Robert H. Stanfield of Covington will receive the YMCA of metro Atlanta’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year Award after serving on the board of the Covington Family YMCA for a number of years. He will be honored at the annual volunteer recognition dinner Monday, Nov.10.
“I’m very flattered. There must have been a low bar to jump over if I made it,” Stanfield said humbly. “I do my best to contribute and to do my best, but I certainly don’t think that I’m a ‘Volunteer of the Year.’ But I’m flattered that some people thought I was.”
Stanfield began as a YMCA volunteer in 2007. He would help out with youth soccer – which his daughter played – and use the gym as a Y member when he could. Now, he serves as the vice chair of the Covington Y’s advisory board. He raises money for the Why It Matters annual giving campaign and coordinates community groups for service work days at the YMCA.
“I knew what the Y does with the youth sports, with the afterschool care, with the other programs that they have. I just felt like it was a great thing to do to support the community. That’s why I did it. That’s why I’m still doing it,” Stanfield said.
Stanfield says that he volunteers to give back to the community, which is something he was always taught was the right thing to do.
“I was brought up that you’re supposed to give back to the community that you live in. This is one way for me to do it,” Stanfield said. “I think I help kids, I think I help adults. I think the Y makes the overall quality of life of the community better. To me it’s just an important part of what I’m supposed to do.”
“It (YMCA) is one organization that’s not a church that affects every age group and certainly every economic level in the county. From my perspective, it’s a great organization to support.”
Stanfield sees his service at the Y as a great way to contribute. He says that it has never been a burden on him.
“I guess the one thing that so many people don’t realize is that the Y is a whole lot more than youth sports. It’s got a summer camp. Obviously it’s not here but the metro Y has a summer camp. It’s a leading provider of afterschool care through metro Atlanta,” Stanfield said. “We have kids come from various schools, they do homework, they have an opportunity to exercise and have good play. Before I was on the board, I’m not sure I was fully aware of those things. All of those, I think are great things for the community overall.”