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Community blessed with volunteer spirit

Posted: February 13, 2017 3:46 p.m.
Updated: February 14, 2017 1:00 a.m.

As the director of this United Way, I see firsthand the incredible volunteer spirit and care so many have for our community.  Rural counties have many challenges that face us and often limited resources as well.  Kershaw County is unique in that we have a perfect storm but not in a bad way.  Rather our perfect storm has come together in ways that make us better and stronger.  

Recent articles in the Chronicle tell some of the story.  For example, the loss of Fred Sheheen is a reminder that we all need to step up and be the positive force he was in our community.  The naming of the Non-Profit Leadership Institute at Francis Marion in his name is one way to honor Fred’s memory, but another is to take the challenge of leadership to a new level in our own lives.  Whether it is leading at the state level as Vincent, his son, does or leading other smaller but important ways like in the classroom, as a policeman, a small business owner or as a volunteer in your church, leadership is something every community needs and our thrives because so many take it upon themselves to lead.  But too many are spectators.  Let’s all get in the game and lead!  One need only look at the two halves of Super Bowl 51 to see that the game is not over till it’s over and it’s never too late to lead the charge.

Leadership has many different faces. One that happened at our United Way last weekend was the Shred Day offered by Upchurch and Jowers.  What was thought by Victor Jowers and his staff as a small way to give back turned into a major gift to our community and to our Food Pantry.  Over 8,000 pounds of documents shredded, almost 2,000 pounds of food donated and cash to buy another 2,000 pounds.  Yes, Upchurch and Jowers has had a significant impact on our community by recognizing the best of the best of our students each year for the past 20 years, but in this simple gesture of kindness we see leadership has many facets, large and small.

We all have the capacity to lead!  Take the local church that saw the need to rally around Brayden.  Like all us who heard of the need, they took it upon themselves to take the next step, to lead the way in rallying our community around a family in need of support.  Sometimes leading is as simple as asking, “How can I help?”  It is being available to lend a hand.  It is listening, giving, visiting, praying...  

May each of us take the challenge to lead in 2017!


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