Thursday, April 18, 2013

Volunteer of the Year: Melba Smith

Longview News Journal 
Article by Angela Ward

Longview NAACP Super Hero for 2013
Melba Smith, Secretary 
Longview honored its own brand of superheroes Tuesday at the annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon hosted by the Longview Nonprofit Coalition.

Superheroes were the theme for this year’s event at the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center.

“With movies like ‘The Avengers’ and others based on comic books being big hits at the theaters, superheroes just seemed like a good way to focus on what volunteers do for our community,” said Carol Ibarra, coalition president.

Several of the volunteers being honored played into the theme, wearing capes, masks or unbuttoning one shirt to reveal another — usually with the name of the agency they volunteer for underneath.

The average volunteer gives 50 hours per year to the agency he or she volunteers for, providing more than $700,000 worth of services to the community, Ibarra said.

Longview Councilwoman Kasha Williams said volunteers play a vital role in the community.

“Government cannot solve all of the nations problems,” Williams said. “We also need the help of dedicated, involved volunteers.”

Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt also said he knows how important volunteers are to people who need help, and said he supported the theme.

“Volunteers truly are the superheroes of our community,” Stoudt said.

The Longview Nonprofit Coalition was formed in 1995 and provides more than 50 nonprofit agencies with opportunities to network and share information.

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