On the corner of Stonewall and Waco streets sits the Fifth Ward Church of Christ. A place of worship, the church is well known to the community and its members, including Gwendolyn Goins.
Despite her family’s financial challenges, they always sought to help others.
“That’s what I grew up around,” Goins said of her childhood. “No matter how poor you were, you could always help someone else.”
“That’s why I got involved in church; that’s why I give back through the platform of my sorority,” Goins said.
She has volunteered for nearly three decades through her church to help her community. For the past 10 years, Goins has volunteered through her college sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, to help local youth.
Goins’ drive and initiative shows at work too. Bonita Tolbert, who has worked alongside Goins for the past three years, sees Goins as go-getter that makes great contributions to the city.
“Describing her as professional, knowledgeable, and dependable only scratches the surface,” said Toblert, MCD deputy director. “You have to look for more advanced terminology, like adaptability, self-motivating, and self-confident, and then the description for Gwendolyn will be reflected.”
“She is all about advancement and improvement and providing services to the public effectively,” Tolbert said. “If you need her, she will be there.”
Goins’ dual roles as division manager and PIO for MCD keep her busy. Despite the demands on her time, she spends 20 hours a month helping her community outside of her day-to-day duties for the city.
Goins has volunteered and led programs within her church including the Ladies Day Program, children’s Bible hour, Youth Group Mentors, programs for pre-teenaged girls and has served as a Bible school teacher. In 2009, she established MCD’s pride volunteer Saturdays, where employees dedicate time each quarter volunteering together in the community.
For the past five years, Goins has has been responsible for spearheading the Sigma Gamma Rho Youth Symposium, which addresses drugs, violence, abuse, low self-esteem, suicide, pregnancy and other issues facing teens.
“It’s been my job to coordinate, pull the programming together, seek presenters, arrange speakers, arrange meals, and collect gifts and door prizes for the kids,” she said.
“It’s something that’s so near and dear to me that it doesn’t feel like work to me to do it,” Goins said of her volunteerism. She encourages others to get involved with their community.
Goins’ volunteerism is contagious. She encourages others to get involved with their community.
“It doesn’t have to appear to be glamorous to anybody else, as long as it’s something that you enjoy and get a sense of accomplishment from doing” she said. “As long as it’s something that you enjoy and get a sense of accomplishment from doing.”