Ashford's Not-So-Silent Hero
Ashford resident Joel Waller loves his community and is always looking for ways to help others.
A family man with a full-time job as a business consultant for a distribution softwar company, Waller uses his own mower and gas to cut the grass at the Ashford High School fields, as well as the lawns of several local widows. He also keeps the community aware of school and town events. He volunteers at the local senior citizens’ centers and sings at luncheons there.
“I just have a passion for serving senior adults who helped me learn a lot of things growing up.” Waller says. “I realize that it’s these senior adults who helped me experience life, so I just try to give back.”
Waller also announces the football, basketball and soccer games at Ashford High School, and worked hard to boost the school spirit in the student section at games after attendance numbers dwindled during COVID. “I had a great time in high school, and I want to see that they’re able to do it also,” he says.
Waller is devoted to helping his community shine as brightly as possible. He assists with projects and activities for Ashford Downtown Redevelopment Authority which helps local businesses grow and thrive and brings in new businesses.
“I help with events that they’re having, if I’m able to help, I try to jump in and help. I just volunteer,” he says.
Recently, Waller used his webcast on the Ashford Downtown Redevelopment Authority’s Facebook page to help Don Ogundamilare Wade, “The Don of Donuts,” spread the word about his business, That Little Donut Shop.
While Waller’s efforts to brighten the lives of his neighbors have not gone unnoticed, as far as he’s concerned, he‘s just doing his part. “I don’t do anything special,” he says. “I just try to help where I can. I’m definitely never silent.“
As a father of three children, two of whom still live at home, and now as a grandfather, Waller has a deep appreciation for the value of a strong and supportive community. “I just realized our community is very important, it really does take a village, I certainly want to jump in and do it,” he says.
There are many people in the community deserving of recognition for their contributions. Wiregrass Electric established a partnership with WTVY for Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass, a program that provides a $1,000 grant and recognition to unsung local organizations and individuals who help our community. The hope is sharing these stories will inspire members of the audience to get involved in their communities through acts of service and goodwill.
“Joel Waller exemplifies the quality of a local hero through his selfless service to our local community,” says Wiregrass Electric Cooperative (WEC) COO Brad Kimbro. “His impact on the senior citizens blesses lives and his work with the community’s youth provides a brighter future for others. His work with local businesses will leave a lasting legacy in the Wiregrass community.”
WEC’s Operation Round Up Foundation’s governing board selects 12 Silent Hero award winners each year to receive grants to help them to continue their good work. These winners are featured on WTVY and in Alabama Living magazine, Wiregrass Electric’s monthly publication. The Silent Heroes program really shines a spotlight on what makes the Wiregrass such a great place to live, work and raise a family.
To nominate a Silent Hero in your community, fill out the Silent Heroes of the Wiregrass nomination form.