Volunteer lives by Golden Rule

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 13, 2004

She didn't know the Malones or the Ferris', but when she heard about their plight, she knew she had to help.

Now, Ruth Begil is putting her time and attention where her heart is.

Begil is organizing collection drives to aid two Lawrence County families who recently lost their houses to fire. Melissa Malone and her children lost their house in Aid Township to a fire Jan. 2. The Charles and Dawn Ferris family in Windsor Township lost their house Wednesday.

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"One family (the Malones) lived close to where I work, so I started taking collection jars to put places," Begil said. "And we started getting in clothes and stuff that the Malone family couldn't use. The one lady told me about the other family and it clicked - 'Let's help them, too.'"

Begil said she learned at an early age the importance of neighbor helping neighbor. It is a lesson she tries to live by day in and day out.

"'Do unto others,'" Begil said. "The Lord has blessed me with a good job, a home and family. I know they (the two families) have so many worries right now. If I can do this, maybe it can take some of the worry from them."

She is quick to credit R and D Grocery owner Ray Ferrell and his employees. The Aid store is one of the drop-off points for donated items. Her own employer, Quality Home Health of South Point, is another drop-off site. She is also thankful for all the stores that have allowed her to place cash donation jars with them.

"Not one of them has turned me down," Begil said.

She said she was equally encouraged by the people who have given to the cause, even though the local economy is in a slump.

Begil's love for people and community extends beyond her current collection drives. She is also a home health aide with Quality Home Health of South Point, a job, she said, that gives her additional opportunities to make friends and help people. She and her husband, Michael, are known to their neighbors as people who are willing to help those in need.

Begil recently met Melissa Malone and her children and hopes to meet Dawn and Charles Ferris and their children.

Those who would like to donate items or cash to the families may contact Begil at 643-2911. Begil said she is hoping to collect additional household items and furniture to help the families.