The John Lee of Nansemond Chapter, Colonial Dames XVII Century members announced that Debbie Beeson has been selected as the recipient of the chapter’s Community Service Award.
Beeson was selected for this award because of her volunteer work in the community of Thomasville and Thomas County.
She saw a need where cancer patients required more financial assistance than insurance companies provided. Often times, patients were unable financially to get what they needed.
She and several breast cancer survivors founded a volunteer charitable fund called Kickin’ Cancer Southwest Georgia. Monies from this charitable fund come from donations, calendar sales, and several area restaurants have sponsored dinners with proceeds going to the fund.
These funds are distributed to local patients in need. Some of these needs are transportation (gasoline cards) to and from treatments and appointments with doctors, wigs, and mastectomy bathing suits for use in the HOPE (Helping Oncology Patients Exercise) program at the YMCA. In one instance, a round-trip airline ticket was purchased for a son to visit his dying mother.
On another occasion, she realized that there was not a soup kitchen available on Saturdays.
Once again, she “got busy” and along with others from All Saints’ Episcopal Church, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, First Missionary Baptist Church, St. Thomas Episcopal Church and Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church, organized the Saturday Lunch Program. Each church has five different teams involved in this ministry and approximately 100 people are fed every Saturday in the parish hall of St. Thomas Episcopal Church.
She is on the steering committee for the newly-formed Episcopal Development Agency of Thomasville.
This agency is working on revitalizing the Oak Street community with special emphasis of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church and its historic properties.
She has served on the Vestry of All Saints’ Episcopal Church as Senior Warden and Junior Warden. She is also a church lay reader and worked for years with others in preparing church night suppers and luncheons for church functions.
She is a past member of the Friends of the Library Board, Junior Service League, a parent volunteer at Brookwood School, where she also served on the school’s Parent Council and worked as stage manager for Brookwood’s drama productions for 12 years.
Beeson is employed by Archbold Hospital Oncology Center as a “navigator” for cancer patients, guiding them from the initial diagnosis through treatment and recovery.
She provides educational resources and emotional support for the patients. Being a breast cancer survivor herself, she is the perfect person to guide others on their road to recovery.