Hutchinson Connects is launching a new way for local residents to honor volunteers who otherwise go unrecognized for their efforts.
Called Kind Neighbor Spotlight, the recognition allows residents to nominate “unsung” volunteers by filling out a nomination form. Hutchinson Connects then reviews the form, contacts the volunteer to confirm its accuracy, and with the volunteer’s approval, submits the information for publication in the Hutchinson Leader. The group hopes it will receive enough nominations so that the recognition will be published monthly.
“Our goal is to show how much our community values the efforts of those whose work often flies ‘under the radar,'” said Mary Henke, chair of Hutchinson Connects, which supports and promotes activities that bring people together.
The group evolved from Heart of Hutch, a grass-roots volunteer organization whose work continues through Hutchinson Health.
Henke said the aim of Kind Neighbor Spotlight is to salute those who might not normally be recognized by Hutchinson’s more formal awards programs.
“It might be a neighbor who agrees to babysit at a moment’s notice, the couple who picks up trash every morning while walking, or the teen who calls bingo at a seniors function,” Henke explained. “It might be a volunteer who regularly walks a dog at the animal shelter, or the many others who help behind the scenes at our community’s nonprofits.”
“Our goal is to raise the profile of those who help their neighbors in quiet but enormously helpful ways,” Henke added. “There are hundreds of people in Hutchinson who fit this description, and we want to give them the recognition they deserve.”
Kind Neighbor Spotlight nomination forms may be found at the following locations:
- Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, 2 Main St. S.
- Hutchinson City Center, 111 Hassan St. S.E.
- Hutchinson Leader, 170 Shady Ridge Road S.E.
- Hutchinson Public Library, 50 Hassan St. S.E.
- Hutchinson Senior Center at the Hutchinson Event Center, 1005 State Highway 15 S.
- Hutchinson Recreation Center, 900 Harrington St. S.W.
- McLeod Emergency Food Shelf, 498 State Highway 7 E.
- Ridgewater College, 2 Century Ave. S.E.
- United Way of McLeod County, 218 Main St. S., Suite 124
Forms may also be requested by emailing email@example.com. The forms may be returned to the Hutchinson Public Library, 50 Hassan St. S.E., Hutchinson 55350, or United Way of McLeod County, 218 Main St. S., Suite 124, Hutchinson, MN 55350.