In the spring of 1999, Mountain Projects, Inc. received a grant from the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service as seed money for a volunteer center in Haywood County. A part time coordinator, Elaine Kuhl, was hired and the Haywood County Volunteer Center opened in September in space provided by the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce. Two of the largest accomplishments are the volunteer efforts in building the Waynesville Kiwanis Community Playground and coordinating volunteers for the floods of 2004. The Haywood Volunteer Center became the Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center in the mid 2000’s when Jackson County lost their volunteer center. In January of 2008 Elaine retired and John Chicoine became the Volunteer Center Coordinator. Upon Elaine’s passing in 2008, the volunteer center name was changed to the Elaine Kuhl Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center.
The Volunteer Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote and enhance volunteer service to benefit the community by mobilizing people and resources to deliver creative solutions to community problems.
Services that are provided include:
- Recruitment and referral — we sit down with a volunteer to find out what they are interested in and match them with an organization. There are over 60 organizations in the community so we can almost always find something that interests everyone.
- Recognition– we coordinate with the state to recognize the contributions of volunteers through an annual event and participation in the NC Volunteer Awards.
- Community Education– We provide speakers for presentations on volunteerism to organizations, churches, business and schools.
- Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)– RSVP invites seniors to share their talents and knowledge in the community. One of the benefits to this over 55 program is participants receive supplemental accident and liability insurance while volunteering.
- Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)– is a North Carolina Insurance Commission program that is run through the Volunteer Center. The program assists Haywood County seniors to better understand Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription plans.
- Thanks for your support. The Haywood Jackson Volunteer Center is supported primarily by your donations.
When it comes to helping, some people stop at nothing.