VIENNA - Many people offer their help to someone in need at points in their lives. Only a few make it their life's work to give to others in any way they can.
Helen Ruth McKenzie of Vienna is one of those special few, according to her sister.
Janet Larson said in nominating her sister as a Community Star that she has watched McKenzie throughout her life giving wherever she was needed.
''She so unselfishly gives of herself, her time and her resources,'' Larson said.
''I think it's an honor,'' said McKenzie, a former co-director of the Vienna Food Pantry. ''I think there are so many other people out there more deserving than me.''
Larson said that she watched her sister constantly striving to make the lives of others better at the Food Pantry.
''I know how much time she spent, three and four days a week, constantly shopping,'' she said. ''If some of the clients came to the food pantry and complained they didn't have something, she'd check other resources and see if they could provide.''
It was through the food pantry that McKenzie saw how hard it was for some to reach out for a hand.
''We had people who would come to the food pantry and cry because the were ashamed they needed it,'' she said. ''A lot of people don't want other people to know they need.''
Helen Ruth McKenzie
Activities / memberships: Vienna United Methodist Church's Memorial Committee secretary and treasurer, and Vienna Food Pantry
Offering her time and help to those in need, is something that McKenzie said she believes she is supposed to do.
''People have always been there for me. I believe God has a plan for everybody and his plan for me is to help,'' McKenzie said.
McKenzie, a retired hairdresser, was always quick to come to the aid of her clients as they got older, said Larson, who said she has never heard her sister complain.
''She knew what she needed to do and did it. She always did all the things that needed to be done,'' she said. ''She is just so caring and giving and unselfish. She has passed her love around so much.''
Although humble of her contributions to the community, McKenzie said that she is happy of what she is able to do.
''I just feel like I know a lot of people in the community and know their needs. I feel proud that I can help,'' she said.
McKenzie is a mother of two sons, Larry Hitchcock of Chicago and Michael McKenzie of Atlanta, and has one granddaughter, Abigail Hitchcock.
She said she believes that everyone should try to find a way to get involved with the community and to give back.
''All (people) have to do is look around. Some people are just so proud, they don't want to tell you they need help,'' she said.
McKenzie said that if people want to get involved, they should check with their churches or schools.
''People have always been there for me. I believe God has a plan for everybody and his plan for me is to help.''
- Helen Ruth McKenzie