Names and Faces: Keith Halsell
If you've been to any volunteer event in the Brazos Valley, you know that Keith Halsell is no stranger to giving back to the community.
She's been a part of the Brazos Valley for years, and it's that connection that led her to want to help people.
"A good friend asked me to join the Salvation Army Women's Auxiliary probably about 8 years ago and at first it was just a job," said Halsell. "I just did my job. I became president of the Women's Auxiliary and then suddenly I realized it was benefiting me."
Halsell is proud of the community she has been blessed to grow up in.
"I moved here in 1958 and I was still in junior high and my daddy was a professor at A&M we lived in a duplex we didn't have a washer or dryer we had one car but those were good times everybody was pretty much the same," explained Halsell.
"My parents built the house that I live in now back in 1967.
They lived there first, and after my daddy passed away and mother moved to a retirement home we remodeled the house."
She also met her husband John while attending church.
He was the owner of Halsell motors.
"He always drove different cars every month. It was kind of fun, and when we started dating we could go out in a convertible one week, and we could go out in a van the next week. It was just a fun time."
Over the years, Halsell saw the needs that many people have in the Brazos Valley and wanted to act.
"I think we take a lot of things for granted. When I see people in the food pantry or in the clothing closet, I realize how fortunate I am.
It makes me want to, of course, give more money but time and talent and clothing and food back to these kind of people.
Halsell says it's important to put your life in perspective and not get so involved in yourself that you forget about your neighbors.
"Seeing these people makes me realize I need to think more before I buy so much, think before I eat too much. There are a lot people that need a lot in our community," she said.
So Halsell helped steer the Salvation Army to empower people to help themselves and to lend a hand to those in need.
"It benefits yourself. You make new friends, you meet people you would never met before, and we all have the same goal in mind. We all want to volunteer to do the most good in our community."
And it's that sense of unity that inspires Halsell to keep giving back.
"I do enjoy volunteerism much more than I ever thought I would.
Other people want to do it when they see you doing it.
So it's sort of like 'pass it on!"