“I always try to give back,” Terry McCormick said. “There’s a lot of families out there that need help. If I can give back, I’m there.”
Terry McCormick stood in the cold without a winter coat because she thought others were in greater need.
The 50-year-old Louisiana woman was one of 83 people who volunteered with the not-for-profit North East Community Action Corporation (NECAC) and the Salvation Army to raise $6,003 during the annual six-week bell-ringing kettle campaign at Walmart in Bowling Green.
The money will pay for food, gas cards, work-related expenses, medical co-payments and other emergency needs of disadvantaged Pike County residents.
McCormick was disabled in a car accident more than two decades ago and cannot work. She doesn’t have a vehicle, and relies upon family or friends for transportation. And yet, she couldn’t sit still after hearing media reports that NECAC and the Salvation Army were seeking kettle campaign volunteers.
“I always try to give back,” McCormick said. “There’s a lot of families out there that need help. If I can give back, I’m there.”
NECAC Pike County Service Coordinator Dana Gordy said McCormick was an inspiration.
“As soon as she called, we got her signed up,” Gordy said. “She had such a great attitude. She volunteered five or six times, and she always took the last shift at night when it was the coldest.”
Two of those shifts were done without a winter coat, which McCormick said was “not in (my) budget.” While she did not complain, Gordy saw the silently-suffering volunteer and bought her the proper attire, including gloves and a hat.
“That’s the warmest coat I’ve ever owned,” McCormick said. “It blocks that air. That wind’s ridiculous.”
McCormick was part of a volunteer corps that ranged in age from three to 78 and put in more than 200 hours of time. McCormick has three grown children, and sometimes let young kids ring the bell. She was glad to see donations top the $5,000 goal.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” McCormick said. “Ask God. He’ll provide.”
For McCormick, demeanor can go a long way, even when circumstances aren’t ideal.
“If you start out crappy, your day’s going to be crappy,” she said. “If your day starts out good, it’s going to be good. There’s a positive in every situation. You’ve just got to find it.”
McCormick advises others who want to help their communities to get involved. Before leaving, she made clear to Gordy to call if a volunteer is needed.
“Let me know if anything else comes up.”