Evans woman receives Lifetime Achievement Award for giving back

Published: Feb. 9, 2023 at 5:56 PM EST
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Columbia County Chamber awarded Yvonne Meeks the lifetime achievement award for giving back to her community.

She says helping others is just part of her DNA.

She’s been giving back for most of her life. We caught up with Ms. Meeks to find out why it’s such an important part of who she is.

Giving has always been a way of life for Meeks. When she was six years old, she needed open heart surgery.

Meeks says, “Back in those days, which I call the dinosaur days, the health care was not covering heart surgery, they gave you nitroglycerin and put you out to pasture. My dad was going to sell the house, and whatever he could to pay for this surgery, but instead, the local doctor called and said don’t do anything, because I’ve got it covered.”

Her family would’ve had to make major sacrifices.

Meeks says that’s when local non-profits stepped up.

“The Georgia Heart Association, and Community Chest, which you and I now know as United Way paid for my surgery, or I wouldn’t be here,” Meeks says.

Because they gave her a second chance at life, she decided to spend her life giving back.

“It’s part of my DNA, it’s all I’ve ever known, and very early I learned the value of people, it’s the people that matter,” she says.

If it wasn’t for people’s generosity, Meeks realizes she might not be here today.

She says, “I feel like I’m sort of a walking miracle.”

And she is forever grateful.

And talk about a story for heart month, that’s the difference nonprofits can make, in saving one heart, and it can go on to affect so many other lives.