MIRACLE MAKERS: Meredith’s Miracles plans service awards

Published 12:08 am Thursday, November 8, 2018

Meredith’s Miracles hopes to grow its annual Cookies with Character event bigger than ever in 2019, but it can only do that with the help of its many volunteers.

With that in mind, the organization this week announced a new awards program for its student volunteers.

Meredith’s Miracles Executive Director Kiley Spears said beginning this school year, the organization will present the Meredith’s Miracles Miracle Maker Award.

The awards program will recognize students who volunteer their community service for volunteers who work at Cookies with Characters, Meredith’s Fish Fry, Cocoa with Characters, and the Meredith’s Valentine’s Store.

Students who volunteer will be recognized each year during awards programs at their schools with certificates. Seniors who have volunteer a total of 100 or more hours to the charity during eighth grade through senior year will be awarded medals.

“We have seniors who graduate every year, and feel like we should do something for them,” Spears said. “They stick with me for five or six years before they leave for college. This is a way for us to reward them for the gift of their time.”

Southeast Alabama Gas District and

Andalusia Manor/Savannah Terrace are sponsoring the medals, and Digiprint and Laurie Dean are sponsoring the certificates.

“This is our 13th year for Cookies with Characters,” Spears said. “There is no way we can do our event without our volunteers that are all of the characters and volunteers who help us that day. As we grow, we need more and more help every year.”

In 2019, Cookies with Characters will have two shows on Saturday and a third show on Sunday.”

Cookies with Characters sold 3,000 tickets last year.

“It grew so much last year,” Spears said. “We had a lot of people say they wished we had a Sunday show. We are outgrowing our capacity with only two shows. To pull this off, we’ll need an even bigger commitment from our volunteers.”

In addition to characters, Meredith’s Miracles needs volunteers to sell popcorn, toys and tickets.

Andalusia High School has a formal recognition program for students’ community service. Spears said the Miracle Maker award fits with the program, and but also works for students volunteers from other schools where community service programs are not in place.

At the end of the current school year, Meredith’s Miracles will recognize student volunteers from AHS, AJHS, Straughn, Red Level, Pleasant Home, Opp, Florala and Kinston.

The 2019 Cookies with Characters event is set for Sat., Feb. 23, and Sun., Feb. 24. 

Cocoa with Characters is set for Sat., Dec. 15.

Meredith’s Miracles provides financial assistance for non-medical expenses incurred by families whose children must travel outside of the local service area for specialized medical care.