Eastern Carolina man dedicates life to serving others

KINSTON, N.C. (WITN) – An eastern Carolina man says not only is he but his community are committed to improving the quality of life for all citizens.

Danny Rice, a leader in the Kinston Lenoir County community who has recently been recognized by the state for his efforts explains why lending time and a helping hand is so important to him.

If you take a look around at some of the good in Kinston and Lenoir County, like the Casewell Center and Foundation that enables those with disabilities, or the Lion’s Industry for the Blind that employs the legally blind, the Kinston Community Center, or the Lions Water Adventure Park adapted for the visually impaired… you’ll see Danny Rice’s handiwork everywhere.

“I got involved in some organizations and got to know a lot of people and 50 years later, I’m just proud of living here,” said Rice.

Rice has called Kinston home since 1974. He raised his two boys and is now retired with his wife. Serving others has been his life’s work.

“I think it goes back to my faith. I see the life of Jesus and Jesus served those that were disenfranchised or those that were not served by the general community,” said Rice.

And as he’s put faith in the lord, people have faith in him… Al Jones has been working at the Kinston Community Center for 10 years.

“People begin to be family here. They come and tell us about their children, their grandchildren, their aches, their pains, their births, and their deaths,” said Jones.

Rice played a leading role in transforming the Woodmen Center to what is now, the Kinston Community Center, and its addition of the waterpark.

“He’s one of the those that is called upon to give a helping hand… no matter what it is, Danny is right there for us and has been there for us”

But he didn’t do it alone. His wife, two boys, and the community have all volunteered beside him.

“I’ve always said volunteerism is the rent we pay for the privilege of living in such a good community,” said Rice.

His actions have earned him the order of the Long Leaf Pine Award from the governor. It identifies those who contribute through exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.

As he continues into the latter part of life, he plans to transition out of leadership but continue to volunteer.