I firmly believe that helping others is one of life's simple pleasures. Doing something to brighter someone's day or help them through a rough spot gives you a real sense of accomplishment and joy, and this week's Hometown Hero has dedicated over a decade of his life to helping others in need right here in the Rockford community.

Over the past 20 years that I have been a part of Q98.5, I have done many things with the Rock River Valley Food Pantry. They are a vital resource to our community, and they rely heavily on help from volunteers. When I read the nomination letter we recently received from the Rock River Valley Food Pantry's Executive Director, Kim Adams-Bakke, I knew we needed to recognize Harold Hawes of Rockford as this week's Hometown Hero.

Here is what Kim wanted us to know about Harold;

Harold has been volunteering at the Rock River Valley Pantry, for more than 10 years.  While he is most active at the Rock River Valley Pantry his commitment to the community includes being active in his church, where he coordinates food drives that benefits multiple food pantries and is a former Habitat for Humanity volunteer. His role at the Rock River Valley Pantry includes inspecting, dating, sorting, and packaging nonperishable food donations. This includes retail, community drives, church collections, and donors dropping off food to help those in need. Last year alone, Harold helped to inspect and sort more than 455,000 lbs. of food. Over the ten years that he has been volunteering we believe Harold has sorted more than 4 million pounds of food!  Harold makes a difference as he makes sure the RRVP clients receive food that is safe, tamper-free and not outdated and he has impacted tens of thousands of lives due to his efforts.

Harold, you are simply extraordinary! Please accept this $100 Amazon gift card from our friends at Gustafson's Furniture & Mattress as a small way of saying thank you for your years of unending service to those in need. Please use it to buy something that will make you smile or that you have always wanted. You totally deserve a splurge!

Do you someone extraordinary like Harold? Please nominate them as next week's Hometown Hero, here.

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