RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Social workers rank among our nation’s unsung heroes. While cops respond to crimes and firefighters battle blazes, social workers are saving people every day from the difficulties of life.
One Central Virginia woman is continuing to lift others up despite all odds, and she makes it look easy.
“I’ve always believed in celebrating life, that is my saying, celebrate the blessings of life every day or claim the victory,” Kimberly Jones said.
She’s upbeat and inspirational despite the grueling line of work she’s immersed in.
“I have a responsibility to give back to others.”Kimberly Jones
For more than 30 years, Jones has been a social worker. You name it, she’s done it — supporting those with special needs, working with children, helping the disadvantaged, or removing people from abusive environments.
“Why social work? I felt I could make a difference,” said Jones. “Growing up, seeing my family share and care with others, I wanted to do that informally, whether that was a smile or a hug or positive note to others, but I also wanted to do it formally as a job.”
Inspiring others comes naturally to her.
“Just do a little each day to try and make a difference in someone’s life,” she said.
But her life has not been easy. More than 25 years ago, she was diagnosed with cancer. A dangerous tumor had developed in her foot. The treatments were brutal.
“From no hair to having to walk with crutches,” she recalled.
Doctors were forced to remove part of her foot and replace it with a metal prosthesis. But she’s not complaining.
“Some of the people I met, weeks later, they were no longer here,” she recalled. “I’m constantly reminded I’m still able to walk, I have life and that with the type of tumor I had it could’ve been the other way easily.”
She brings that experience to work with her every day. She can relate when others around her are struggling.
“No matter what you’re going through, just try to hold on. And we know with cancer, it doesn’t always work for some, but when you’re going through, you gotta try to see yourself beyond,” said Jones.
If cancer didn’t succeed at slowing her down, then nothing will. While many would be content with hanging it up after a 30-year career, Jones keeps going.
Now she’s helping out underserved communities in Waverly.
Jones is selfless and doesn’t quit. That’s what makes her a remarkable woman.
“In our day to day walks, its important I think to make a difference because you don’t know the people you may cross paths with,” she said.
As we approach ‘International Women’s Month’ in March, 8News is honoring women doing remarkable things in our community. After soliciting you, our viewers, to nominate your friends, family and co-workers, we’ll be introducing you to the four finalists over the next several weeks.