This time of year, United Way is accepting applications for the 2023 Jefferson Award. In honor of the newest incoming class of exceptional people in our community, we look back at some of the past winners and celebrate what makes them so special. Today we celebrate 2015 Jefferson Award winner Randy Coley!

“Volunteering is a fundamental building block of my morals, character and values. Winning the Jefferson Award in the past has further confirmed this belief in me. Volunteering gives such a warm feeling inside. There is always time to volunteer. It is a way of life that families, schools and communities must teach. These guiding influences in people’s lives should teach young people that they can make a difference in the lives of others and in their community.”

“It’s as simple as being nice to each other, treating everyone fairly, taking the initiative to reach out when you see someone could be helpful. It doesn’t have to be something big; little things like helping a neighbor or a complete stranger so you are no longer a stranger. When people volunteer their time and effort through such simple actions, it will spread like wildfire and make the community a better place.”

If you know an outstanding adult or youth volunteer from Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Putnam or Van Wert counties, you can nominate them by filling out the online or printed nomination form on the website The deadline for submitting candidacies is Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at 5:00 p.m.

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