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PROGRESS: Helping others

Barbara Daniels was born in a little town in Southern Indiana called “Bennettsville” in 1944.

She attended college in Williamsburg, Kentucky, majoring in education, and moved to Powhatan in 1980 with her late husband and three children. She started her teaching career in Powhatan at Pocahontas Middle School in the fall of 1980 before moving to Cumberland County in April of 1987.

After retiring from her teaching position in 2007, Daniels became involved in the Cumberland Christmas Mother program and the Cumberland Clothes Closet.

“I have always believed in helping in the community,” she said in reference to her community service. “Since moving to Cumberland I have met and made many friends. Cumberland is a wonderful place to live. I now consider it my home.”

In addition to being a member of the Cumberland Christmas Mother Committee, and serving as director of the clothes closet, Daniels is also a member of the Cumberland Garden Club, having served in the past as the club’s president, treasurer and historian. She is also a member of The Friends of the Cumberland County Library group.

“The Clothes Closet has a wonderful group of volunteers,” Daniels said. “Several have volunteered for many, many years. We are a non-profit organization with all the profit we make going back into our community.”

According to Daniels, the clothes closet provided $5,000 last year in scholarships to the county’s high school seniors to further their education. The organization has awarded scholarships for quite some time and has been able to increase the amount of funds donated over the years. The clothes closet also donates to the library, the rescue squad, the county’s schools, local fire departments and other organizations.

“I enjoy helping my neighbors and my adopted community,” Daniels said, reflecting on her service. “The county has such a rich history and so many beautiful places to visit.”

When she’s not volunteering, Daniels enjoys spending time with her family. In the summer, you can often find one or more of her granddaughters helping at the clothes closet. Daniels and her family love the outdoors and enjoy camping, visiting parks and just hiking or walking along park trails.

On Sundays, Daniels can be found at church, worshiping with family and friends. Her free time also consists of sitting down with a friend over a cup of coffee or taking a moment to relax and listen to birds sing.

“When someone says, ‘I am bored,’ I tell them to find an organization and volunteer,” she said. “Helping others is a good way to stay active and involved in your community. It is a great feeling to know that you can make a difference, if it is only a small one. There are many organizations that need volunteers, so please consider giving a little of yourself to help others and your community. The rewards are many.”