11/05/09 — Volunteerism: Parrish family and others show the rest of community the way

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Volunteerism: Parrish family and others show the rest of community the way

There wasn't a single person who received an award at the volunteer awards ceremony who thought he or she deserved one.

Those who were honored said they were the privileged ones -- donating their time to causes they believe in and benefiting from the life lessons they learned as a result of that caring and commitment.

And that is why it is so important to point out not only their achievements, but the example they have set for the rest of us.

Volunteers are almost always unsung heroes. They do not offer their time or their hearts with any goal other than to help others. They are not interested in the praise or the possibility of winning a state award.

This year's Medallion winners -- the Parrish family of Goldsboro -- are just such a group.

This family said they were humbled by receiving one of the state's top volunteer honors, but were quick to point out just how much they have gained from their encounters with this county's Special Olympians.

Dean and Kathleen Parrish, both members of the U.S. Air Force, involved their children, Grace and Lauren, because they wanted them to know just how lucky they were to have the lives they do. In the end, it was the girls who said they would not trade their experiences for the world.

As we head into the Christmas season, perhaps we should remember the example set by the Parrishes.

Giving to others should be part of our daily lives, but especially so at Christmas.

If each Wayne County family gave a little of itself to others this holiday season and all year long, just think of what could be accomplished.

Published in Editorials on November 5, 2009 10:51 AM