Making a Difference

The story of Yadkinville native Nathan Harris's ordeal after being wounded in Afghanistan is told very well in this article by Susan Ladd of the Greensboro News & Record. Towards the end of the article you get to hear a little about another remarkable person who I happen to have the privilege of knowing:

His dogs didn’t get along with his mother’s dog, so he couldn’t stay there. By the time, he met Brian Sowers, Harris had moved five times in a month.

Sowers, a member of Greensboro’s Crescent Rotary Club, led the effort to provide a home for Harris through Purple Heart Homes of Statesville. The house was dedicated on Veterans Day.

“I could see from the start that he was a loving guy and appreciative of the opportunity being given him,” Sowers says. “Now, he is so much more upbeat and outgoing than when I first met him, because he knows he has a support system.”…

The Rotary Club also is helping him rebuild an independent life.

He’s gone out with club members twice this month to ring the bell for the Salvation Army. He helped serve the meal for the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club at Thanksgiving. He hopes to start volunteering soon at one of the stores.

“I’m getting there,” Harris says. “I have to keep working to get mobile enough to get a job. I want to be productive and give back, make a difference in people’s lives.”

I happen to be a member of Crescent Rotary and Brian recruited me to help out with Nathan's project, mainly because I live in Lewisville and by default was usually physically closer to where Nathan was living on a daily basis.  From my vantage point I can tell you that Nathan's new house might never have happened without Brian. The club members and other organizations like TIMCO Aviation Services and Wet 'n Wild definitely stepped up and moved mountains to raise the funds for the project, but without Brian's leadership and direction it would have either never happened or, more likely, the project would have taken twice as long to complete.  

Let me be real clear about one thing here, I didn't do a whole lot on this project other than give Nathan the occasional ride or drop off some materials for him, but even with my minimal involvement I felt privileged to be a front row witness to the difference that one motivated man can make in another's life. I didn't know Brian real well before the project began, but I got to know him over the last year and I can't tell you how proud I am to call him a friend, fellow Crescent Rotarian and a true leader. The world would be a much better place with thousands more like him.

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