04/27/08 — Volunteer Wayne/RSVP honors local volunteers' contribution

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Volunteer Wayne/RSVP honors local volunteers' contribution

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on April 27, 2008 2:02 AM

Ted Ivey retired from the military after 20 years of service.

It didn't take him long before he was bored with retirement.

Ivey found another job, only to retire from it and find himself sitting at home, bored, again.

When he found out local veterans needed rides to the Veterans Administration hospitals, he became hooked on volunteering.

Since he began his work with the Disabled American Veterans group, Ivey has given more than 4,000 hours of time, earning him the 2008 President's Volunteer Service Lifetime Award.

Ivey received his award at the annual volunteer awards luncheon at O'Berry Center Friday. The event is sponsored by Advisory Council of Volunteer Wayne/RSVP.

Also receiving a Lifetime Award for more than 4,000 hours of volunteer service, but not present at the luncheon, was Thelma Walls.

Ms. Walls gives her time at the Chamber of Commerce.

During the luncheon, 19 local volunteers received the Gold Award for 250 to 3,999 hours, 24 received the Silver Award for 175 to 249 hours, and 24 received the Bronze Award for 100 to 174 hours.

Each recipient was presented a President's Award pin, certificate and letter.

Community Partner Awards went to O'Berry Center, Ham's Restaurant, Strickland Insurance, Target, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Airman Readiness Center, Wayne County Association of Volunteer Administrators, Goldsboro News-Argus, Parker Advertising, Curtis Media Group, Mount Olive Tribune, Wayne Community College, United Way and the Corporation for National Service.

A highlight of the event was a presentation of a check to the city and county for $828,768 -- symbolic of the value of the 52,055 hours that Wayne County volunteers gave during 2007.

Speakers for the luncheon were Bill and Jan Edgerton, local chapter founders of Habitat for Humanity.

Mrs. Edgerton said that when the couple retired, they decided to see if they could bring Habitat for Humanity to Wayne County. "There was a lot to do to get it here," she said. "It took about a year."

Edgerton said he volunteers because he has always felt that people should give back to the community where they live. "Habitat for Humanity is the perfect way for me to give back because I love building."

When Habitat first started here, Edgerton thought the organization would be building two or three homes a year. The group is currently building its 29th home in a little more than six years.

"That means 29 families will own their own home in 20 years," Edgerton said. "If not for Habitat, they would probably be paying rent for that 20 years and still have nothing."

Edgerton remembers one of the first local donations Habitat received. He was speaking about the organization on a Wednesday night, and the following Sunday at church a lady who had heard him wrote out a check.

Edgerton said he thought it would be for about $100 or $200. He was surprised when she handed him a check for $10,000.

He said he has no clue what the preacher said that Sunday morning, but he will never forget that lady telling him she wanted to make a donation and handing him that check.

Later, the same woman handed Edgerton another $10,000 check.

"Habitat is built around volunteers," he said. "It's a hand up, not a hand out.

"Whatever your talent is, you need to use it to the best of your ability."

Additional individuals praised local volunteer efforts during the event.

Geoff Hulse, of United Way of Wayne County, praised the volunteers, saying, "The spirit of volunteerism is what makes Wayne County so special. Wayne County steps up bigger and bigger than any other place because we have great volunteers."