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Hearts of Gold

09/01/2016 02:42PM, Published by Jennifer Gonzalez, Categories: Entertainment COMMUNITY




By: Erin Pesut 

 

 Steve Milburn 

Owner& Operator, The UPS Stores and Print Shops, Westwood Shopping Center and Fort Bragg Mini-Mall 

 

Q: Where are you from?  

A: St. Louis, Missouri 

 

Q: How do you give back?  

A: I am a longtime member of the Cape Fear Kiwanis Club, President of the Board of Directors of The Care Clinic, President of the Board of Directors for the Fort Bragg Armed Services YMCA and board member of the National Board of Directors for the Armed Services YMCA and contributor to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina.  

 

Q: Why is giving back important?  

A: Giving back is important to me as my family and I are truly blessed. I have been all over the world and have seen real poverty. I see it in Fayetteville. As a Christian, it is my duty to help those in need. "Heart to God, Hand to man."  

 

Q: What issues are close to your heart?  

A: The basics of nutrition and healthcare, caring for children and taking care of our military members and their families are all very important to me. 

 

Q: What is the best part of giving back?  

A: The great joy I receive when I see someone's life improved. I also have a great circle of friends who give back to the community in many ways. I love doing joint ventures with them. There is truly strength in numbers. 

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about Fayetteville?  

A: The citizens. As a whole, they are the most caring and giving people of all the places I have lived.

 Todd Joyce 

Lieutenant at Fayetteville Police Department 

 Q: Where are you from?  

A: Fayetteville.  

 Q: How do you volunteer/give back?  

A: I’ve worked with our Great Oaks Youth program as a reading buddy for kids. It’s almost like you become family with some of those children. I’ve also volunteered packing meals for children when they get out of school on a Friday afternoon. Just staple items, and those are the only things they’re going to have Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday. To see that, it will bring you to your knees.  

Q: What is special about giving back as a police officer?  

A: Being police officers, we try to help as many folks as possible. You probably have no idea how many officers give up their time and their money to help folks, and they do not want any recognition for it. They do it out of the goodness of their heart. It amazes me when we receive those stories and people ask, “Hey, can you tell me who this officer is? I want to tell you what they’ve done for me,” and the person says, “I don’t want anybody to know about it.”  

Q: What are issues close to your heart? 

A: Kids and family are very special to me. So, when you see those things and they’re broken, I want to do everything I can to fix it. Unfortunately in times of this job, you can see the dynamics of a family sometimes torn apart. What’s very important to me is to hopefully establish some type of normalcy in that child’s life, so they are reassured that there are people out there who care about them.  

Q: What do you love about Fayetteville?  

A: Fayetteville is my hometown. I was born and raised here. When I came on with the Police Department almost 15 years ago, I got to work in the same community where I grew up. I know so many people and it helps me accomplish so much. I’m very thankful. It’s special to me because it’s home.  

 

 Elizabeth Scott 

11th grader at Massey Hill Classical High School 

Q: Where are you from? 

A: Fayetteville/Erwin 

Q: How do you volunteer or give back?  

A: I am very involved in my church and a volunteer coach with the Cumberland County Special Olympic Equestrian Team. I also take care of the horses that are used for the team. 

Q: Why do you think giving back is so important?  

A: I believe you can only truly be a member of your community if you are involved on a very personal level, especially if you have a gift or talent or resources that can benefit others. My parents taught me at a very young age that you should be willing to share the things that you are grateful for. 

Q: What issues are close to your heart?  

A: Equality. Helping these athletes feel more equal by gaining the ability to ride a horse is very special to me. 

Q: What is the best part about giving back? 

A: For me, it’s the look on the faces of our athletes when they accomplish something they never thought they could do!  

Q: What is your favorite thing about Fayetteville?  

A: It is my home, and my family is here. 

 

 Marcus Merritt 

Volunteer at Operation Inasmuch 

 

Q: Where are you from?  

A: Spring Lake, North Carolina. I just moved from Glassboro, New Jersey.  

 

Q: In what ways do you volunteer and give back to the community?  

A: I love to give back to the community through organizations like Operation Inasmuch and also through my local church, Teach All Nations Ministries. 

 

Q: Why do you think giving back is so important?  

