Spreading art and saving lives

Published 3:34 pm Tuesday, July 20, 2021

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By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

Delores Bates has shared her love of art by teaching the skill to others. From 2017 until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bates and two other artist friends taught art class at Morningside Assisted Living in Hoover. Prior to the pandemic, the class of up to 10 students convened three hours each week.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The students wanted to learn. They were so proud of their work. As instructors we were very gratified. I missed the students when we had to stop having classes,” Bates said sorrowfully.


From 1989 until 1998, Delores volunteered as a receptionist at Sav-a-Life, Shelby. Ultrasounds, abortion information, parenting classes and material assistance are just some of the many services offered to empower women and men to make a life-affirming decision. Bates looked forward to the four hours she spent each week at Pregnancy Resource Center.

“I got to meet different people. I listened to them talk about their situations,” Bates said.

Bates looked forward to her time in the office. She performed a number of routine duties such as addressing mailers containing brochures and answering the telephone. Her role included distributing donations of clothes, and gift bags to individuals who needed them.

“I miss the interaction I had with clients and the staff,” she added.

Bates has been a member of Valleydale Baptist Church in Pelham for the past 25 years. She serves on the flower committee, which is responsible for the selection and placement of flowers for decorating the pulpit. She also assembles the church bulletins.

The 87-year-old Bates is a Birmingham native. Widowed since 1997, she is the mother of three children, five grand, five great and two great-great grandchildren. She has resided in Pelham since 1979 and enjoyed a prosperous 33-year career at South Central Bell.