Giving Back is the Point of Success

communitySweetie Pies, I’ve been busy. Rehearsing for a musical next month, working steadily in my capacity as a writer/editor while expanding my comfort zone to include photography (I now have actual photo credits, thankyouverymuch), and being mom/business manager/enforcer of all things preteens hate to my lovable, but way over-the-top, eleven year old. However, I find myself falling into a new role — community advocate/supporter.

I find this amusing for myriad reasons, mostly because I’m also the same person who couldn’t wait to get out of this tiny town and raise some hell while traveling and going to school. I never thought I’d move back here, but my coming back was by divine design. I’m so thankful for the time I’ve spent back home as an adult.

There are a lot of problems in this town, mostly caused by poverty, lack of education, and an unwillingness to challenge the status quo of Southern society in the past century. Many people have attempted to bring positive events and venues to our community, only to be met by citizens who are reluctant to try anything different. A lot of those people have moved on to other cities where they feel they can actually do some good.

However, in both my writing and political work, I have come across many young people who are dedicated to making Wilson a better community. They are plugging away, working with at-risk youth, creating programs for children who no one seems to care about. Their parents are not involved and the public turns a blind eye to the fact that they need positive guidance until they see them in a local publication called the Jailbird (I seriously can’t make this stuff up). I don’t know if I’m destined to stay here, but I know that I will always be connected to my hometown. I know that I am obligated to give back to this town that has groomed me and made me the person that I am today.

I have a two-fold plan. First, I want to contribute to the economic development of my city by utilizing local vendors who have services that are useful to my business, as well as financially supporting people and organizations that are doing positive things to uplift the community. Secondly, I want to encourage and support these same people with my time and talent.

Charmaine Harris

Charmaine Harris, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club — Wilson, NC

Charmaine Harris is one of the young people who is passionate about making Wilson a great place to live. She is the new Executive Director of our local Boys & Girls Club, and has inherited a group of children who desperately need her, a building that needs massive renovations, and funding issues that keep the organization running on prayer, duct tape, and little else. People like Charmaine need our support. They deserve our best. I am so proud of the work that she is doing, and I will do everything in my power to make sure she gets what she needs to positively affect the lives of the children who will determine Wilson’s future.

As you hustle on and gain success, plan to give back. Get to know the people who need your success to ensure theirs. And remember them every time you want to slack off.

Your future affects so many lives other than yours.

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