A: God has truly blessed me throughout my entire life and one of his commandments is to "Love thy neighbor.” I feel if someone has a need, then I should give my very best to help them out.  

 

Q: What issues are close to your heart? 

A: Taking care of those in need. I feel it's my obligation to help. 

 

Q: What is the best part about giving back? How does it make you feel?  

A: The best part about giving back, is that I'm doing what my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ calls me to do for his kingdom: To love my neighbor. 

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about Fayetteville?  

A: I would have to say my favorite thing I love about Fayetteville are our men and women of Fort Bragg and Pope Army Airfield. Thank you to all who have served our country. 

 

  Frederick Henderson 

Parking Enforcement Officer 

 

Q: Where are you from? 

A: Charlotte, North Carolina 

 

Q: How do you volunteer and give back to the community? 

A: I retired from the military in ‘08. I’m out here walking to keep moving. 

 

Q: Why do you think giving back is important? 

A: If it wasn’t for those that came before me I wouldn’t have been able to advance.  

 

Q: What are ways other people can give back?  

Downtown Fayetteville has this program where instead of giving money to panhandlers, you can put it in these boxes and they use it to do something positive.    

 

Q: What’s your favorite part about Fayetteville?  

A: I’m actually born and raised in Charlotte, but I enjoy putting Charlotte in my rear view mirror and coming back to little small sleepy Fayetteville. 

 

 Eva Williams 

Fayetteville Volunteer 

 

Q: Where are you from? 

A: Henderson, North Carolina. Fayetteville has been my home over 50 years. 

 

Q: How do you volunteer and give back to the community? 

A: I volunteer through my church, First Baptist Church, Moore Street; my Sorority, Fayetteville Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and my university alumni, Fayetteville Chapter of North Carolina Central University Alumni Association. I am also a board member at Cumberland Community Foundation and Cape Fear Regional Theatre. 

 

Q: Why do you think giving back is so important? 

A: My parents were always giving and helping other people even when they were struggling themselves. It was ingrained in me at an early age. I truly believe we are better people when we give. Even though we say we are “giving back,” we are really “paying forward.” 

 

Q: What issues are close to your heart? 

A: Educating and helping young people, especially those who are disadvantaged. 

 

Q: What is the best part about giving back? How does it make you feel? 

A: It gives me a purpose. I feel happy, energized and fulfilled. 

 

Q: Favorite thing about Fayetteville? 

A: During the years of parenting our children, Fayetteville had a progressive diversity that was not present in all communities. This allowed us to participate in varied activities, enjoy our life here and build life-long friendships. 

 

 Denise Giles 

Director of Family Promise of Fayetteville NC 

 

Q: Where are you from?  

A: That is always an interesting question for many of us raised in military families. My father's last station was Fort Bragg, and I’ve remained in Fayetteville for nearly 50 years.  

 

Q: In what ways do you volunteer/give back to the community? 

A: I spend a great deal of my time working with homeless children and their families. I have served on non-profit boards, such as the Partnership for Children and as a Human Relations Commissioner for the City of Fayetteville. I currently serve on the Board of Directors for our Fayetteville, Cumberland County Continuum of Care on Homelessness. I also serve on the FEMA/ESG Board at the United Way.   

 

Q: Why do you think giving back is so important? 

A: I will never forget the day a young woman looked at me and said, “You have so much. I hope to be like you one day.” This young woman gave me a tremendous gift—a wake up call to all that is so precious and valuable in my life. She gave this to me while she had no home, during the most difficult time in her and her family's life, and she gave freely, she gave “to” me.  

Giving “back” implies a debt, but giving “to” is a willing gesture, it comes out of the generosity of one’s heart. On the days that I have the privilege to do both, I am truly blessed. 

 

Q: What issues are close to your heart? 

A: Finding ways to respect other’s opinions, even when I feel strongly that they are mistaken. Learning that the world does not have to be “either/or” but incorporating “both/and” ideologies. Hoping we can find ways to heal the fractures in ourselves, in our community and in our country. Like the pebble in the water, maybe we can be a part of a positive ripple effect. 

 

Q: What is the best part about giving back? How does it make you feel? 

A: At peace.  

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about Fayetteville? 

A: We may be growing into a "big city," but we still have a small-town spirit. Most importantly, we have so many opportunities to "give back." All we have to do is show up. 

