Columbia, SC (WLTX) - When I first met Ulysses Cornelius, better known a "Bo", I was with J.T. McLawhorn, president of Columbia's Urban League.
I thought we were doing Bo a favor by delivering a box of food. After all he is a widower and lost both of his legs five years ago due to infection; but it just took one look at his wall to realize that Bo's the one usually doing the helping.
"I'm about making people happy, making people smile," Bo explained.
It's really a simple philosophy that many of us claim but few actually follow.
"I love the Lord, that's a big part of my life. I love people, I'm a people person! Everything I've ever done, I've done for other people."
And he's not kidding - Bo volunteers with Columbia's youth every Tuesday at Bud Mentoring Service, "Him and his sister were gang bangers," Bo explains and we look at a picture hanging on his wall. "I talked him out of being a part of the gang and introduced him to the military."
Bo also spends his Saturday's teaching karate at Hyatt Park.
I asked him if people are surprised to see a double amputee teaching martial arts, "Oh yes!" he laughs. "But I won't give it up! I think I do a better job in the chair than I did standing up!"
What Bo lacks in extremities he certainly makes up for in heart.
"You see, God came and lifted me up at my lowest point in the hospital and once He did that for me I promised Him I'd glorify Him by doing his will. That's what I'm trying to do now."
Although Bo will tell you he doesn't need anything, J.T. McLawhorn says otherwise.
"For many years he has been trying to secure a van so he could become mobile. A van would be a God sent blessing for him. The Urban League is very happy to work with him. We will serve as the non-profit agent where people can make donations."
The South Carolina Department of Vocational Rehabilitation has agreed to transform a van into a wheelchair accessible vehicle that Bo can drive; however, he needs a van first.
Even without his own vehicle, Bo doesn't lack optimism.
"In a sense everyone says I'm successful, that's the rumor but I'm not finished yet. I want to keep on moving on to make my Father happy, and make people around me happy if I can."
I walked into the home of Bo Cornelius helping others deliver gifts; but somehow walked out being the one who received.
If you would like to help the Columbia Urban League secure a van for Bo, a fund has been set up for Mr. Ulysses Cornelius at any First Citizens Bank.