Green is United Way’s director of first impressions

Published 9:04 am Friday, March 20, 2015

FIRST IMPRESSION: Ruby Green greets visitors to the United Way. (Austin Vining / The Vicksburg Post)

FIRST IMPRESSION: Ruby Green greets visitors to the United Way. (Austin Vining / The Vicksburg Post)

When the elevator doors open at the United Way in Vicksburg, the first face that greets a visitor is that of Ruby Green, director of first impressions.


“She’s a jewel,” Carlotta Ferguson, director of finance, said. “She always has a smile for whoever walks in the door.”

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Green’s title is the most fitting one Michele Connelly, executive director of United Way of West Central Mississippi has ever come across.


“Ruby Green is definitely the heart of the United Way,” Connelly said. “She definitely adds a touch of love, compassion and hope as soon as you encounter her.”


When people come into the office asking for help, Green does everything she can to support them. Even if the United Way cannot offer them assistance, she does her best to find a place that can provide shelter, food or other necessities.


“We have 10 to 15 people come per day, sometimes more than that, but if I can help at least one person out of that 10 or 15, it makes my job feel worthwhile,” Green said.


Ferguson said there was an occasion once after hours where Green made sure an elderly woman had a place to stay, food to eat and then checked on the lady again the next morning.


“Her gift is her compassion and her love for mankind,” Ferguson said.


Green found her calling at the United Way 15 years ago and will celebrate her anniversary with the organization July 9. Ferguson and Green have worked together for 11 of those years as a check and balance system for donated funds.


She loves her job and being at work every day. Ferguson said Green spends a lot of time at the office, even staying after hours sometimes. She is always willing to help, even if it isn’t part of her job description, because she is dedicated and gives her all. Connelly said she doesn’t know when Green sleeps.


“She is a huge support to me and to the entire staff here,” Connelly said. “The community adores her. She definitely knows the definition of servant leadership because she gives all of herself, all of the time.”


Green serves as a chamber ambassador and works to make visitors feel welcomed and comfortable. She enjoys attending grand opening and ribbon cuttings to make connections with the community through networking, talking and helping.


Connelly used the words heart and hope to describe Green.


“Heart, because she’s got a big one, and hope, because she gives that to everybody she encounters,” Connelly said.


Green was honored by the Mountain of Faith Ministries at the 2014 Women Empowering Communities Luncheon as well as being Ambassador of the Quarter for the third Quarter of 2014.


She came up with the idea of Dancing with the Vicksburg Stars now in its fourth year. This year proceeds will go to Leaders Encouraging Advancements in Reading Now. LEARN is a program where volunteers read and donate books to local third grade classes. Day of Caring is another event coming up in April where companies lend their employees paint, plant and more in the community.


The United Way partners with 22 local agencies. Green emphasizes that the organization is not all about money; it’s also about giving time to people in need.


“Everybody perceives, and I had that perception also, that United Way was a fundraiser, but we’re not, we’re bigger than that,” Green said. “We’re out there in the community, and we want to help make the community better.”


Green embodies this mission.


“When people think of United Way, they think of Ruby Green,” Connelly said.


Her mother taught her from a young age to help people any way she could. Green is a Vicksburg native who wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. After graduation from North Vicksburg High School, she attended Alcorn State and attained a degree in diet and disease. She truly loves her alma matter and her hometown.


She worked in a nursing home until she had to stop after experiencing pregnancy complications. When her daughter was 16 months old, she was able to go back to work in a dentist’s office. She enjoyed the aspect of helping people who were in need of dental care.


Later she started working as a substitute teacher. Green would take the time to listen to the children who had been deemed as trouble. Once she heard them out, their behavior improved exponentially. Even today at the United Way, Green has the patience to listen when people need to be heard.


A theme of seven years has run throughout her life as she began dating her husband in 1970, they married 7 years later in 1977, and her daughter was born seven years after that in 1984.


Donald, her husband, works security four nights a week for Merit Health River Region. Her daughter, Traniece Nicole, lives in Vicksburg with her husband, Larry D’Angelo King, and three kids of their own. Her face lights up when she talks about her grandchildren Larry D’Angelo Jr., or LJ, 6-years-old, London J-hanea, 5-years-old, and Layah Denise almost 10 months old.


LJ has benefitted from the help provided by Magnolia Speech School, which is one of United Way’s 22 agencies.


“He cannot speak, walk, or anything,” Green said. “We have to do everything for him.”


The school has given an avenue of help to the family by showing them ways to support LJ.


“That’s my inspiration,” Green said. “That’s who motivates me.”


Overall she is known for being kind, caring, compassionate and loving. She feels blessed to be in a position to help people and be surrounded by individuals that love her.


“I’ve been blessed with family, friends, my church Mt. Calvary,” Green said. “I’ve been surrounded by individuals that love me and I love them.”