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Reflecting on the Goodness of Others: By Pilar Parks of United Way

Many people start their year with a New Year’s resolution to improve something if not wholly make themselves over. Self-reflection and inventory of mistakes occur in the days leading up to that anticipated day, January 1. Well-intentioned resolutions kick off on full steam but often lose momentum within a few weeks, resulting in resolutioners feeling negatively about themselves. But what if we inventory our good deeds instead and highlight those? Better yet, what if we look outside of ourselves and reflect on the goodness of others?

Nearly two hundred nonprofit organizations are operating in Wayne County. The majority are small and often operated by one person. However, all of these nonprofits cannot function without volunteers. These selfless individuals readily give of their time, energy, and skills. In my role at the United Way of Wayne County, I have worked with hundreds of these individuals who exemplify service above self.  Saying “thank you” just never seems to be enough.

In North Carolina, our gratitude for these tireless individuals’ work can be expressed and immortalized through the Governor’s Volunteer Service Award, where each county may nominate up to ten persons or groups to receive the award. The nomination is now open and will run until January 31, 2024. Downloadable forms and additional information can be found at www.

Do you know of a deserving individual to be recognized for this award? Nominate them, and let’s celebrate them together!


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