For more than 20 years a humble man offers a helping hand
[Mar. 10, 2021: Carol McLeod]
Izell Heggs Jr. is a humble man who says what he’s been doing for more than 20 years is something God wants him to do.
Every two weeks, he goes to the post office in Louisville and buys a money order for $25. One of those two monthly money orders goes to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The other goes to Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta. This amount, $25 a month, over 20 years totals $6,000 to each organization. This has been a faithful commitment, a responsibility, a duty that started with a commercial.
“A long time ago, I was watching television; and, they were showing these here children who were dealing with cancer and I guess it was the good Lord who told me to do it,” Hegges said. This moved him to begin his long time donations to St. Jude’s. A similar commercial about the Golden Harvest Food Bank had the same effect.
He receives a monthly reminder about a child at the hospital. Although he says it’s nice to see pictures of the children his money is used to help, he has to throw away the pictures.
“They make me want to cry,” he said and then admitted, “Sometimes, I do cry.”
Heggs was born and raised out in the country near Bartow. He picked peas, cotton, corn, everything, he said. “I did all that stuff in the country.”
He made it to the ninth grade but stopped attending school at that point.
“I started working fulltime on the farm until I got 17 years old,” he said, adding at that time, he started driving trucks.
“I worked for Mr. Wesley New,” Heggs said. “Back then, he was a dispatcher for a truck line. I started driving for him.”
He worked for that line until they stopped coming to Louisville.
“I was out of a job for a long time. About four years. I was just working part time, hit and miss, anything I could find. Then I started working for Battle Lumber Company. I retired with Battle.”
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Heggs worked for Battle Lumber for 40 years driving fork lifts before retiring.
He sees his contributions to the two charities in a unique way, a way that may be different from the way others see it.
“I feel like that’s just a blessing from God for me to be able to do it. I feel like God told me to do this,” he said.
He talked about receiving a picture of a child from the hospital.
“Every month, I get one. I know that’s a gift from God,” he said of these children. “I just feel that ‘cause that could have been mine (child). I love to do that. I love it. I make that a bill every month. And I’m going to do it as long as the good Lord let me do it. Been retired two years and I still do it. And I love to do it,” he said.
Alan York is an area resident who finds Heggs’ commitment inspirational.
“For years, years, he sends money unselfishly to the food bank and one of the children’s homes, he goes to the post office to get a money order and sends it off,” York said, adding, “And in times when everything is falling apart.”
York said Heggs gives before he does for himself.
“That’s what impressed me.”
Calculations from Golden Harvest regarding the impact of Heggs’ donations, at least $6,000 over 20 years show these donations have provided 21,840 meals, based on current food prices.
“Golden Harvest Food Bank is honored by Mr. Heggs’ commitment to our shared mission of Feeding Lives Together over so many years,” said Amy Breitmann, the food bank’s executive director.
“His longtime support has made an incredible impact, and is a testament to the power of faithful generosity. We are thankful for his partnership and his legacy of feeding the hungry in our community,” she said.