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PEOPLE HELPING PEOPLE: Time to start thinking about Great Days of Service

Calling all rakes, shovels, paintbrushes, doers, and helpers!

Want to make a difference in your community? Do you want to be a part of the nation’s largest two-day volunteer event right here in Gwinnett County?

Then sign up to participate in this year’s Gwinnett Great Days of Service taking place on Oct. 5-6, 2012. Are you a non-profit agency who could use some volunteer help to get that extra project done that you have not had the time or money to accomplish? Are you a school that would like to build an outdoor garden? Is your food pantry empty?

These and more community projects will be completed during this year’s Gwinnett Great Days of Service. We need everyone’s help to make this year’s event even better than the past. So many people in our community have been affected by the last several years of the real estate market and losing their homes to evictions and foreclosures. Gwinnett continues to see record numbers. The community has many needs from homelessness to people who are hungry. Your involvement in the Gwinnett Great Days of Services helps agencies and schools that address thousands of people in need.

How many volunteers will it take to get all of this done in two days? Last year it took over 75,000. We want this to be the best event ever, so let’s see if we can exceed 75,000 again this year!

This annual event was created 13 years ago in the spirit of Gwinnett’s slogan, “Success Lives Here.” The Gwinnett Great Days of Service is designed to gain community awareness for the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services, a non-profit agency and more than 800-plus health and human service agencies and organizations, the Coalition represents and supports. The Gwinnett Great Days of Service Planning Committee works with these agencies to address specific needs in the county that are being overlooked and to complete defined service projects as a community, while educating citizens and community leaders about the needs around them and actively engaging them to serve those in need.

This year, we will again be partnering with Hands on Atlanta and our title sponsor the United Way of Metro Atlanta to make our event one of the largest in the nation. There are more ways to get involved than ever. If you would like more information or get involved, please visit our website at www.gwinnettgreatdaysofservice.org. We are still able to add event sponsors, please contact us ASAP if you are interested.

I also want to take a minute to thank an incredible committee of dedicated volunteer leaders and staff for the many hours of planning, vision, and hard work that gets little recognition but is crucial to the success of this year’s Gwinnett Great Days of Service. The Gwinnett Great Days of Service is a program of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health & Human Services. To learn more, visit us online at www.gwinnettcoalition.org.

Ellen Gerstein is Executive Director of the Gwinnett Coalition for Health and Human Services.