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December 5, 2011

Calvin Williams, Community Service

When Calvin Williams’ mom gave flowers from her garden to neighbors, to ensure someone else had “a little more,” she was establishing a legacy of giving that carries on through her son.  Her words, “Son, things are not as bad as they could be,” come to the forefront when he sees the needs of others, and a spark to reach out to help ignites. 

Calvin volunteers with the American Red Cross to provide food, water, and shelter to victims of disasters across the country.  He tirelessly gives his time, energy, and heart to families who have been devastated by hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and fires.  One such act of giving was in our local Maryland community at an apartment fire that killed six victims.  After safely securing the victims in a central location, Calvin helped meet both immediate and long-term needs of the survivors.  Those needs included providing essentials like food, clothes, and water, and finding shelters and working with apartment complexes and housing developments for additional accommodations.

Calvin has traveled to New Orleans once every year since 2003 to assist Hurricane Katrina victims and has been to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi to extend a helping hand to flood victims.  The worse was Katrina, he reflects, “I can’t say that I was prepared…at the end of the day, you are so full you don’t think about being tired…dirty…hungry.”  His eyes swell with emotion as he sits silently thinking about our fellow Americans in need.

After retiring from a 23-year career as a mortician, Calvin learned a lot about life and realized how quickly things change.  He says being a mortician made him “appreciate every moment.”   This husband, dad, father, and grandfather shares his mother’s legacy of giving and fulfills his yearning to be used to make a difference in someone else’s life.  When thinking of the people and lives he has touched, Calvin humbly says, “It’s not about me. THEY’VE changed my life.” With each event, Calvin moves on to “prepare for tomorrow – and do it again.”

To assist the Red Cross with its humanitarian work, go to