization in Clarksdale dedicated to helping youth in their area through creative expression and global exposure. Jason volunteers his time teaching classes on painting, poetry, creative writing and through various other means with this organization. Jason Shelby is the Pastor at St. George’s Episcopal Church.

Daniel Vassel of Clarksdale also has a place in his heart for the work done by Spring Initiative and can often be found there during the week teaching classes on photography, chess, public speaking and life in general. Daniel is the County Administrator for Coahoma County.

DeSoto County: 

Sandy Adair of Olive Branch is a dedicated volunteer with the Healing Hearts Child Advocacy Center in Southaven and a friend to several other nonprofits in the area including the Ronald McDonald House, the Olive Branch Police Citizens Academy, and many others. Sandy is a part-time consultant with Schering-Plough/Merck in Memphis.

Renee Anderson of Hernando is the only youth receiving this award this year and she volunteers her time with countless community organizations in DeSoto county including Girls Scouts, Hernando Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council, Volunteer Northwest Mississippi, 4-H, and various other worthy causes in our area. Renee Anderson is a senior at Hernando High School with plans to attend college in the fall.

Richard and Stephanie Dale are a true dynamic duo of DeSoto County and are dear friends of the Community Foundation and the Crystal Ball. The Dale’s give their time to various organizations in the community and are valued volunteers. Richard owns Total Termite and Pest Control which services north Mississippi and Stephanie is a paralegal at Jones Walker in Olive Branch.

Melissa Edwards of Southaven has a vision for improving the lives of the young women in her community and commits her volunteer time to Young Ladies Today, an organization committed to preparing the young women in our community to make a difference tomorrow. Melissa is a clinical laboratory scientist supervisor with a local reference laboratory.

Diane Franczyk of Hernando has made Hernando Parks and Recreation her second home through volunteering. She works with their H.E.A.L. program, Cookies with Santa, and many other events and is always happy to give of her time. Diane is a retired from Marsh and McLennan Companies.

Hernando Skates is a nonprofit in Hernando committed to bringing a free skate park to the community. The members of this organization are Edward Pidgeon, Chad Crawford, Miranda Crawford, and Michael Ann Dillinger. Edward and his friends have worked tirelessly to raise funds for the Hernando Skate Park and currently host free skate clinics to help create a skate family in Hernando that will foster a healthier, safer community.

Lisa Johnson of Hernando is a volunteer with a love for her community. The list of her volunteer work is lengthy and includes Girls Scouts, Junior Auxiliary of DeSoto County, Hernando community events and so many more. Lisa works at the J.D. Franks Law Firm in Hernando as a registered paralegal.

David Miller of Southaven is a friend and volunteer for Bits of Balance Therapy, a hippotherapy program in Hernando that provides physical therapy for children using horses. David is retired from the Air Force where he worked with explosive ordinance disposal, also known as the bomb squad and is a recipient of the Purple Heart.

Jay Patel of Southaven is a community volunteer committed to helping several different causes in DeSoto County including healthy living, hunger and poverty, local 5Ks, and heart health. Jay volunteers with Volunteer Northwest Mississippi and several other local organizations and is great at recruiting other volunteers to join in. Jay is the Walgreens Memphis South Community Leader for North Mississippi.

Shana Phillips of Horn Lake is a dedicated volunteer for Young Ladies Today and she is committed to their mission of making a difference for tomorrow. Shana is an inclusion teacher with grades 4-6 in the Tate County School District.

Bettie Pruitt of Southaven works as a volunteer with Master Gardeners on the state and local level and is known for her commitment to all things green in the area. Whether it is plant camp or local tree boards, Bettie is happy to do her part. Bettie is retired from Cargill Food Processing and is a retired Arborist with the City of Horn Lake.

Seniors in Action is a group of hard working seniors in Horn Lake and they are the go-to group for getting things done in Horn Lake and DeSoto County. The members include: Montee Boulware, Denise Gendrow, Carolyn Hobbs, Janice Lebo, Donna Luckey, Anna Johnston, Bonnie Pannell, Sherry Reynolds, Betty Jo Sharpe, Diana Shreeve, Sandra Stafford, and Gail Turpin.

Marshall County:

Fergenia Hood of Holly Springs is a dedicated volunteer with the ICS Head Start in Holly Springs and an active volunteer with her church, the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, and the Holly Springs School Board along with several other local groups. Fergenia is a retired school teacher from the Marshall County School system.

Panola County:

Belinda Morris of Batesville is dedicated to the children of Panola County and while she is the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Northwest Mississippi, many of the things she does for her community go above and beyond her job requirements. Panola County appreciates Belinda’s commitment to her community.

Sunflower County:

Mayor Steve Rosenthal of Indianola is more than just a mayor, he is a friend to the community. He commits much of his spare time to local youth through his church, the Excel by 5 Coalition, and various other ways.

Tallahatchie County:

Jacquelyn Bell Jones of Enid is a long-time friend and volunteer with the Charleston Art’s and Revitalization Effort as well as a founding board member for the organization. Jacquelyn has many talents and is always happy to use those talents to benefit CARE and other organizations in her community. She is a well-known artist and contributor in her community and beyond.

Isabelle Welshan Hays of Charleston is also tireless worker for CARE and the arts community in Charleston. Isabelle also dedicates much of her time to Charleston First United Methodist Church and she works part-time with The Flower Basket in Charleston.

Cal Trout of Charleston is committed to enriching the Charleston community with arts and culture through CARE, the Delta Arts Alliance, and various other organizations and causes. Cal owns and operates Trout Valley Farm and Trout Valley Quail Preserve.

Tate County:

Tom Atkins of Como is no stranger to volunteering. Tom gives his time to “Little Chiefs for Christ” after school bible program at Magnolia Heights School, the North Panola County Food Pantry, and the Como Arts Council- just to name a few. Tom is the Pastor at Como United Methodist Church and an Adjunct Professor at Northwest Community College.

Cloteal Fitzpatrick of Senatobia is committed to enriching her community through art and culturally enriching programs. She has plans to facilitate the construction of a community center in the Gravel Springs and Springfield Community. Cloteal is a retired librarian with the Memphis City Schools.

Tunica County:

Reverend Evelyn Hubbard of Robinsonville is no stranger to volunteerism and charitable giving. She volunteers and sings at the Tate County Nursing home and co-founded the Tunica 10 Point Coalition where she provides leadership to faith-based organizations targeting at-risk youth who are abused, on drugs, and have violence and chronic health/wellness issues. Evelyn is the pastor for Commerce Boulevard Christian Church in Robinsonville.

The dinner on April 8th will begin at 6 pm and the speaker will be Krista Estes, who currently works as the Volunteer Network Officer for Volunteer Mississippi. Krista has 30 years of experience in nonprofit and volunteer administration, including 16 years as the Chief Operating Officer of HandsOn Jacksonville, one of the nation’s largest volunteer centers with an annual budget in excess of $1K. Krista moved to Mississippi with her husband, Michael, in November 2009 and joined Volunteer Mississippi in April 2010. She has spent the past four years helping to develop and resource a network of six community volunteer centers throughout the state, in addition to a statewide, online volunteer recruitment and matching system available free of charge to all Mississippi nonprofit organizations. She also produces the annual Governor’s Initiative for Volunteer Excellence (GIVE) Awards that recognizes outstanding volunteers from every corner of the state. Krista has been promoting volunteerism for more than 25 years and has presented local, regional and national workshops on volunteer management programming, nonprofit management and board leadership.


Volunteer Northwest Mississippi Community Partners