GILES COUNTY, Va. – A life’s worth of good deeds is coming full circle. A man who has dedicated his life to serving our community is now getting that love back when he needs it most.
If you live in Giles County, you know Rodney Freeman. He is a retired police officer from the Pearisburg Police Department, a former firefighter at the Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department and a current 38-year member of the Giles Lifesaving and Rescue Squad. He also works at a local funeral home. He has been there for community members during their hardest moments. Just three weeks ago, he faced one of his own. His home was destroyed by a fire on August 27.
Although he was at home at the time, he made it out safely. Unfortunately, he lost almost everything inside. As many fires he has worked over the years, he says he knows it could have been worse. “Material items can be replaced,” Freeman said. Now the community is stepping up to help, sending their donations to a relief fund started by the rescue squad.
“When something like this happens, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else,” Freeman said. “These people in this county, these churches and churches in surrounding counties have just poured out. I can’t explain how they’ve done. It’s been great.” He said he is so grateful for what the community has done.
Amber Jones, a member of the Giles Lifesaving and Rescue Squad says Freeman is like family. In fact, Freeman helped train Jones and many other young members there.. Freeman is considered family to many in the community because he has been there during some of the most crucial times in their lives.
“He has helped bring life into this world just with the nature of the calls he has run and has been there when the lives live that world. I think that is important to know he is there on your worst day and best day,” Jones said.
She said there is no one more deserving of this help.
“Love means a lot around here with the calls that we run and the things that we do. Having a shoulder to lean on is very important. Rodney has always been that shoulder, so we are leaning that shoulder to him this time,” Jones said.
There is a way the public can help. A secured account has been set up at Celco Credit Union for donations.
The account name is “Amber Jones-Rodney Freeman house fund.”
Donations can also be made through Venmo to the account name " RodneyFreeman-DonationFund."
The Giles Lifesaving and Rescue Squad is holding a hot dog fundraiser at the Pembroke Volunteer Fire Department Saturday, Sept. 12 starting at 10 a.m. All proceeds will be given to Freeman.