“It all started with an email.”
That’s how Marilyn Herring describes the beginning of her Peacekeeper career. “I had known Meredith Looney and Daniel Robinson from my work at the bank, when Meredith sent me an email telling me about a group of young professionals that got together and did various things for the shelter. I can remember emailing her back something about I didn’t know anyone, didn’t have anything in common with the people that would be there (I thought you had to be rich) and I thought I’d pass. It wasn’t long before Meredith and Daniel were both coaxing me to attend this “one” meeting. When I left, I was intrigued...and hooked!”
That was 5 years ago.
“The fundraising events are fun, but the actual “at the shelter” events are the best. There is nothing like hanging out with the kids and helping them have fun and taking their mind off of the ugly reality that many of them face time and time again. The Christmas party is ALWAYS the most chaotic fun. Thanks to many very generous toy donations (the good toys too!) we are able to set up a store for the kids and mothers to shop from. After they make selections for their brothers, sisters, and mom, they bring the gifts over to the Peacekeepers to be wrapped and tagged. They get to take the wrapped gifts with them to either open later, or at Christmas time. I can remember standing there wrapping a 4ft Batman, trying to blink the tears away, thinking that this was the only Christmas that this child would have. This was his normal. Who knew what next year would be like? So very different from the world I had been raised in.
This past Christmas party, my husband and I helped a mother and her four children to the van with all of their treasures. When we got out to the van, I saw that it held all of their worldly possessions and didn’t want to start when the mother cranked the ignition. Again, because of the water in my eyes, I had to walk away as Chris assisted her. Being at the shelter makes me feel like I am helping someone in some small way, and I always leave remembering how blessed I truly am.”
When she’s not at the shelter, Marilyn can be found working at Bank of the Ozarks, where she has been employed for 14 years. “My current role is Assistant Vice President Training Officer, which wears many hats. I started at the bank as a drive-thru teller and I will always say that is probably the most fun place to be.”
Outside of the bank, Marilyn and her husband of 14 years, Chris, enjoy being active lifelong members of First Pentecostal Church, riding road bikes around the Little Rock River Trail, eating at any of the wonderful restaurants Little Rock has to offer, traveling near and far, going to various theater productions and basically wringing all they can out of this thing called life.