Trying to choose the most important or worthy organization that Sheree Gilliam has helped as a volunteer is just about impossible. That’s because Gilliam, senior vice president of Finance and Administration for Inter-County Energy Cooperative, has given her time and energy to nearly 40 organizations during her 40 years with the co-op.
The list includes the Lincoln County Habitat for Humanity, Lincoln County Emergency Planning Committee, Boyle County 4-H Council and the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring program at Stanford Elementary School. And let’s not forget her work with the Lincoln County Relay for Life/American Cancer Society Committee, Heart of Kentucky United Way and the Kentucky Energy Workforce Development Consortium.
Fortunately, Gilliam doesn’t have to choose one group over the other. She simply helps those who need her time and expertise.
“I have loved every minute of it,” Gilliam says of her volunteering over the years. “I always remember what Winston Churchill said: ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’”
Search and rescue
At any time, Tina Preece may be found dangling from a rope to rescue someone from danger or wading through flood waters looking for a missing person. It is all part of her volunteer work with Rough Terrain Rescue, an organization that she and her husband, Jamie, joined after becoming founding members of the Isonville Volunteer Fire Department in Elliott County.
The couple undergoes training each month on knots, rope rescue, controlled
descents, and swift-water rescues—all essential skills when someone’s life is threatened.
“We are involved in all aspects of search and rescue,” says Tina, an energy advisor with Grayson RECC. “Part of what we do is to keep family members informed and to keep up with all the people searching. Everyone thinks they want to be the person bringing someone to safety, but there is always room for people who are not able to hang off the end of a rope. There are always jobs that need to be done.”