There isn't much Carla Anthony won't do for someone else if it means she is able to help them. She said that's what she's always believed in.
"I did not come to be the Volunteer of the Year by myself," Anthony said. "There are so many people who helped me within the organization."
Anthony is a Veteran of the United States Navy where she was a linguist. During her time enlisted in the service, she could speak seven different languages fluently. She now works for Operational Test Command at Fort Hood and she has volunteered every year since she started 11 years ago, She has been recognized for her service every single year.
"One of my volunteer projects is that I make popcorn," she said when asked what it means to make a difference, big or small. "The joy that people have when they're walking by and their like, 'Oh my God, it's here today, I've been looking forward to this all week!' The immense pleasure that you can get just by bringing a to someone else's face, it's immeasurable."
Anthony raises money for various organizations but says the money raised is mostly for children's parties, balls for Operational Test Command and for Family Readiness group activities. Anthony said that her husband and children also help make a difference in the lives of others.
"One of my first experiences is when I cleaned up a highway," she said. "And when I was done I looked back and thought, 'Wow, I did that. I did all of that.' You just donate a little bit your time, a little bit of you and it makes a difference."
Anthony said volunteers help pave the way for others and without them, the world would be dark and dreary.
"Volunteers are, essentially, what makes the world go around because you have work, I mean, work is an essential part of life, but supporting your fellow man is something also needs to be included in there," she said.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to press pause on many activities, it also put a stop to all of the fundraising efforts with strict protocols in place but that, Anthony said, shouldn't stop anyone from doing their best to help and to make a difference.
"My plea would be just to help your fellow man," she said, adding that the smallest thing goes a long way. "I know it's corny but that's what I would suggest right now at this moment."
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