Whether it is raising funds for children’s advocacy, serving at a local animal shelter, or planning events for local non-profit organizations, Amy Canton believes there is no feeling that can compare with the satisfaction of serving those in need.
“Nothing feels better than giving back,” Mrs. Canton said. “Nothing you can do or buy for yourself has the fulfillment of doing and helping others in need. I want to be invested in my community in a real, tangible way.”
Mrs. Canton and her husband, Jamie, moved to Longview 11 years ago after her husband accepted a job in the area. Since that time, she has enjoyed serving in a variety of volunteer roles across the city, including organizations such as the Longview Museum of Fine Arts, Developing Opportunities Realizing Success Youth Transition Center (DORS), Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS), the PoodlePatch, and East Texas Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
Mrs. Canton has served as the writer and producer for a murder mystery dinner theater, benefitting DORS and the Arc of Gregg County, as well as coordinating the annual Blue Jeans and Ball Gowns fundraiser for East Texas CASA.
“Producing Blue Jeans and Ball Gowns is a huge undertaking,” she said. “I create a theme then work with a team of more than 15 people to execute that vision. We work on the show from September to May. Last year, we had 700 people attend.”
In addition to her volunteer activities, Mrs. Canton works two jobs as a community outreach coordinator for VOW Family Champions and as a sales associate for Jim Bartlett Fine Jewelry. Furthermore, she spends her free time grooming poodles, ballroom dancing, and painting. Mrs. Canton was a featured artist on the Longview ArtWalk for three years.
Mrs. Canton was selected as the recipient of the Pine Tree Mason’s Community Builder Award for 2017, and she served as a speaker for the Association of Leadership Programs’ national conference discussing ways to build a social media presence. She also spoke at the Texas Unites for Animals conference on the care and handling of rabbits in shelters.
With all Mrs. Canton does, she encourages others to seek opportunities to be involved, especially if they see a problem.
“I believe instead of complaining when you don’t agree with something, you should get involved in changing it,” she said.
Mrs. Canton grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, and attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her husband have been married for 11 years and are happy that his job led them to East Texas.
“East Texas is beautiful,” she said. “It looks a lot like where I grew up in Northern Alabama and felt like ‘home’ as soon as we move here. This community is so welcoming and inclusive. It is easy to have a voice and make a difference here. Various job offers have tried to take us away, but we have turned them down – we are at home here.”