John West has served Volunteer Mid-South for more than six years. He does everything from reading to children who live in inner-city neighborhoods to playing bingo with the elderly to creating crafts with ill children.
West has been essential in the programming of Volunteer Mid-South. He is the Chairperson of the Leadership Council and trains incoming volunteers. These new volunteers learn how to tutor elementary school students, which directly impact the rates of illiteracy and poverty in the community.
John’s greatest passion is the environment. He has organized and lead the Trailblazing at Lichterman Nature Center and Whistle While You Work at Shelby Farms. John’s effective leadership style has inspired teenagers to become concerned about going green and working in the environment.
Currently, John has volunteered to head the annual Volunteer Expo, which features nearly 100 nonprofit agencies showcasing their volunteer opportunities to more than 1,500 community volunteers. He has volunteered because he wants to meet with potential volunteers and promote the importance of volunteering. In addition to his extensive service to Volunteer Mid-South, John works full time and serves on several other boards and councils.
Oct. 2021: The update below provided by the Honoree describes their ongoing volunteer service activities since being recognized with the Daily Point of Light Award.
“I moved from Memphis, Tenn. to Atlanta, Ga. in about October, 2011. For most Saturdays from July 2012 to September 2015 I volunteered at Reece Center – a horse farm for those with disabilities.
In 2013, I started volunteering for NASCAR Foundation at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala. I started working at the main booth “selling” (taking donations) for various “products” such as baseball caps, wrist bands, etc. and quickly worked my way up to be given title of At Track Volunteer Leader, whereby I would start two months in advance of the spring and fall races, recruiting about 100 volunteers for each race weekend. After moving to Orlando, Fla. in January 2016, I switched from Talladega Superspeedway to Daytona International Speedway for the February and July races there until August 2020. For Daytona I did not have to recruit the volunteers. For Talladega and Dayton summer races that involved a 3-day weekend serving thousands of race fans. For February Daytona races that involved 2 weekends and about 6 days of volunteering. And periodically volunteering at other Daytona NASCAR Foundation events between those races.
In Atlanta from 2014 to September 2015 I volunteered for World Trace Center Atlanta as their Vice President/Program Chair and as a Board Member as Board Secretary and also on the Board Executive Committee. This was like a full-time job – about 40 hours a week for about a year. In January 2016 I moved to Orlando, Florida to start a new volunteer job as Vice President of Programs for World Trade Center Orlando. I still hold that position today. It’s like a full-time job – about 40 hours a week for the past 5+ years.”