Kingsport Times News Sunday, September 21, 2014
Community Sunday Stories

Dungannon's Travis Perry has the heart of a servant

May 15th, 2013 2:30 pm by Katherine Scoggins

Dungannon's Travis Perry has the heart of a servant

Travis Perry serves as the executive director of the Dungannon Development Commission, a non-profit agency that helps low-income individuals and families.

“I am motivated in my professional life by knowing that I can make a difference in someone’s life,” says Perry. “While working at DDC, I have been blessed to have the opportunity to work with so many fine people and organizations that are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others. My parents taught me early on how important it is to help others. You never go wrong by helping someone.”

Perry values his volunteer work for much the same reason.

“It is said that opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door. Working at DDC, I see a lot of opportunities to help - whether it’s working in the Food Bank,  helping a family find safe, affordable housing, or just handing out candy to children along the parade route during the Christmas Parade. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but the seeds that you plant. If you want change, you have to be the change.” 

Perry is very active behind the scenes for several other non-profit or health and human service agencies. He picks up supplies for the local food pantry; boxes up and distributes an average of 60 boxes of food per month to low-income individuals or families; coordinates meals and lodging for summer workers who come to Dungannon to work on houses; manages the annual Christmas Parade and distributes treats to children; manages the Fourth of July festival by coordinating the advertising, recruiting vendors, and picking up the fireworks; manages Blueberry Hills Housing for low-income individuals; secures the necessary supplies for the concession stands at DDC horse show fundraisers; and serves on both the Clinch River Health Services Board of Directors and the Scott County Tourism Board of Directors.

These various responsibilities can sometimes be a lot to juggle. 

“Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward!”

Take the summer worker program, for instance, where volunteers from all over the country spend a week or two rehabbing houses in Scott County.

“We provide lodging and meals for each of the volunteers,” says Perry. “They stay in our office building and usually arrive on a Sunday and leave on Saturday. That gives us very little time in between groups and it can be exhausting! But, without hard work, nothing grows but weeds!”

It is evident when talking with Perry that his faith is strong. He finds that the most rewarding part of his job and his volunteer activities is the opportunity to serve others.

“God has blessed me to work for such a wonderful agency that allows me to do exactly that. I started working with DDC in 1997 and have received blessings every day. Galations 6:9 says ‘And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap. But good works alone doesn’t get a person to heaven!’” 

The people of Dungannon and Scott County are fortunate to have someone like Travis Perry who does his job and lives his life with the joyful heart of a servant.

Perry was nominated for the Unsung Heroes segment by an individual who has seen his commitment to the community first-hand. If you know someone who works behind the scenes to help make your community better, you can nominate them by contacting Sunday Stories editor Carmen Musick at cmusick@timesnews.net.


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