Last week we presented longtime volunteer Harvey Thomas with our first ever Shining Hope Farms Service Award.

The Shining Hope Farms Service Award is given to an individual that loves the mission of our organization and is committed to seeing us fulfil that purpose. This person goes beyond the normal expectations of a community service volunteer by being dependable, trustworthy, and determined to make a lasting impact in our community with their time, talents, and resources.

Harvey has been volunteering with Shining Hope Farms at our Mt. Holly location for 17 years. In fact he was our very first volunteer. After retiring in 2004, Harvey came to us ready and able to serve after seeing a blurb in his church’s bulletin asking for help. He used his background of growing up on a farm to help in almost every area possible. “It gave me great joy seeing firsthand how the clients improved,” said Harvey.

After noticing that the Mt. Holly barn was in need of some repairs he got right to work. His first project was building 17 stable doors and two exterior doors! Over the past nearly 20 years, he has been a horse leader, side walker, performed general maintenance and repairs, helped harvest hay, repurposed the stall doors in the barn, oversaw multiple boy scout projects, regraded the riding arenas by hauling his own tractor to all three locations, helped with erosion control problems, and has literally been involved in every construction or renovation project that we have ever taken on.

He commented, “It gives me pleasure to work on improvements in order to serve more clients so that they may improve their wellbeing. I try to do my best to serve where I can. There is a lot of need for the services SHF provides and I am glad to be a part of it.”

Eventually he even joined our board of directors, on which he served for many years. We have all been able to count on Harvey when we were in need. He has never said “no” or that he wasn’t available. As a result of his involvement, we have been able to grow and expand our reach in the community. We are deeply appreciative of Harvey’s positive attitude and tremendous work ethic. We can’t think of a more deserving recipient after Harvey’s two decades of service. Congratulations Harvey!