An attitude worth copying

Published 7:05 pm Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Anybody who has spent much time in Suffolk will have learned that there is a strong sense of community service and volunteerism among the city’s various villages and organizations. That desire to help neighbors is what drives organizations like Suffolk’s Ruritan and Rotary clubs, its many churches and civic leagues and its many altruistic individuals.

One of those examples of individual altruism, Amber Ballance, was honored with a statewide award recently for her efforts on behalf of others. Ballance has organized toy drives, shoe drives and gift boxes for children in the community and in West Virginia, as well as a number of other projects.

That’s great résumé for any volunteer. But Ballance is only 18, and her principal at First Baptist Christian School nominated her for the award. She clearly has set an admirable pace for herself early in life, and her example to others is admirable.

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The 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program honors people who serve their communities and improve the lives of others around the nation. Ballance, who received a Certificate of Excellence, was one of 800 students from around the United States to be honored.

Her efforts around Suffolk have included ringing bells during the Christmas season for the Salvation Army, helping with the city’s Taste of Suffolk event and in the concession stand at local youth sports games, contributing to Operation Christmas Child and collecting toys and shoes for various drives benefitting families in Suffolk and in a needy West Virginia community to which her church has provided support.

Ballance should be proud of the award she received for her volunteer work. Her parents — and the school and church leaders who have helped shape her spirit — should be proud of the generous young lady who has developed into a truly caring young adult. The world needs more people with similar attitudes.