The Garrett County Health Department recently held a dinner honoring the volunteers who help spread their public health messages and make a positive impact on the health of the county residents.
“As budgets continue to tighten, the contributions of our volunteers have become increasingly valuable in meeting our mission to assure environmental and individual health through education, health promotion and disease prevention,” Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephen told the group. “With your help, the health department will continue to encourage county residents to assume responsibility for both individual and community health.”
During 2018, 185 youth and adults served their neighbors by volunteering their time and expertise through community planning groups, peer-to-peer education clubs, and committees tasked with improving citizen well-being. These volunteers accumulated more than 4,900 hours in 2018.
“Based on the national average value of donated time, those volunteer hours are worth more than $98,000 in improvements and support to our county,” Stephens said.
A total of 13 volunteers were recognized for accumulating at least 80 hours during 2018. The top volunteer was Madison Prudnick, who volunteered for 221 hours at Partners After School @ Oakland.
“The Garrett County Health Department has a greater impact on our community because of a strong, skilled network of volunteers,” Stephens said. “A large portion of volunteer hours come from the community planning groups, whose volunteers often devote evenings and weekends to bring prevention messages and community-strengthening events to their towns.”
Other volunteers bring the voice of community to advisory committees and review boards to help shape services to directly meet the needs of Garrett County residents, some work within health department offices, and still others work with groups that target specific social problems, including suicide prevention, drug and alcohol use and abuse prevention.
“When you think back on the time you have offered to your community,” Stephens said to the group, “it’s important to reflect not just on the quantity of hours given, but on the quality of the services offered. The willingness of each of you to offer your talents, as well as your time, builds a stronger, healthier community for all of us.”
For more information about volunteering with the health department call 301-334-7730 or 301-895-3111.