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Upper Hammonds Plains family recognized for tireless volunteer efforts

The Jones family receiving their Volunteer Family of the Year award today from Premier Stephen McNeil and Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant.
The Jones family receiving their Volunteer Family of the Year award today from Premier Stephen McNeil and Lieutenant Governor J.J. Grant. Cory McGraw/ Global News

HALIFAX- Shirley Jones and her three daughters, Gina, Melvina and Sherlene have been called the “backbone” of their community in Upper Hammonds Plains.

Tuesday, the Jones family was honoured with the ‘Volunteer Family of the Year Award,’ thanking them for their efforts to better their community at the Provincial Volunteer Awards Ceremony.

The Jones Family has been volunteering collectively for over 175 years, starting with Shirley’s mother. They have poured their hearts and souls into the Upper Hammonds Plains community in effort to make it a better place for the people who live there.

The list of things they have done to give back is extensive, and ranges from expanding the community center, and helping build the baseball diamond, to organizing health and wellness workshops.

The sisters, along with their mother, volunteer on several boards within their church, as well as help out with Children’s and Junior Church. The Jones women also work in partnership with the County Councillor and MLA to make sure they can access any funding that could be available for the community.

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Gina Jones-Wilson is one of the sisters who received the volunteer award on Tuesday afternoon. She says that their passion for volunteering all started with their mother.

“She’s been volunteering for over 60 years and when we were all small we just went along with her,”she said,”It just became a part of our lives.”

A lot of their work is spent on mentoring the youth in the community, and ensuring that they are getting as much as they can out of their lives. The Jones women try their best to help them get through school and  into post-secondary institutions, as well as to get scholarships or jobs.

“When you put [time] into youth, I find you get something back, and that is our reward for our volunteering,” said Gina with a smile.

Shirley likes to volunteer her time with seniors group in the community. She’s glad they all help each other out as much as they can.

“They make sure that they get to their doctor,” said Shirley.

“We call each other on the phone and see how they’re doing.”

Gina said that seeing the community of Upper Hammonds Plains grow and thrive is something that the Jones family takes great pride in. They are even encouraging their own children to get involved, and volunteer to keep their legacy going.

“When you give back, then you get more out of the community.”

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With files from Heide Pearson