People Who Care: Anthony Hinson is one of the guys
Anthony Hinson (pictured left) started volunteering at Monarch’s Troy Road Home in Albemarle in August. Before then, he had never worked with anyone with a developmental disability.
But spend any amount of time talking with him about “the guys” at Troy Road, and he won’t fail to mention how much their smiles and happiness impact him.
“They have taught me a lot,” the U.S. Army veteran said. “Even though they have disabilities, they act like there isn’t anything they can’t do. They’re resilient and they challenge themselves.”
Hinson served in the army during the Vietnam War, and after returning home he went back to work but fell into a struggle with substance abuse and was in and out of prison for some time. He finally decided things needed to change and he began to turn his life around. He started by enrolling at Stanly Community College to get an associate degree in Human Services.
“I wanted to give something back,” he said of his choice in the degree he earned. “I’ve had very influential people who helped me.”
Now, when Hinson is not in school, he volunteers 10-12 hours a week at Troy Road where he hangs out with the guys who live there, takes them out into the community on walks, to play basketball and is involved in their day-to-day activities. He’s even taken them to different festivals around the area and the drive-in movie theater.
“Anthony is just wonderful with the guys and they enjoy him,” said Denise McAuley, operations manager at Troy Road. “He has a wonderful personality and the guys seem to be drawn to him. He interacts with them so well, plays ball with them and is interested in involving them with community activities.”
Hinson said one of his favorite things to do is talk to the guys and listen to what they have to say. “They’ll talk to me all day,” he said laughing. He noted that it is amazing how much they smile when you take time to relate to them, talk to them and be there for them.
“They don’t let their disability stop them,” he said.