Monday, June 9, 2003

Hometown Heroes


'Quiet helper' aids multitude of causes

By Janet C. Wetzel
Enquirer contributor

MIDDLETOWN - Some people call Carrie Green the quiet helper. It's not that she doesn't like to talk. She does. And it's not that she doesn't like to tell people about the benefits of the organizations she helps. She does.

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Carrie Green sorts through items to be used in a school activity. She volunteers for the Middletown Big Brothers/Big Sisters and also is an after-school coordinator for the group.
(Michael Snyder photo)
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But those who know Green says she does her work behind the scenes, never seeking praise or attention for her good deeds. Even some who know her fairly well don't realize the extent of her dedication to helping others.

"I don't need a pat on the back for what I do," said the Middletown single mom. "I get all the rewards I need knowing I make lives better."

People learned a little more about her efforts recently when she was given an Outstanding Advocate for Children & Families in Butler County annual award from the Celebrate Families Committee - a collaborative effort of Butler County human service agencies.

Sarah Allen, a case manager with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Butler County, said she nominated Green because she's extremely deserving.

"People just don't know how involved she is," Allen said. "People say she never mentions all she does. That's just the way she is - very giving; doesn't make a big deal out of it, and never expects anything in return. She's most impressive."

For three years, Green has volunteered at Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She helps there every week with office work, or assisting clients with problems.

"It's kind of surprising that they call the Big Brothers/Big Sisters office for help with things like problems at home or clothing for the school year," Green said. "But they develop a relationship with their case manager and feel comfortable with them."

Green also runs an after-school program for the organization at McKinley Elementary School, where she matches 20 students with high school, college or adult volunteers. She receives a small stipend for 90 minutes of work each week. But she's usually there twice that long.

"A lot of the kids want to stay longer than 90 minutes, wanting help with their homework or other things,'' Green said. "A lot of them have problems they want to talk about. I stay as long as they need me. Then I often end up taking several of them home. Some days I just go to the school to check on someone, especially after they've had a bad day."

Green also helps with Clean Up Middletown, and is a volunteer at Central Academy (her son Tone's school) and at Faith Fellowship Church, Middletown.

In addition to volunteering, she also works at a help-focused job as an intake specialist at Community Counseling and Crisis Center. Her work includes referrals for clients who need rent, child care, utilities, counseling or shelter.

Through her job she often had callers during the holidays wanting to help needy families. She took it upon herself three years ago to make time after work hours to help these people find families to adopt. She soon found herself doing some of the shopping for the families, wrapping gifts, buying groceries, or doing any other chores the gift givers couldn't manage.

Green said it appears that her volunteer work is rubbing off on her son.

"Tone helps me a lot with all those things," she said. "This year he didn't even ask for much for Christmas because he knew we wanted to do more to help others."

Do you know a Hometown Hero - someone in your community dedicated to making it a better place to live and helping others? E-mail Janet Wetzel at jjwetzel@siscom.net, or fax to 755-4150.




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