Not so random acts of kindness

Published 6:24 pm Saturday, February 21, 2009

As we celebrate Random Acts of Kindness month, I’ve been noticing those who commit very purposeful acts of kindness regularly and happily—as if it is a privilege to serve.

“Really, I’m glad to do it,” and “It’s not a problem at all,” are remarks so many of the volunteers that help in Pelham area schools and in the community make about their service.

Keeping Pelham High School running smoothly is only doable because we have volunteers willing to help. Many are parents, but many are not. Retired teachers and counselors volunteer and we also have many helpers who are the parents of Pelham alums. Although their children have graduated and moved on, these parents remember the work to be done.

Pelham athletic secretary Jane Bishop tells me volunteers enable her to keep things running.

“Rosie Metcalf gets to the stadium about two hours before football games start. She is responsible for getting tickets and change to the ticket booths and to the parking volunteers,” Bishop said. “Jackie Powell comes in around 7:30 p.m. and she and Rosie start counting money. They don’t finish until an hour or so after the game ends.”

Jane appreciates the willingness of these ladies to serve, and she’s astounded that neither of them has a child involved with the football program at all. Rosie and Jackie simply show up because they know the work that must be done.

Lynn Faught’s official title is parent volunteer coordinator. She schedules parents who serve regularly in our main offices. How she finds time to schedule everyone else around her own volunteer schedule is a mystery to me. When our new literature books arrived last summer, Faught numbered 1,500 books so that we would be ready to read when school started.

This year, Faught serves as the only Pelham representative on our county textbook selection committee. She has been in constant communication with our department to insure that our students receive the writing books they need — and she still leaves baked goods in the office.

When Pelham children’s librarian Mary Campbell contacted me to recruit students to clean the children’s shelves at the Pelham Public Library. I worried. Would my students really volunteer? Their response was simple, “Absolutely, we’ll be there.”

Spending an afternoon at the library with Pelham’s newest volunteers was delightful; reminding me that serving others is certainly a privilege.