United Way of Porter County Spirit Awards

United Way of Porter County Spirit Awards stand ready for presentation to recipients in this 2018 file photo.

VALPARAISO — They are the unsung heroes who work quietly behind the scenes, seeking no credit for their efforts.

They are the go-to people behind civic and social groups, churches, schools and clubs and more. They are passionate, courageous and self-sacrificing volunteers who serve others and their community as a whole, exhibiting what it means to live united.

United Way of Porter County is partnering with The Times Media Co. to honor those people and celebrate the spirit of volunteerism with the third annual Spirit Awards.

Over the next month, United Way and The Times are seeing nominations for the award, which celebrates individuals who have displayed extraordinary service above self and served as an inspiration to others.

Seven selected individuals will be featured in The Times and honored at the United Way of Porter County annual Community Celebration in March at Duneland Falls Banquet & Meeting Center in Chesterton.

"We know that it takes all of us working together to provide a stable and flourishing community," said Kim Olseker, president and CEO of United Way of Porter County. "Our Annual Community Celebration is about spotlighting individuals who are doing great things in our community.

As part of the celebration, the United Way of Porter County Spirit Awards was developed to honor amazing volunteers from across the Region doing great things on their own, Olesker said.

"The Region has so many people who give time, talent and treasure every day to others who need it most and we want to be mindful of that. With these awards we look for those individuals who embody the spirit of volunteerism and model the importance of giving back. The only way a community thrives is through caring for one another," she said.

"United Way works to improve education, financial stability and health conditions for all we serve. The Spirit Awards celebrates the volunteer who sacrifice to serve."

Nominations will be accepted from all Northwest Indiana counties. Go to nwi.com/uwpcspiritawards to nominate a volunteer. Deadline is Jan. 10.