Kenny Mcnamee is a man full of love and dedication to his family, friends, and the work given to him. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Kenny has been in Ocala with the Wear Gloves, Inc. team for almost 3 years now. He is a hard worker, willing and able to take on just about any job needed at the Dignity Center, from lawn maintenance to clean up to flooring. Not only that, but in his spare time he volunteers at Church in the Garden and has done so for many years: helping with set up, tear down, making the coffee, and participating in the service with scripture reading.
“I love Church in the Garden. It’s my church. I give back to them for what they do for us.”, Kenny says.
When he’s not working or volunteering, Kenny loves spending time with his lovely wife, Kimberly, and watching Grey’s Anatomy.
How has working for Wear Gloves at the Dignity Center impacted your life for the better?
It has changed my life. I used to hang out with negative-type people. When I started working with Ken & Wendy, I stopped hanging out with the negative people. I just know that Ken & Wendy, the people here, care for and love me… and stuff like that.
Have you learned any new skills?
Putting down flooring. Just put down my second floor. I’ve learned how to make signs, paint signs. Lots of painting. I’ve been painting the units here, getting them ready to rent out. I’ve also been able to pick up side jobs outside of the Dignity Center. Been working on a horse farm cutting grass, trimming bushes, pressure washing the barn roof, painting boards around the property. And I’ve been helping with a deck remodel.
You seem like quite a handyman! What kind of work did you do before?
I did roofing work for 25 years so I’m used to manual labor. I’m too old for the roofing now. Hurts.
What do you like most about working at the Dignity Center?
It’s an easy place to work. I like the people that work here. And I’m practically my own boss in the sense that Ken trusts me. He sees things that need to be done and knows that I’ll get them done.
Do you have a favorite job or new skill that you’ve learned?
I love to paint.
What hopes, dreams, and/or aspirations do you have?
I’d like to get my driver’s license. There have been people here who have helped me so much, getting me in touch with the right people to lift charges that I would never have been able to pay. I’m getting closer to getting my license back.
I also want to speak to the kids at the juvenile detention center and talk to them about how to stay out of trouble.
Can you tell me a little bit about your story and why talking to kids today is important to you?
Yeah, I started getting in trouble when I was 13. My dad died when I was 13. That had a lot to do with it. My mom was working two jobs and never home. I started hanging around my older sister’s friends, who were bad influences. My first time in prison was for 10 years up in Virginia. After moving down here, I went to prison again in 1994 and got out in 1998. I went 3 more times, last time being in 2010. After that I made a promise to God and to myself not to go back there again. And I haven’t. If I can change, other people can, too.
If you could send the world one message, what would it be?
Do the right thing. Obey your mom and dad. Or else.
Come by Church in the Garden on Saturday morning @ 9am to meet Kenny & Kimberly. Be sure to stick around for the service & breakfast fellowship to learn more about the ministry of Wear Gloves, Inc.