SCHWEINFURT, Germany (April 24, 2014) -- In a small ceremony April 16, community members here gathered at the Finney Recreation Center to honor, thank and congratulate their peers, neighbors and friends chosen as the 2014 volunteers of the year.

"You empower this community and make it what it is," said Brian Adkins, U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt's garrison manager.

Schweinfurt's volunteers accumulated 20,827 hours, which is a cost value of about $461,000, according to numbers released by Army Community Service, which tracks volunteer hours.

Volunteers came from all walks of life working with organizations such as the Directorate of Public Works, Directorate of Human Resources, the Schweinfurt Health Clinic, the schools, ACS and the mail room.

"You are the definition of community, and we appreciate it because you are the ones who let us do the things extra that keep this a vibrant place to live despite our closure status," said Adkins.

In addition to the intrinsic rewards of volunteering, the volunteers received a certificate, a pin and the right to use the Volunteer of the Year parking spot in front of the PX.

Recipients are reminded to include their volunteer certificates in their employment files, as many employers recognize volunteer hours as work experience.

Volunteers of the year for 2014 included Patricia Forbes, Rodwell Forbes, Hazel Guenther, Emir Guevara, Ashley Guevara, Sandy Ingram, Chungiang Liao, Krystal Lopez, John MacDonald, Tina MacDonald, Yahira Mendoza, Pearl Mosley, Garrett Northway, Anisa Peterson, Heather Silvis, Victoria Sturgill and James Stworzydlak.