Panama City AT&T employees receive President's Volunteer Service Award

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) - Two Panama City AT&T employees received the President's Volunteer Service Award; real everyday heroes. We spoke to one of the recipients about what it means to receive the honor.

This is a picture of Thomas Cook and some of the AT&T Pioneers. (WJHG)

Thomas Cook has worked for AT&T for 19 years. He loves to volunteer and says he's thankful to work for a company that encourages it.

"AT&T is very community-oriented, they really encourage the employees at all levels to volunteer, to not only live in the community but to be part of the community," Cook said.

Cook is the Vice President of the local AT&T Pioneers chapter, an employee volunteer group.

"Recently, we just did a food drive for some of the people for the storm, every year we do two events at the Sims Veterans Home, we have done some toy drives in the last few years, especially we did one this past December for the hurricane victims," Cook said.

When Cook isn't volunteering with the company group, he volunteers in his free time.

"I do stuff within my church, I do things on my own time, try to help my neighbors out, especially after the hurricane there was a lot of debris on the ground everywhere, so I tried to help people clean out debris," Cook said.

Cook received the award with a congratulatory letter from the President of the United States for volunteering more than 100 hours this year.

"It was quite the surprise because so much had gone on last year that it just kind of became a blur, I didn't really realize I put in that many hours in until I won the award," Cook said.

For this everyday hero, volunteering is a big part of his life, but he doesn't do it for recognition.

"I like to volunteer, I like to give back to my community, I think that's what we were called to do, to be stewards of our community and of our brothers and sisters and help out wherever we can," Cook said.

In June Cook will go on a mission trip with his church.

A total of eight employees of AT&T from Pensacola, Gulf Breeze, Destin, and Panama City were honored with the award.

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