For more than two-decades one Shreveport woman has heeded a call to serve.
She’s poured her heart, her time and her financial resources into making Shreveport a better place.
But to hear Waynette Ballengee tell it, she’s simply doing what she can, hoping others will do the same.
From the American Heart Association, Gingerbread House and Shreveport Airport Authority to Easter Seals and Robinson Film Center… If there’s a project to improve the quality of life in Shreveport-Bossier, chances are Waynette Ballengee has played a role in it.
Ballengee called service “my heart,” saying if she really believes in a mission, she’s “willing to try to leave it better than I found it.”
She’s been volunteering full time for more than 20 years.
“I actually got started as the chairman of the carnival at Eden Gardens Elementary, and to this day, it’s still my favorite volunteer job that I ever did.”
Her second favorite… Christmas in the Sky… the biennial fundraiser for Shreveport Regional Arts Council.
She’s been the chair for 14 years.
“I like the challenge of putting together the best team you can find to accomplish a common goal.”
Ballengee grew up in the small Louisiana town of Cotton Valley, in a home where helping others was always a priority.
“My mom was a teacher and she actually taught for 53 years, and my dad owned his own business, and even though they were very different personalities, they found their own ways of giving back.”
While not everyone has the time or resources to give on the grand scale as she does, Ballengee says everyone can do something.
“There are literally hundreds of opportunities every day to make somebody’s life a little bit better. It can be as simple as giving a compliment to someone who maybe never gets a compliment.
“If we all did our part it would result in a better city, a better state, a better country and I think that’s what we should all be about.”