Tampa News Anchor Shares His Gifts
Volunteer Rod Carter helps the ADA and his mother at the same time
Everyone can do a little something to make the world a better place. That’s Rod Carter’s motto. But little did he know that his volunteer efforts with the American Diabetes Association would make life better for his family, too.
Carter, 45, of Tampa, Fla., is a television news anchor by profession. When he volunteered to act as master of ceremonies for an ADA event in Birmingham, Ala. (where he lived at the time), he hit it off with local staff, who asked him to volunteer for the Association’s Alabama board of directors. Carter, who does not have diabetes, said yes. And just three days later, he found out just how timely his new education and volunteer opportunity was: His mother, Catherine Carter of Tallahassee, Fla., had just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. “It all worked out perfect in God’s timing,” Carter says.
When Carter was called in 2010 to anchor the morning news at Tampa’s WFLA News Channel 8, he brought his volunteerism with him. He’s been emcee for Tour de Cure®, Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes®, and other Association events. He has used his spot behind the anchor desk to raise awareness about diabetes. And as he gets more involved, he shares what he learns with his mother, so they can both lead healthier lives.
Carter is just one of thousands of ADA volunteers honored during National Volunteer Appreciation Week, April 6 to 12. Volunteers are the backbone of the American Diabetes Association. They help promote the mission to Stop Diabetes®, and they also create a community of health and advocacy, says Pauline Lowe, program director at the ADA’s Orlando office. “Our volunteers are our most important resource,” she says. “Every day they provide access to the communities we serve, advocate on behalf of people with diabetes, and share their skills and expertise, greatly expanding the impact of the American Diabetes Association in our local communities.”
Carter recognizes that speaking in front of hundreds or thousands of people isn’t for everyone. But he firmly believes that everyone has a gift that can be used in volunteering. “The way that I look at it, I do what I know my skill set allows me to do,” he says. “I don’t do fund-raising very well, but I can encourage the heck out of someone else! Everyone is good at something, and if you can use what you’re good at and help someone else, that’s really what matters.”
We need you!
Visit the American Diabetes Association’s Volunteer Center online to see how you can share your gifts for good. diabetes.org/volunteer