Who's Your One?

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Submitted by I want to remain anonymous

Harold Scott, or Scottie, as many of us know him, is a one - of - a- kind person. He often seems to think of how he can help others. He is always upbeat, has a sunny disposition, with a killer smile, and a caring, and kind nature. Scottie, lives in Lebanon Tennessee, just east of Nashville, but grew up in a tiny, rural county about 65 miles further to the East, in Jackson County/Gainesboro Tennessee. He currently serves as a volunteer two days a week, at the local hospital, Tennova Healthcare Lebanon, stationed in the Outpatient Center, but can be found throughout the hospital, always willing to help out in other areas, doing clerical duties, assisting patients, their families, and escorting visitors, and is often found conversing with all of them, showing kindness and compassion, and offering an ear to those, who may be a bit anxious about their test or procedure. Scottie also finds the time to serve the volunteer auxiliary as their secretary, again, giving it 100%. Beyond his role as a hospital volunteer, he is a community volunteer/educator/activist/advocate, and humanitarian. Something Scottie is not shy about, is his passion for HIV/AIDS awareness and education, in rural Tennessee. That is due in part, to the fact, that he is a nearly 30 year survivor of the AIDS epidemic. In 1991, he was diagnosed as being HIV+, having been infected some two years prior in 1989. He, at the time, as noted lived in his very rural hometown area, and kept his diagnosis a secret for 3 years, before he decided, that on World AIDS Day, December 1, 1994, he would announce publicly, that he was living with HIV. He decided to use his personal story, to spotlight an issue that much larger cities across the country, and around the world, had already been experiencing, that had now made it's way into rural America. In 1995, the Harold Scott Humanitarian Award, was established in Scottie's honor, for his bravery, and willingness to be the rural face of AIDS. The award would be presented each World AIDS Day, to a person, or persons/group, who were going above the norm, in regards to caring for persons living with HIV/AIDS, and dealing with the many issues surrounding the disease, be it through community volunteering, or work related means. Scottie continues, all these years later, volunteering his time and experiences, by going out into his community to share his personal story, and serve as a resource for newly diagnosed persons, struggling to come to terms with a new HIV/AIDS diagnosis. And, his random acts of kindness do not stop here. Yes, he truly is a kind and caring, compassionate person. Scottie grew up in a family of 8, with 5 siblings. His only sister, his eldest sibling, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as an infant, which lead to a lifetime of dependence on others for assistance to be mobile, and be an active part of life. A few years ago, for his sister's birthday, he, after noting that his sister was always sending out greeting/birthday cards to family, friends and neighbors, decided he would start an online birthday card campaign. He took to Facebook, to launch The Teresa Project, asking individuals to randomly send birthday cards to his sister, without her knowledge, that he was the mastermind behind it. The project went somewhat viral, and cards and gifts began arriving from not just all across the United States, but from other parts of the world. Within a few days, the card count was in the hundreds, so much so, that the tiny post office in Gainesboro Tennessee, began to wonder what the deal was, with so many pieces of mail going to the same local "celebrity". This is just a few of the random acts of kindness that Harold/Scottie does, or has done. I must include the fact, that he solely organized a family reunion some years ago, which brought his Scott family together from across areas of the U.S., many of whom had not even met one another, after he had started a Facebook genealogy page, and from that, the idea of a reunion grew into being. Another act, and one of the most touching, was the effort he started in 2016. In 2013, Scottie's Dad passed away after some years of battling Alzheimer's Disease. His Father was a true farmer, who for his entire life, lived within a few miles of where he was born and grew up, purchasing a farm in the early 1960's, with Harold's Mother, and began their married life together, raising their 6 children there. Upon the death of his Father, Scottie, being the thoughtful man he is, began working on an idea he had to have a portion of the highway, on which the family farm sat, renamed in memory of his late Daddy. He contacted local, and state officials with his idea, not expecting any results. However, in early 2017, news came that, due to his efforts, the Tennessee State legislature, with the sponsorship of the representative for the county Harold grew up in, a bill was passed, which would designate the renaming as The Hamp Scott Memorial Highway. On September 12, 2017, a sign unveiling and ceremony marking the event took place. Once again, Harold stepped in to assure that his elderly Mother, and disabled sister, both of whom had entered a long term care facility, after the passing of his Father, would be able to attend the memorial ceremony, surprising them both. It probably seems unreal, that one person can be go giving, caring and thoughtful. But, Scottie/Harold, all one in the same, just naturally steps up, and does these random acts of kindness, not asking for anything in return. It has been said by others....we should all strive to be more like Scottie...to show love, compassion and kindness. He has certainly made a difference in the lives of many. And, he is not even 60 years old yet!!! You can reach him at hrayscott62@outlook.com

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