OCEANSIDE — Gerald Wesley Hampton was recently honored with the annual City of Oceanside Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award for his tireless volunteerism and community activism.
Hampton is a longtime resident of Oceanside, and has been an active volunteer for over a decade.
He and his wife Stacy moved to Oceanside in 1993, when he was an active duty Marine. He retired from his military career in 1996, and then retired from work as a communications manager in 2005. After his second retirement he was about to pursue a MBA degree, but changed course and devoted his efforts to community service.
The turning point came after reading “The Covenant with Black America” by Tavis Smiley.
Statistics, conditions and plights of African Americans described in the book ignited his passion to improve others lives through example and leadership.
“I’m old enough to have personally experienced segregation, racism, discrimination and civil rights violations,” Hampton said.
Fueled by the fire to become involved and serve others he joined the North County National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA), which works to recruit, develop, and maintain diverse officer corps.
He has served the NAACP, NNOA, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) and his church as webmaster, event organizer, fundraiser, and leader.
“Mr. Gerald W. Hampton certainly has distinguished himself as one of the most outstanding individuals in Oceanside,” Vernon Donald, pastor and district elder, said.
Hampton’s service ranges from charitable acts to providing education opportunities.
Among his efforts he served as coordinator for USMC Reserve Toys for Tots drive, helped with the NAACP holiday food drive, and volunteered in a homeless shelter.
He also served on the NAACP Financial Literacy Program Committee, NNOA and AFCEA scholarship committees, and helped organize golf tournaments to fund the scholarships. Additionally he taught high school students job preparation skills, and helped with a job fair.
A son of a minister he has also devoted his time to his church. He has served as a board member, treasurer, operations director, benevolence coordinator, and regional administrator.
As well as volunteer for numerous organizations.
Others describe him as selflessly devoted to others, a listening ear, and a real friend.