Each year, the Gaston County Family YMCA’s honor those serving their communities.
For 2020, this award was given to given to Hans and Megan Kanal of H&M Catering in Mount Holly. The Kanals were recently honored for their tireless work in combating hunger during the COVID-related shutdowns, according to YMCA spokeswoman Molly D’Avria.
As D’Avria explained, some 20 percent of North Carolina children struggle with food insecurity. This can cause anxiety for kids who struggle with hunger and don’t have access to free and reduced lunches at school. In addition to children, there have been COVID-affected seniors, many of whom were on waiting lists for home deliveries of food.
H&M Catering worked alongside YMCA staffers and volunteers to safely make and deliver nearly 4,000 meals to children and seniors across Gaston County, March 18-May 28, as Gaston County Family YMCA CEO Sharon Padgett recently noted.
“What you have done for the Y this year, for the kids and the seniors, was phenomenal,” said Padgett. “We could not have done it without you. We are thrilled to award you the 2020 Volunteer of the Year.”
“What a great honor,” said Mr. Kanal. “When everything was going down, it gave us purpose.”
“We feed people. That’s what we do,” added Mrs. Kanal, as she was presented the etched-glass award by Stowe Family YMCA Executive Director Mary Moffitt.
“Our reach would never have been as large without you,” said Moffitt. “You were the backbone, and we were able to take the bus and go out and see the smiling faces of kids and seniors as they were waiting on their porches for us.”
This award it typically presented at the YMCA annual meeting, which was not held this year because of the COVID-related restrictions.
Padgett explained why it is important to recognize volunteers.
“Whether it is the board volunteer, youth sports coach or a greeter at the door, our volunteers are the foundation on which the Y was built,” she said. “They give of their time, talent and treasure, because they believe in our mission.”
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