Wanda Daniels: Spirit of Gainesville nominee

Published: Monday, September 9, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, September 9, 2013 at 5:15 p.m.

Wanda Daniels is a lifelong multigenerational member of the Gainesville community. She has grown up in this community, raised a wonderful successful son, and in 2010 retired from a long career with the Alachua County Department of Corrections. Wanda often assisted individuals in the community while working full time and raising her family. However, as one might expect the time that she could devote to the community work had to be stitched into the fabric of raising her family and working full time.


Category: Community Service

About Wanda Daniels

Occupation: Retired Corrections

Years in Gainesville: Lifelong

Children: Deigratia Daniels

Since her retirement in 2010 she has redirected and deepened her commitment of helping in any way possible in the community. Most of her time (it is difficult to quantify the amount, however it is a full time commitment) is spent championing what appears to be our “invisible “community members. These are our community members who are not readily visible to most of us on a daily basis or even on an infrequent basis. . This group includes, but is not limited to, the elderly (some of whom are homebound and some who are not), members of the community who are not elderly but are homebound due to poor health, and those who do not have the needed ability to navigate the network of services that are available in our community and who lack the support and assistance of family, for whatever reason.

Wanda spends hours in transporting to doctor visits, laboratory appointments and even to hospitals when needed. She spends hours in both doctor and hospital waiting rooms, some times with family members; some times without, to find out the health status and what, if anything, she can do to help towards the persons well-being. She routinely visits the hospital; the nursing homes or homebound individuals to brighten their spirits with flowers, balloons and fruit baskets and champion them on with their recovery. She has worked distributing commodities in the community by delivering to individuals who are home bound. During times when commodities or food resources are not available she purchases from her own funds to insure that people have adequate food.

She advocates on behalf of individuals for services on all levels when necessary. She strives very hard to assist in making their community as safe as possible.

She assists in providing meals(out of pocket) every Wednesday evening for youth program at her Church, during the school year.

Wanda does not have an organization backing her (unless we count her mother, Mrs. Lorenza Mckinnon) therefore we have no data to show how many lives she has impacted. However those with whom she has shared her spirit of caring and generosity know what impact she has had on their lives. She certainly uses her years of work experience and knowledge of the community with spirit and commitment.

Nominated by Mary Stover

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