Diogenes’ Lantern Nomination: Aletha W. – Kettleman City, CA

AlethaW's house - Kettleman City, CA

Nominee: AlethaW
Title: Diogenes’ Lantern Nomination: Aletha W. – Kettleman City, CA
Posted on: 06/23/2011
Posted by: Diogenes’ Lantern
Location: California, United States

Nomination Excerpt/Teaser:
Aletha W. is in her 70s, and has lived in Kettleman City since 1968, when the whole town consisted of 10 trailers…

Nomination Description:
When I did my first roadtrip “test” in March of 2011, I stopped in a town of 1500 people midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles called Kettleman City. I went to the fire department, the library, the post office, the community center, and I asked everyone I could who in town they would consider a good person/pillar of the community. Only one name came up more than once, and it kept coming up ;) …a woman named Aletha W., whose nickname is “the mayor” because she is very involved in the community.

I was not ready to launch the website yet, so I sat on Aletha’s the contact info. When I launched the website a few months later, I called Aletha, and asked her if I could come talk to her, which I did yesterday on the first day of my first “official” roadtrip.

Aletha is involved in many community events, but is especially focused on helping the seniors in Kettleman City: she makes packages for them…sometimes it’s goodies (homemade cookies and pomegranate jelly and peanut brittle), and sometimes it’s household/personal items they need. She sometimes runs bingo games for the seniors and offers prizes.

Aletha is 78 years old, and has lived in Kettleman City since 1968. The town consisted of 10 trailers when she first arrived. Her husband made $2.25 an hour, and the family lived off their JC Penney’s credit card. Aletha took a temporary Christmas season job at Avon to help make ends meet, and 35 years later she is still the local Avon lady. Her children (3 sons and an adopted daughter) are all grown now and living elsewhere, but something still holds her here in Kettleman, and when she talks about her house and the memories there it’s not hard to see what it is.

One person of the many I spoke with wondered if Aletha’s good deeds are done as a boost to her business, but I quickly put that notion to bed in my own mind minutes after meeting her. I think it’s the opposite :) . Her kind demeanor helps her business. When she speaks about what she likes to do for the local seniors, or about buying giftcards for her friends and family when she goes shopping in Fresno, her face lights up, and you know she is genuine.

When I was getting ready to go, she noticed that there was piece of furniture near me that presented some minor risk…”careful, don’t let that pinch you…”, she said. Yeah, she is genuine :) .

Search classifications/tags:

Area code: 559
Zip code:
Gender: Female
Age Group: 70s

Vince W. – A lifetime of helping others…

VinceW


Nominee: VinceW
Title: A lifetime of helping others…
Posted on: 06/21/2011
Posted by: Carmel
Location: California, United States

Nomination Excerpt/Teaser:
His generosity to organizations, fundraising, and those less fortunate is boundless. Doing good comes as naturally as breathing for Vince.

Nomination Description:
Vincent P. W—- (76) has spent his whole life helping every person who crossed his path. Whether in the construction industry or other business ventures, Vince has given freely of his time, his talents, and his treasure. He has given jobs to fathers out of work when he himself was struggling to make ends meet. He has mentored, advised, and physically helped hundreds of people in Ireland, Chicago, Denver and San Francisco. His life is a great example of “do unto others…” His generosity to organizations, fundraising, and those less fortunate is boundless. Doing good comes as naturally as breathing for Vince. He’s been a wonderful husband to his wife Dorothy and a great father to his nine children and scores of other young people think of him as a father figure, to whom they can turn for advice. He is the cherished and admired Rock in his family of siblings. His unwavering determination to do good can be attested to by countless individuals and dozens of organizations. Diogenes himself would have spent a lot of time with Vince, who undoubtably would have told Diogenes a few jokes! I feel extremely honored to nominate Vince, not because he is my beloved brother, but because, unquestionably, he is the “goodest” person I have ever known.

Search classifications/tags:

Area code: 415
Zip code: 94122
Gender: Male
Age Group: 70s