On April 12, 2024, CAC volunteers and staff came together at Dunwoody United Methodist Church to attend CAC’s most important event of the year – the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon. CEO Francis K. Horton III thanked the assembled volunteers, adding in those individuals who could not attend. “You are the heart of CAC,” he shared, pointing out that volunteers not only run CAC’s emergency assistance programs, but also provide a much-needed human connection to neighbors that are in need of hope.

Cameron Darweesh, Community Engagement Director, served as emcee, introducing department heads in turn. Those staff members described program responsibilities that volunteers perform and recognized outstanding volunteers from their programs, thanking them in particular for their contributions.

Volunteer Becca Herman was the recipient of the 2024 Mitzi O’Connell Care & Compassion Award in recognition of her outstanding volunteerism to her community via several programs, most notably her work in CAC’s youth programs. The award was presented by members of the O’Connell family, who shared more about Mitzi’s history with CAC and the spirit of volunteerism that lives on through her eponymous award.

Volunteers heard not only from CAC staff, but also from clients via heartfelt messages they wrote and were read out loud:

“CAC is a blessing on my family. I cannot describe how much this organization means to us. I never imagined I would be struggling so much financially, and I was embarrassed, but CAC has changed our lives.”

 

“I would like to add that the CAC was one of the most professional, efficient organizations I have ever worked with. Not once did I have to question if I would be taken care of. They took the initiative to communicate with me regularly and they definitely have the right team to ensure the service is rememberable. Thank you to the volunteers who I have been in contact with over the course of several weeks when my situation was difficult. I really loved how personable and empathetic they were even despite dealing with so many people on a regular basis.”

 

“If it were not from the help of CAC, I could have been evicted. I thank you so much for your help. You have wonderful volunteers there, and God bless you all. One day, I will be able to assist people as you do. God is smiling on you, and so are my parents from heaven. Thank you again for being the angels in my life.”

More than 400 individuals regularly volunteer at CAC; collectively, they contribute almost $1.4 million in donated labor. Most important is that clients find hope in the encouragement and support of our volunteers. Without volunteers, CAC would not have been able to help the 8,600 neighbors that sought help in 2023. Thank you to our volunteers!