‘She’s just one in a million’: Lee County, Va. woman dedicates 40 years of service to community


EWING, Va. (WJHL) The week’s community hero is known to give endless support to Lee County, Virginia.

Her willingness to serve others has been consistent for the last forty years, and is described as being “one in a million.”

Meet this week’s community hero, Freda Ayers.

“She is the community. She’s the heart of our community here in Ewing and Rose Hill,” Thomas Walker High School teacher, Vicki Snodgrass said.

Compassion, big heart and the willingness to serve others. These are the ingredients that make up Ewing, Virginia resident, Freda Ayers.

“I just like to help people. I thank the Lord for giving me a compassionate heart,” more than 30 years public service, Freda Ayers said.

Ayers retired from Lee County Public Schools after 30 years. Her longest running act of service has been her involvement with the Thomas Walker rescue squad, for the last 40 years.

Snodgrass said, “If you see her when you have a rescue squad call, Freda makes you feel comforted and know that she’s there for you and you don’t have any worries, that you’ll be taken care of.”

Even after retirement, Ayers still returns to Thomas Walker High School as a substitute teacher.

“The last group that I had in kindergarten, they retired in 2014,” Ayers said. “When I’m subbing here, some of the kids will say, ‘My mom, or my dad said you were their teacher’. I say, yeah, as long as they don’t say their grandma or grandpa.”

Her acts of service spreads to various organizations.

“Freda is always there for any of her volunteers. She volunteers everywhere that you could possibly think of. The national park, the state park, her church, she delivers meals. She’s always here at Thomas Walker High School where she helps us do anything that we ask of her, including delivering meals on Thanksgiving when we have a community here,” Snodgrass said.

Ayers volunteers for the Thomas Walker Rescue Squad, Wilderness Road State Park, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, and is a 37-year participant in the Mountain Empire Older Citizens (MEOC) Walk-a-Thon.

The former P.E. teacher also loves to fish and gives catch to community members. She also delivers meals to shut-ins.

Her support for the community is endless.

“She’s just one in a million. There’s just very few people like her,” Snodgrass said. “You know that you can always count on Freda, and she always puts others above herself.”

And that is why she’s our community hero.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

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