True heroes make a difference in lives

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Name somebody you know who lives their life to make a difference in the lives of other people?

Name somebody you know who would rather help others than be rich in possessions?

Most people don’t fit this description.

Email newsletter signup

But I do happen to know somebody like that.

If you don’t know him already, please allow me to introduce you to Rob Goodwin.

Rob is the director of residential services at the Necco Center, a residential treatment facility for homeless children in Pedro, not far from Lake Vesuvius. His job is to find a place for abandoned and unwanted kids to live and ensure that they enjoy a childhood like most of the rest of us had…..complete with Santa Claus, camping trips, Reds games, etc.

Actually, saying this is his “job” is inaccurate. It’s his passion. It’s his life.

Rob and I were “reunited” a few weeks ago at the Total Fitness Center in Ironton. Twenty-four years ago, he wrestled in the 119-pound weight class for the Coal Grove Hornets. I (an Ironton Tiger) wrestled his teammates at the higher weights against Dean and Dave Willis, Eric Holmes and Benny Young. Please don’t force me to lie by asking me how many of those matches I won.

So, when I saw Rob at the gym I had that “I think I know him” feeling. Obviously, so did he.

“Aren’t you….,” he began to ask me a few days later, sparking a conversation before I rudely interrupted with a finger-point exclamation and said, “Robby Goodwin, right?”

I found that the former 119 pounder is no longer a lightweight. Actually, we both now have a similar body weight. But Rob’s heart weighs a ton!

He is absolutely certain about what he wants in life (to help others), and what he expects in life (to see those he helps prosper and help others).

Who among us wouldn’t love to know, without doubt, what our calling in life is supposed to be?

Rob Goodwin knows.

I love people like him because he gives of himself every day to show the people society has discarded that someone cares. I love the fact that he values human life above money. I love his dedication to giving others a chance.

Mostly, I love the fact that he loves kids. If you want to see an example of his love for these kids, visit Necco on any given day. Those children flock to this man!

In their minds, he is one of their best friends.

If you had an answer other than Rob Goodwin for the opening questions in this article, I would love to hear from you about that person.

People like him make a bigger difference than we could ever imagine.

Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at or by visiting his website,