Open Hearts

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Meet the Stricklands, a Gwinnett couple that opened their own hearts to help launch the Gwinnett Medical Center open-heart drive.

If anyone knows what it means to put your heart into it, it”s the Stricklands. And Clyde and Sandra Strickland have definitely put their heart into Gwinnett with a generous $1million donation to Gwinnett Medical Center for an open-heart program.

Inspired by their own family, the Stricklands know from personal experience that driving to Atlanta can be draining on families when loved ones – in this case it was their brothers – are in the hospital.

The couple first moved to the Gwinnett area in 1969, and they have seen the county change dramatically. However, the couple has faithfully remained committed to the community, giving back whenever they get the chance.

Their long list of volunteer work is impressive. Sandra has been involved with organizations such as the Lawrenceville Women”s Club and the PTA at Central Gwinnett High School, while Clyde has been involved with organizations like the American Red Cross and St. Jude Hospital as well coaching local sports teams.

In addition, they have given to various charities, led community service projects and sponsored arts organizations like the Aurora Theatre.

These real life angels mimic the small angel figurines located throughout their home. "Fifty years from now, we want to be remembered as two simple people that gave what they had from their hearts," Clyde says.

With a strong faith in God and a feeling of being heavily blessed, the couple has not only been involved with numerous community projects, but also helped found three different churches.

Clyde wrote a book entitled, "What Can I Do? Simple Advice to Change You and Your World," inspiring others to put their hearts into the communities they live.

"The ultimate truth," he writes, "… is that such good deeds multiply like wild flowers whose seeds float on the wind, land and become flowers themselves. Goodness needs only your hand and your heart to set those infinite, divine seeds floating among us all."