Lowcountry man's focus on helping people find their best story, making it happen
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) —
Everyone has a story. That's the genesis of a Lowcountry business and its owner who is making a different in the lives of those who want it the most.
This month's Jefferson Awards focus is on In Every Story, Derek Snook, and Walter Myles, who didn't think twice about taking a second chance to rewrite his story.
Myles' life is much like the 150-year-old downtown Charleston home he's helping to renovate; he's in need of repair following the 2010 death of his father.
"When I was hurting, no one would hold the rock up for me. I felt like I was falling, really falling," Myles said.
Primed for a fresh start, Myles was introduced to a local staffing agency and a solid lead on a new life.
"I'd be dead (without it). I think I'd be laying in the grave," he said.
The story behind the founder of the staffing agency began when he unplugged after college and a three-month mission trip to a Kenyan orphanage.
"There's this disconnect between people who want to help and people they are trying to help," Snook said. "That same disconnect existed in Charleston between low income workers and people who wanted to help them."
The next chapter led Snook to the doorsteps of Star Gospel Mission.
"It was the best time of my life," he said.
He spent the next year living with and learning the way of day laborers in the Lowcountry.
"I knew when I was there brushing my teeth with the guys or climbing on the bunk that I would never be anymore successful than I was at that moment because I knew where I was supposed to be," he said.
Tuned in and ready to take the next step, Snook started In Every Story.
"One of the basis of our company is each of us is living a story and that story matters, and that there is an author involved in that story, and that is we engage that relationship and really interesting things happen," Snook said.
He offers bonus incentives for hours work and has paid out $5,000 so far. It's a simple strategy to move forward, and a workable path to full-time employment.
"This is our wall of fame. There's 100 in history, so I started framing them. Walter is our favorite," Snook said.
In Every Story gives people a way up and a way out -- a rebuild.
"When I first came and saw how damaged it was, I could see how much appreciated the house is. It's like my life, where I was weak they built me up," Myles said.
It's an extreme makeover from the inside out because after all, there's a story in everyone.
ABC News 4 has committed to profile people in the Lowcountry who go above and beyond by giving their time and talents to help the people around them. It's all part of our partnership with the Jefferson Awards, a national organization dedicated to recognizing and celebrating those who serve and lead.
If you would like to share someone's story of volunteerism who needs to be recognized, click here.