APPLETON (NBC 26) — National Volunteer Week has begun. To celebrate, NBC 26 wants to introduce you to some of your neighbors making a difference in our communities. It's a part of our Celebrating Volunteers series with the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region.
Married for 34 years, Mike and Mel Mailand have been volunteering together for just as long, much of their time being spent at Pillars, a homeless shelter in the Fox Valley.
"I don't think we keep track of the hours," said Mike. "We just do what needs to be done when it needs to be done."
Their effort and dedication to helping others stood out. That's why they were chosen for the 2021 Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by Amcor.
"Holy cats," Mel exclaimed during a surprise Zoom interview.
But it's not just giving back that brings them joy, it's doing it together and learning a few more things about each other along the way. They share a few of those sentiments in the video above.
While they volunteer for a few other places, they're at Pillars on average 15 times a month. If you're interested in learning more about that organization, click here. With the $5,000 the Mailand's received from the award, they're donating it right back to the place they love to spend so much time.