Ruby Gibbs Clavon
Through the years, we’ve worked with exceptional individuals who understand local challenges facing their communities, and have the passion and the vision to create opportunities where people can make healthy choices where they live, work, learn, play and pray. We’re recognizing these individuals, who have been nominated by their peers and colleagues, to showcase their commitment to making the healthy choice, the easy choice.
Since the third grade, Ruby Gibbs Clavon knew she wanted to be a teacher. She was passionate about helping those less fortunate. Community has always been a big part of her life and she now serves as the Executive Director of the Lee County Disabilities and Special Needs Board.
Since 1978, she has been advocating for people in her community, and has grown her staff from five employees to 135 employees today. She helped create new facilities for the disabled and handicapped, which include community gardens to encourage healthy living habits. Ruby is also a community health advocate for the Healthy Communities Initiative in Lee County, and was instrumental in the development of the first farmers market in the county. Growing up on a farm made her realize the importance of healthy living for every individual.
“She has worked successfully to mobilize residents and to establish the Lee County Farm and Garden Committee with over 30 members,” says Regina Nesmith of Ruby’s leadership in the community. “She is always working to identify resources to sustain these activities.”
Ruby has helped plant multiple gardens at various schools, as well as community gardens at churches. She hopes to help more people realize eating healthy and exercising is not only good for the body, but it helps build healthier communities. She hopes that farmers realize their need to embrace their community as it would make the world a better place.
“Bringing together the community to help those that are less fortunate live healthier lifestyles is a passion of mine,” says Ruby of her work. “My hope is that our young people will realize that you have to utilize everything you have in your community to have a better tomorrow. I feel everyone can make a difference and when you make a difference between a few, it’ll make a difference to 100 even better.”