Helena recognizes Joy Childers with volunteer coin

By NATHAN HOWELL | Special to the Reporter

HELENA — Volunteers are the lifeblood of any strong community, by sacrificing time and giving effort, they help make a reality the hopes and desires of city governments and the residents they represent.

Each year, dozens of volunteers offer their time through the various committees in Helena to help make the city a better place. Normally the city will have a thank you party for those volunteers where they are presented with a special volunteer coin. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, this was not possible in 2020.

Volunteers are still being honored with a commemorative coin, and this year’s coin features Joy Childers, commemorating her decades of work and service toward the city.

“This year, I wanted to acknowledge a special volunteer who is recognized on the special 2020 edition volunteer coin,” said Helena City Councilmember Hewy Woodman. “She is recognized for the length of time she has been a volunteer and her devotion to Helena. Joy Childers has been a volunteer leader from the day she arrived in Helena.”

Childers has spent a significant amount of time working with the different committees to make Helena a better place, including work with organizing and running the recent elections, the farmers market and many others.

“Her contribution to the community is immeasurable, from festivals to parades. She brings her skills, experience, friendship, inspiration and energy to every person and project,” Woodman said. “Some of the best things that exist in our community had their roots in Joy’s service.”

Woodman also took time to acknowledge well-known and respected volunteer Zulfi Merchant, who recently passed away due to complications from COVID-19.

Merchant spent much of time helping with one of Helena’s most notable occurring events, the Helena Market Days. He assisted in many ways, including the planning and recruitment of chef demos for the events.

“I especially want to draw attention to Zulfi Merchant who gave his time to the Farmers Market and who passed away today from complications with COVID. He was a generous, gentle soul and will be missed,” Woodman said.