 

  Judge Laura Devan 

 

Q:   Where are you from?  

A:    I was born in New York City. I have lived in North Carolina since 1989. 

 

Q:  How do you volunteer and give back?  

A:  I served on the Dogwood Festival Committee and on the Domestic Relations Steering Committee when Family Court was started in our Courts. I am a Sustainer of the Junior League of Fayetteville and was one of the founding members of the Women’s Giving Circle. I also served on the Board of Directors of the Cape Fear Regional Theater, and I currently serve on the Child Advocacy Center, Better Health and Fayetteville Animal Protection Society Boards. 

 

Q: Why is giving back important?  

A: Working in the Court system, I see so many people who are in need of different kinds of assistance.  There are a lot of folks who hit hard times or fall between the cracks.  

 

Q: What issues are close to your heart?  

A: Child welfare and protection, access to health care and fitness opportunities, homelessness, a vibrant arts community and animal protection, just to name a few. 

 

Q:  What is the best part about giving back?  

A:  It is incredibly rewarding. Each of us can make an impact every day even though it might only be a small thing. One of my favorite quotes is, “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” 

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about Fayetteville?  

A:  I love the diversity of Fayetteville and how welcoming our community can be. 

 

 Darlene Ransom 

Recipient of “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine”  

 

Q: Where are you from? 

A: Lumberton, North Carolina 

 
Q: In what ways do you volunteer/give back to the community? 

A: I was involved in the Big Brother/Big Sister program in college. I was a volunteer reading tutor in my children’s schools, the lead mom for various sports and grade mom. I was also the unofficial American Indian speaker in their schools, as well as for other schools in the county. I was a youth church volunteer, a grant writer, a polling volunteer, campaign worker, mentor for struggling students, a volunteer with the Dogwood Festival, KidsVille Village (American Indian booth) and with The Partnership for Children.  

 

I served as a Foundation Board Member for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and I’ve endowed a scholarship to assist financially with one American Indian student per year who is successfully completing their degree in Social Work.  

 And the Arts Council, especially with the International Folk Festival where I manage a craft native to America’s First People. I also volunteer with Camp Rockfish Ministries locating homes in our community that require minor home repairs.   

 

Q: Why do you think giving back is so important? 

A: I’ve always been a huge advocate when it comes to giving back...paying it forward, and volunteering. My parents instilled this value in us from childhood. Giving back was innate…you just did it! 
 

Q: What issues are close to your heart? 

A: Education! Education for my American Indian students and their families weighs heavily on heart and mind.  
 

Q: What is the best part about giving back? How does it make you feel? 

A: It’s all about enriching the lives of others. I do it because I have been blessed with a spirit of giving. Volunteering is therapeutic. It can introduce you to some of the most fabulous people on the planet.   

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about Fayetteville? 

A: The people I’ve met along the way, the Arts Council, where I’ve met some brilliant, deliberate progressive thinkers and visionaries and Camp Rockfish Ministries. 

 

 

 Cassandra McMillion 

 

Q: Where are you from? 

A: I am from Norwalk, Connecticut. I moved to Fayetteville in 1971 with my husband who was stationed at Fort Bragg. I remained in Fayetteville to make it my and my children's home after his death in 1977. 

 

Q: In what ways do you volunteer/give back to the community? 

A: I am involved with the Cumberland County Council on Older Adults, the Council's Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), The Woman’s Club of Fayetteville, Fayetteville Urban Ministries Adult Literacy Program and Cumberland Retired School Personnel. I served on several commission seats, Church Women United, Home and Community Care Block Committee and Fayetteville Observer's Kidtopia. With the Arts Council I have been a docent for guided school tours and an International Folk Festival Kids Stage announcer, among other things. I’m also an usher at Cape Fear Regional Theater.  

 

Q: Why do you think giving back is so important? 

A: It fulfills my reason for being. It gives me the opportunity to interact with my first love: children. 

 

Q: What is the best part about giving back?  

A: The best part of giving back is the resource of time that amounts to dollars being saved in the community. Plus, look at all the people I have met! 

 

Q: What is your favorite thing about Fayetteville? 

A: Diversity. Fayetteville is a melting pot for culture. It lives up to the slogan,"History, Heroes and a Hometown Feeling!" 

 

 

 





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