Debbie Beal (left) receives a certificate of appreciation from Parrsboro Mayor Lois Smith during a recent mayor’s tea at town hall. Beal will be Parrsboro’s representative at the upcoming provincial volunteer awards ceremony in Halifax on April 7.
Debbie Beal has no problem giving back to her community, which she said has given so much to her and her community.
PARRSBORO – An active volunteer with her local church, at South Cumberland Community Care Centre’s adult day care, and a supporter of many causes with her rug hooking talents, Beal was named Parrsboro’s volunteer representative of the year, and will attend the provincial volunteer awards ceremony on April 7.
She received a certificate of appreciation from the town during a recent mayor’s tea at town hall.
“I have had so much help myself, and in our family, that I just have to reach out and help other people,” she said. “It just comes down to what my father always said, ‘If you think of your neighbor before you think of yourself, your life is so much fuller and happier.’ And that has certainly been the case for me.”
Beal said she would always be grateful to the people of Parrsboro for pulling together and helping when her brother, Jay Spencer, needed a lung transplant in 2011. She continues to pay back that favour every day.
It was with that in mind that she was all too agreeable when nurse Cathy Smith asked if she would be interested in volunteering at the adult day care, where she spends time two days per week.
When not there, she can be found ferrying seniors and others to doctor appointments to Parrsboro, Truro, Amherst and Moncton, N.B., teaching Sunday School or Vacation Bible School at her church, or singing in her church choir or the local community choir.
You might also find her hooking one of many rugs that she donates to a variety of community causes, or having fun with Christian clown work.
“Debbie is a friend to many in our community and has their backs, and helps out in any way she can between her other commitments,” said Alain Couture, who was fortunate to receiving welcoming assistance from Beal when he and his wife Ruth moved to the area last year.
Couture described her as a “community caretaker,” and was one of many residents who signed the nomination form submitted to town hall.
“If anyone calls her with a need, she does her best to help out in any way possible,” he said. “Debbie is a person who speaks volunteer for Parrsboro, but in a very quiet, non-intrusive manner.”
Keeping busy and helping others makes her feel good, and Beal said she could not imagine doing anything else. Being recognized for her efforts by the town was just a bonus.
“I’m so proud of our little town,” she said. “It has really helped our family alone, and I just have to help out wherever I can.”