Small Town Hero Receives White House Recognition 9/10/12
CBS 7 News Reporter
September 10, 2012
ODESSA, TX - For one west Texas leader, his years of service in our community has gained him high praise from the White House.
The plastered awards that line Gene Collin's walls are only a small reflection of the years of community service he has completed.
Collins is the latest recipient of the Champions of Change Award, which is recognition straight from the White House.
"I'm going there not as a politician, not as someone wanting something for the government but to be thanked for the service that is really apart of my whole life. To achieve an honor like that, I haven't figured out how I'm gong to react just yet," said honoree, Gene Collins.
Collins has served the west Texas community for more than 30 years. It is his partnership with the American Red Cross that keeps him on call at any give moment.
" I was deployed before Hurricane Isaac hit the Louisiana coast for about 2 weeks… prior to that we were making preparations," said Collins.
Just a few days ago, he was helping to move supplies from across the country to Louisiana and helping those in need whose lives have been shaken by Hurricane Isaac.
"New Orleans was prepared. Those levies did hold. But that water has to go somewhere and that somewhere was some of the smaller areas, " stated Collins.
He's worked with the Red Cross for more than 20 years. It is his time there that led him to receive the award from the White House. But when he's not wearing his bright yellow Red Cross jacket; he's advocating for education, fighting for civil rights and spreading his message of faith as a church pastor.
He says the smallest form of gratitude is the greatest thanks he could receive.
"The award is quite frankly high profile. The thing that really makes me appreciate community service is getting little letters from kids at school, when I visit school, when I read to them or make a speech there," he stated.
Collins will be heading to the White House for the Champions of Change Award Ceremony this Friday.
For more information on the award, click here