You Can Make a Difference in your Community
By Sterling Wilder
Black History Month is an ideal time to think about how we each can make a difference in the lives of others. For me, the opportunity to make a difference in one community came about unexpectedly, leading me down a special path. I simply saw a need, and thought I could help.
Several years ago, I was an auditor, living and working in Washington, D.C. Every weekend I would drive four hours to Lynchburg, Va. to tutor at-risk children. When one of the boys I tutored ended up in jail, I decided I had to do more to try to prevent other young children from experiencing that same fate. That decision lead to the creation of the Jubilee Family Development Center, a place that offered Lynchburg children and their families a structured haven away from drugs and violence. Jubilee provides a variety of youth and family-development services, including the following: After-school tutoring, computer training, cultural activities, mentoring, community service activities, and access to health screening.
So many times our children have low self-esteem. They might think, “I can’t do anything. I can’t be anybody.” But if you can find a way to motivate and give them hope, you can spark an interest than can lead them to achieve great things. That’s what Jubilee is all about.
I truly believe that we can all make a difference in the lives of others. That’s why I am so honored to be chosen by Dollar General® as its first national Every Day Hero. I thank them and their vendor partners Coca-Cola®, Kraft® Foods and Procter & Gamble® for believing in Jubilee Center and investing in us.
During Black History Month, Dollar General is launching Honoring Our Every Day Heroes, a year-long program to honor the heroes among us – from firefighters and veterans to teachers and caregivers. The program is wonderful because it celebrates local heroes who help make their communities great places to live and work. I hope the program will encourage others to volunteer and make a real and lasting difference in their neighborhoods and communities.
To learn more about the Honoring Our Every Day Heroes program, visit www.dollargeneral.com
About Sterling Wilder
Wilder received the It Takes a Village Award from VIBE 100, was recognized as Alpha Man of the Year from the Gamma Nu Lambda Chapter, received the Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities and was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show where he received the Use Your Life Award. As part of his recognition as an “Every Day Hero,” Wilder will receive a Dollar General gift card and be featured in a 90-second vignette that will air throughout the month on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network for Black History Month in February.
About Dollar General
Dollar General Corporation has been delivering value to shoppers for more than 70 years. Dollar General helps shoppers Save time. Save money. Every day!® by offering products that are frequently used and replenished, such as food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, house wares and seasonal items at low everyday prices in convenient neighborhood locations. With more than 9,800 stores in 38 states, Dollar General has more retail locations than any retailer in America.