Dalton Greater Works started with six volunteers cooking breakfast for the growing homeless population on Dalton Green, a downtown park, in 1996. In the years since, the nonprofit ministry has grown into one of the most active charitable organizations in the community over the past quarter of a century.
And at the heart of its success, according to director Robert Hill, is the gift of volunteerism. One of the leaders of that spirit has been Charles "Chuck" Hicks Sr., but Hill said you probably wouldn't know it.
"He doesn't tell anyone and he doesn't want any recognition, but he wants to help people and bless them the way he has been blessed," Hill said. "The Bible says, 'We are to give honor to whomever honor is due.' He is in the shadows, if you will, but God's light shines upon him."
Hicks is the owner of Trans-Formers Transmission and Auto Repair in Dalton, and he is active with several charitable groups, including The Friendship House, which offers daycare, preschool and early education. He is a big supporter of the area's high school athletics as well.
Hicks is building a new location for Trans-Formers on Shugart Road, and from the air, the building is in the shape of a cross.
"He gives more back to the community than anyone I know," said Trans-Formers manager Rick Patton. "He doesn't tell anyone and he doesn't want any recognition, but he wants to help in any way he can. If he personally made $1,000, he would give $990 away to help others. That is the kind of man he is."
Dalton Greater Works recently held its back-to-school bash for children, giving away shoes and school supplies to the area's disadvantaged youth. Hill said Hicks was the key fundraiser for the project, and when several kids showed up and the ministry didn't have their size, Hicks went and bought $400 worth of shoes and brought them back.
"I've known Chuck for four or five years, and that is just the kind of man he is," Hill said. "He is a generous man to a fault. He sees a need and he fills that need. He just loves to help anyway he can, and he is a tremendous asset to this community."
Hill said the ministry has often been donated vehicles to help those in need and Hicks services them and does any repairs.
"He has never backed away from anything we have ever asked or talked about," Hill said. "Whenever there has been a challenge, he has helped solve it. Without people like Chuck we couldn't help the community the way that we have tried to do."
For his efforts, the Daily Citizen-News names Charles Hicks Sr. our Citizen of the Week.