Volunteer Spotlight: Jeff Hawthorne
Jeff Hawthorne is a long-time volunteer with Trees Atlanta. He attends volunteer projects almost every Saturday, so there’s a good chance you’ve worked with him before. During the summer, he works on tree care projects and plays on the Trees Atlanta softball team. Jeff is a true MVP on and off the field!
Q: When did you start volunteering with Trees Atlanta?
A: I think I first volunteered in the summer of 1999. I went with my friend Mark Williams and we started volunteering almost every weekend. The first project I remember was a mulching project on Moreland.
Q: How many Trees Atlanta Green T-shirts do you own? Do you have a favorite?
A: I think I have six T-shirts. I also have multiple jackets, hats, etc. My favorite shirt is my first one. It is a very light green because it has been faded by sun and sweat. I don’t wear it very often now because it has a few holes.
Q: From your perspective, how has Trees Atlanta changed over the years?
A: Trees Atlanta has changed a lot since the early days. When I first started, Trees Atlanta was working out of office space downtown. There were only like two or three employees and one truck. Now the new headquarters is being built on the BeltLine to accommodate all the growth. Fortunately, what we do on a weekly basis hasn’t changed that much. I still get to plant, mulch, and prune.
Q: You’ve been nominated for the Volunteer Spotlight for your hard work and dedication. What motivates you to spend your Saturday mornings digging holes, pulling weeds, and doing a lot of heavy lifting?
A: Well, I like doing hard physical labor. I also enjoy being outside and getting dirty. Of course, I love what we are doing for the environment and the city. You can see the results of your work every day. Most of all, I enjoy working with the friends I have made and the people I meet.
Q: Do you go back to visit trees that you’ve planted? How are they doing?
A: I go by trees I planted all the time, and I go visit some of them to see how they are doing. Most are doing well, but sometimes you lose a few.
Q: Why is volunteering important to you?
A: Everything about volunteering makes me feel good. Sometimes it’s hard to get up on Saturday morning and go out in all kinds of weather, but I am always happy that I did.
Posted on: July 7, 2022 (Republished from July 6 Volunteer Newsletter)
Written by Maddie Holodnik, Volunteer Services Intern
Photo top row, far right: Cause League softball team, circa 2003!