About 100 volunteers and family members attended the annual Volunteer Appreciation Banquet awards last Thursday at the Nazarene Church on Junction Drive in Oakhurst.
It was a gathering of those of like-minds those with the best interests of Manna House at heart the volunteers who live by the slogan to offer comfort to those in need with dignity. It was a time of appreciation and recognition.
To honor past volunteers, a moment of silence was observed in memory of volunteers who died last year: Marty Turner, Skip Sevedge and Floyd Williamson.
While the goal was that all volunteers feel valued and cherished, four were singled out as Volunteers of the Year.
Dani Harper has endured many hardships and would prefer that others don't know she has such a giving heart.
Jennifer Busby underwent neck surgery, but remained relentless in performing her duties as a volunteer.
Betty Guillemin is constantly on-the-move concentrating on cleaning and disinfecting.
Juli Kern doesn't miss a day in the clothing department. She folds, sorts and is kind to everyone she has contact with.
"These volunteers are an inspiration to us all," volunteer Manna House Director Tom Nicolulis said. "They are the heart of the Manna House, and were chosen because of their eagerness to serve."
"You know there's a difference between a volunteer and a ministry. A volunteer says 'you can count on me if I don't have anything else to do,' but when it's a ministry, you are there at your appointed time and then some."
"We have very wonderful volunteers," Pat Sebring, clothing manager added. "They really give their hearts and souls to the job I really can't say enough about them."
When Manna House first came into existence in 1982, they had seven volunteers. Today there are 27. Nicolulis expressed his gratitude for all those willing to give up free time to serve at Manna House, and was also thankful to Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino for the grant Manna House was recently awarded. With these revenues, the parking lot was completely paved and three broken windows were replaced.
Manna House is an all-volunteer entity, founded in 1982, for the specific purpose of providing a Christian emergency food and clothing bank to those in need. It can be found on Facebook and donations, which are tax deductible, can be made through PayPal.