During my time in North Carolina, I got to tour the Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina; speak with various Black's Tire employees who were helped out significantly by their employer; and drive around with Ricky, visiting the homes of people he has known all his life.
Touring the Boys & Girls Home of North Carolina, was not just a humbling experience for me, it was a fascinating one because I got to watch Ricky tour the facility too. While I had just recently met the man, I could tell he was a hard man to keep still. He was always on the move and always talking. I heard all day long from people around town that even as a boy, he had a real go-getter attitude and that was evident to me after 20 minutes.
But since I had to get a tour of the campus for my Humanitarian award story, Ricky hopped on the golf cart with Gary Faircloth, CEO of the Boys & Girls Home of N.C., and I and took the tour as well.
This is a man who, along with his wife Dianne and the Black's Tire family, committed a lot of time and money to this organization. While he said he had been to the campus and saw some parts of it previously, he had never been in the cottages where the children stay or around the whole campus.
Every time we crossed paths with someone who thanked him for what he does, he thanked them back for what they do, from the VP of education of the campus-based Flemington Academy to the janitorial staff. That is why it was great to see him be able to understand how much his efforts help this organization.
One of the points him and Dianne made prior to our trip there was with the Boys & Girls Home, you can really see where the funds are going and why it is needed. I think even Ricky got a better understanding of how true that is when he took the tour. After spending all day with Ricky, I got to spend the evening with the whole Benton crew and they treated me like I was just a part of the family. While discussing our tour, he said he wondered what they could do to give more to the Boys & Girls Home.
When I boarded the airplane on my way home, I was thankful. Thankful for the family I was born into, for the one I just married into and for being able to build a life that allowed me to have such wonderful opportunities as this one. But maybe more importantly, I was thankful to the Benton family, who, by just being themselves, reminded me to be thankful for everything I have and to give my time to those who have not been handed the deck of cards in life I was dealt.
In my few days with these wonderful people, I learned a lot about life and the person we should all strive to be by hearing amazing stories about their Humanitarian efforts (check out the Nov. 9 edition of Tire Business for the full story). Thank you again to Ricky and Dianne and the whole Benton family for your kindness and congratulations on being this year's Humanitarian award winner.
For those concerned, this reporter will be traveling WITH her husband for their delayed Honeymoon early next year.