Megin Duff, a mother of four whose willingness to help a stranger in need made a direct impact on us recently here at the station. And that despite her family's own substantial challenges. Through it all, believing that laughter is the best medicine, they've forged a remarkable bond.
Vicki Dolan, a woman who has dedicated her life to educating and supporting young families. Her own difficult upbringing, instead of leaving her broken and embittered, has motivated her to do all she can to encourage parents and nurture children. She says that parenting is the most important job you'll ever have. And in 2005 she founded and still runs a non-profit organization: Children's Playroom of Lancaster County, which teaches the value of positive discipline while letting kids be kids.
Tim Kilcoyne, a California chef and restaurateur who is currently on the East Coast with World Central Kitchen helping to provide hot meals for recovery crews and victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. After the Thomas Wildfire threatened his business and home last winter, Tim decided to get involved and help others in need.
Shirille Lee is a woman who has dedicated her life to making a difference in the lives of children. A Chatham County native, Shirille has fostered over 40 children herself and heads up the mentoring program for her county's Communities in Schools organization.
Joe Justice is a man whose humble beginnings were transformed by his exposure to the North Carolina Symphony as a school boy, and his life has been shaped by a love and appreciation for music. After a 33-year career with Bridgestone-Firestone, Joe turned to furniture restoration and woodworking. That led him to a position at the Whirligig Park in Wilson, restoring the Whirligigs of Vollis Simpson, the official folk art of North Carolina.
Brenda Whaley is a devoted mother of two who - along with three others - recently founded a non-profit organization with the goal of inclusion for special needs children, as well as their siblings and parents. Caring for her own son - who suffered a stroke in-utero - has inspired Brenda to help all family members to fell included and loved.
Helen Harwood is a cancer survivor whose advocacy on behalf of other cancer patients has brightened the lives of many for decades. With her husband of 58 years, she founded and directs a nonprofit called "Pennies from Angels," an organization that receives donations and distributes funds to people in crisis.
Ron and Lucie Saylor are a couple whose volunteer work on their later years has brightened the lives of many. Their story about Emmanuel Thrift Shop confirms the three-fold potential in the repurposing of merchandise - for donors, shoppers, and charities.
Covey Denton, an award-winning science teacher and single mom who with her three kids has acted in concrete ways to make life better for others less fortunate, near and far. They are quite a team! Covey's balance in the face of her own life's challenges is inspiring, and her passion is contagious.
Crissy Oravits, a native North Carolinian whose love for music has informed all aspects of her life - and especially her relationships with others. By the age of 3, she was touring the East Coast in ministry with her grandmother and other family members in their Gospel singing group, and after high school she became a nurse to support her music habit. Now, years later, she's teaching music to special needs children, including her own, and running a business that has made her a fixture in her community.
Crystal McIver, a woman whose journey has a difficult start, but whose redirection and optimism are inspiring. Born to parents unable to care for her, she was adopted in fifth grade but later found herself homeless before finishing high school. Crystal has every excuse for failing, but she turned herself around and vigorously pursued her education. She is now an active member of the community, a former teacher, a mother and grandmother, an author, and a business owner.
Jan and Darlene Van Ee, a couple whose paths first crossed in Mexico. They've now been married for 46 years, living and teaching for most of that time in Mexico and together raising 6 children. Darlene is an American of Dutch decent, and Jan is an immigrant from the Netherlands whose family crossed the Atlantic after World War II and settled in western Canada. Seven of their 19 grandchildren now live here in NC. Jan's and Darlene's perspective on things international and the human condition is both spiritual and practical... and refreshing.
Ken Wasley, founder and executive director of a nonprofit called Children of Fallen Heroes. Ken's lifelong connection with the military includes his father's history with the 82nd Airborne and the army's elite parachute team, the Golden Knights, and a very personal father-son connection with North Carolina. Ken's priority for supporting the spouses and children left behind - and what he's doing to make that real - is heartwarming and inspiring.