They are often seen at Creston High School activities, dressed in red and black, supporting the Panthers, or they can be seen with their faces buried in a book at Creston Elementary helping first-graders learn to read or volunteering at the information center at Greater Regional Medical Center.
Saying Jim and Rhonda Giles of Creston, honored last week as the 2012 Volunteers of the Year, are active members of the Creston community is an understatement.
“It’s an amazing award,” Rhonda said, “and we’re humbled we were selected because we don’t look for recognition, we just do it because it needs to be done and because we like giving back.”
The couple, married for 42 years Thursday, have always been involved in the community since their daughter Wendy (Giles) Jamison and son Michael Giles went to Creston Schools in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Rhonda is a retired food service clerk at Creston School District and Jim is retired from United Parcel Service (UPS).
Together, they’ve been members of the same church, First Christian Church in Creston, for more than 40 years. They lead praise and worship each week at their church, are chairpersons of the church’s membership committee, volunteer at open tables, help organize clothes drives at the church to help members of the Creston community.
Outside the church, they’ve volunteered to go on field trips with kindergartners to the zoo, help pre-kindergartners through sixth-graders wrap presents for their family each Christmas, help with Creston’s prom and do all the community walks including the CROP walk and Alzheimer’s walk this year.
“We really enjoy giving back,” Jim said. “I tell people I have a lot of part-time jobs, some pay, but most don’t.”
Jim and Rhonda, nominated by Deb Gordon, former classmate of Rhonda’s, will be honored as Volunteers of the Year during the 73rd annual Chamber of Commerce banquest held 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Supertel Inn and Conference Center.
“This is the first time I’ve ever nominated someone,” Gordon said, “and I did this year because I can’t think of anyone who deserves it more. They are everywhere. They are doing so many good things for this community. They are wonderful people and very deserving of this award.”