Carol Roberts is a force to be reckoned with in the world of volunteerism in Yadkin County.
On any given day she can be found giving her time and energies to several charitable organizations in the county and she says she can’t think of any other way she would want to spend her time.
Roberts was born and raised on a tobacco farm in Yadkin County.
“I’m really grateful for being brought up on a farm,” Roberts said. “Not that there aren’t other things that are really good to do in life but I think growing up on a farm you really see how you can grow things and how that provides people with food. I think it made me see how important that life is for our country and not just Yadkin County.
Roberts attended school at Boonville Elementary and Boonville High School and graduated in 1961. She went on to Elkin Business School where she took several classes to prepare her for the business world.
She took her first job at Hennis Freight Lines in Winston-Salem where she worked in the bookkeeping department.
“I loved working with numbers and doing that kind of thing,” Roberts said.
Roberts remained at Hennis for several years before her world would change. She and her soon to be husband were fixed up on a blind date and within six weeks the couple was engaged.
Before they could marry, her husband was drafted into the Vietnam War. When he arrived home seven months later the couple reunited and were married two weeks later.
“We moved to California because he was still in the air force the couple had to take up residence at the base for a year and a half.
“That really about killed me because that was the first time I had ever been away from my mama and daddy,” Roberts said with a laugh. “It was a long ways, but it was great really.”
When her husband got out of the air force the coupled moved back to North Carolina and took up residence in Winston-Salem where Roberts returned to Hennis Freight Company and her husband went to work for Westinghouse and US Air.
The couple had their first child, Dwayne, and life continued as normal until he became school age and Roberts realized that she couldn’t see her son attending school in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System.
“I said we’re going to move to Yadkin County, and I told my husband he could come with us or he could stay in Winston, but we were going to Yadkin,” Roberts said.
Roberts returned to her parents land and built a home where she still lives today. With her son going to school and the birth of their daughter, Melissa, Roberts decided that she as going to be a stay at home mom.
Roberts said that through all of these changes in her life none of them really affected her than the death of her mother.
When Roberts was 42 years old her mother, a diabetic, became gravely ill and passed away within six weeks of her illness.
“That made me think ‘what do I do now’,” Roberts said. “I began to learn about opportunities to volunteer and after she passed I just asked God what I should do now.”
Roberts said that from there God guided her to what would become Yadkin Christian Ministries.
“At that time there were a group of ministers in the county that thought we needed to be involved more than what we were,” Roberts said. “So they started this thing called Yadkin Christian Ministries.”
Roberts said that she ended up going in place of her original church representative and she immediately found her place in the world of volunteering. Thirty years later she is still involved with the organization.
“I think what Yadkin Christian Ministries has done for me in my life is to be able to look at people through the eyes of Jesus,” Roberts said. “I’ve always tried to keep that with me when looking at people that come to us for help.”
Roberts said that although Yadkin Christian Ministries filled a big void in her heart she still wanted to find a way to volunteer that would honor the memory of her mother and the sorrow she still felt having lost her so suddenly.
“I heard about that a Yadkin County hospice was going to start up and I thought that would be a great opportunity for me to go to families and help them grieve,” Roberts said.
Roberts wasted no time and signed up for the training required to volunteer and she’s been with the palliative care program ever since.
“I’ve been blessed with a really great life and I want to be able to do things for people that I know are going to help them,” Roberts said. “I know that helping them through their grieving and helping them through the end of the life of this person that they love desperately is helping them.”
Once the volunteering bug bit her Roberts couldn’t stop. She found herself sitting on the board of Yadkin County United Fund, a Sunday school teacher and choir director at Mitchell’s Chapel United Methodist Church and she’s involved with the United Methodist Women’s Group.
Roberts help would slow her down, however. In April 2012 Roberts had to go in for surgery to repair a hole in her heart and two heart valves repaired.
“I didn’t know anything was wrong with me, I just thought it was asthma,” Roberts said. “I was in intensive care for four days, nothing went right and I almost didn’t make it. I ended up with a pacemaker and alive.”
Roberts said that this experience put her volunteering in perspective and how important it is to the world around her.
“I have found in my life that people just like a hug, they like a touch, they like a smile; they’re not always wanting something from you,” Roberts said. “I find that people can’t really get a grasp on that. People that come through the doors do come through the doors at Yadkin Christian Ministries do want or need something but they also just need a smile and someone to ask them how they’re doing.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at email@example.com.