North Carolina Woman Volunteers on the Forefront to Support Her Community
Meet Daily Point of Light Award honoree Beverly Hines. Read her story and nominate an outstanding volunteer or family as a Daily Point of Light.
Beverly Hines was born in New Bern, North Carolina. The middle child of seven, Beverly has always been known as the helper. She taught her older siblings (one girl and two boys) as well as her younger siblings (one girl and two boys) many lessons. Her original dream was to become an accountant but she ended up a teacher, as well as a major force in her community.
Beverly’s volunteer work began in 2018 with the disaster that Hurricane Florence let in her community, with extensive flooding. After the hurricane, Beverly organized teams to help rebuild homes and to provide building supplies and food. She has written grants to help several churches rebuild, and opened the first food bank in the area. She has also set up a COVID-19 clinic and distribution sites for this very small rural community. Beverly works as the Media Specialist for Jones County Schools and is an advocate for citizens in need. She serves tirelessly and is always on the forefront to keep her community safe and well.
What inspires you to volunteer?
I volunteer because I can and I love to help others. I have strong spiritual beliefs and I think we were meant to do the very best we can to assist others. There is a saying, “Each one teach one,” and I take it further to say, “Each one help one.”
I quickly discovered that this work is never-ending and I’ve been working hard to address food insecurity, rural transportation needs, all COVID pandemic issues, mental health, substance abuse issues and tutoring with afterschool programs to combat learning loss due to school closures.
I work a full time job but I also work at least 28 hours per work on running the nonprofit. I coordinate all the programs, recruit volunteers to help and play an important role by coordinating and working right alongside other volunteers to get the work done. I have written grants that will allow me to offer some volunteer stipends but I do not pay myself. All of my volunteer work is non compensated until I can find a way to work the nonprofit as a hired employee. I am still working on that.
I feel that I am doing the work that the Lord led me to do to be a help to our community. To date, we have held 25 COVID-19 vaccine clinics and have vaccinated over 310 individuals. We partner with Old North State Medical Society and they administer the vaccines. We coordinate the events and line up the appointments. We also provide transportation to residents in need for a ride to doctor appointments, COVID appointments, to get groceries, etc. We rent a church van to transport residents. We also held a successful after school program called “Closing the Gap” that showed 85% of growth for the 22 students that were enrolled. This was a six month program with tutoring three days a week. We provide volunteers weekly for the food pantry where we feed over 3,500 individuals per month. I am always busy but it is good to have purpose and fulfill the needs of my community.
Describe your volunteer role with Jones County Community Hope.
Jones County Community Hope, Inc. is the nonprofit organization that was started to address the needs of Jones County residents and the surrounding counties. Our mission is to influence lives in a positive way through education, health and safety.
I am one of the founding members of Jones County Community Hope. I handle the scheduling of volunteers. In the beginning my family and I were the only staff. But as we grew, I was able to get more and more volunteers to help us with food distribution, COVID work and even tutoring. Now we are a well-established organization known for hard work in the community and have volunteers who are ready and willing to help with the cause.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your work?
The most meaningful and rewarding part of the work that we do in our communities is providing the opportunity for individuals to have their needs met. We just recently received a transportation grant and can now provide rides to doctor appointments, deliver groceries to positive COVID patients, etc. I have written and received grants to help us continue the work that we have started in the community. Working with the public is very rewarding especially when you get to hear some of the client stories and realize that what you are doing is clearly making a difference in their lives.
What have you learned through your experiences as a volunteer?
In my experience as a volunteer I have learned that volunteering added a new meaning to my life. My children are adults and I am divorced. Volunteering takes the focus off of me and adds a burst of joy to my life. Service gives me a great feeling of reward and spurs me to do more. Whether I am writing grants or in the field working, I feel a sense of accomplishment and happiness.
Are there any future partnerships, programs or events that you are excited about?
When I think of the future of Jones County Community Hope, I get excited. We are almost complete with the construction of our JCCH building. We plan to have mental health service, counselors, mentoring, food pantry, veterans program, single parent assistance, youth educational programs, exercise classes and so much more going on in this building. We have developed some really strong partnerships with other nonprofits, health equity groups, the health department and community health workers to ensure that we can offer quality programming.
Our grand opening is scheduled for December and we plan to hit the ground running. This building is located in a rural, underserved, minority neighborhood. Our presence in this community is going to give it a new purpose and recognition that was not there before. We are excited to see this dream coming to pass.
Why do you think it’s important for others to get involved with causes they care about?
It is important for others to get involved because you will feel better about yourself. There is a lot of anxiety and depression in the world today. Some of that stems from isolation. Volunteering once a week with a worthwhile cause can bind you to a group of people and provide social contact. Volunteering connects people and provides a platform to create new friendships.
What do you want people to learn from your story?
In 2015 I was going through a lot. My husband and I separated, my youngest was graduating from school, I was on the verge of losing my home and I was in graduate school. In December of 2015, at the age of 51 years old, I suffered a heart attack. I was lucky to survive and I now have 3 stents in my heart valves. This event caused me to take a good look at my life and to think about what impact I have had on my family, my church and my community. I felt like I had not done enough in any category.
The doctors were telling me that I needed to slow down but I felt that I needed to refocus and put first things first. So, that is what I did. Now, in all that I do, I make sure that I am there for my family. I have a 33-year-old son who lives with me and most times when I go to volunteer, he is with me volunteering as well. He admires the work that we do and it is now his passion as well.
I do all I can for my church and some of our volunteers are church members. The community members are the recipients of my volunteer labor and most of them are most appreciative. My life is very rewarding to me now. I got my master’s degree in 2016. II poured myself into establishing Jones County Community Hope, fundraising, writing grants and making a community presence.
Do you want to make a difference in your community like Beverly Hines? Find local volunteer opportunities.