Hometown Heroes

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I found this on MSN this morning. There are eight people listed:
    All are doing wonderful things in their communities, but one hero really stood out to me:
    Hometown Heroes: Kathy Greagor
    Special to MSN Lifestyle
    Amber Goodman shares why she nominated Kathy Greagor for the Hometown Hero award:

    My hero is my friend Kathy Greagor. She is a mom of three kids with developmental difficulties and yet she works very hard to provide a good life for them with what life has handed to her. One child has ADHD, the other has Asperger’s syndrome, and the other is her adopted nephew who has attachment disorder.

    She had been awarded for Girl Scout leader of the year in our area, and the Jefferson Award as well, which is awarded to women in our community for ways in which they affect our local community.

    Kathy began a Christmas toy drive called "Lightly Loved Toys." I met her at church and she invited me to work with her in this community outreach. This will be my third year in co-managing this community project. "Lightly Loved Toys" was started with the idea of giving nice, used toys to kids. We still get the toys that are used, and clean them or repair them if necessary, but now, many of the toys are new.

    Last year, we gave gifts to 360 children and 180 parents. Each child receives a main gift, a small, side gift, a coloring book and crayons, a stuffed animal, a reading book or two, a stocking filled with small toys and topped with a small stuffed animal, and something warm to wear. The parents receive a wrapped gift, so they have something under the tree on Christmas morning as well.

    This endeavor takes hours and hours of planning and while we receive some volunteer work from outside people, most of it is done by the two of us. The month of November and first three weeks of December are completely consumed with the work involved in packing the boxes and getting them out to the pre-schools we primarily work through. Most of the time, our children will end up being there, sometimes late at night while we pack boxes. Kathy and I both donate much of the money to this outreach out of our own pockets. Wal-Mart has also been gracious to award us with $500 a year for this project.

    Kathy also started a Girl Scout library when our local library lost its funding to stay open. She set up a rewards program. Kids who read 10 books would get a prize from local businesses who donated to this small library. She took it mobile too. On one night a week she loads the books in her old station wagon and hauls them to a street and goes door to door, asking if the children wish to borrow a new library book.

    Kathy is a low-income mom, but what she lacks in money she makes up for in creativity. I am blessed to call her my friend.

    Who inspires you and why?
    Jesus is the inspiration for everything I do. He calls us to act out of love in all things.

    What is your definition of a hero?
    Anyone who steps out of their comfort zone to help someone else, or someone who stands strong in the face of adversity.

    What advice do you have for someone who would like to make a difference in his or her community?
    If you see a need, find a practical way to do something about it. You would be amazed at how many things are just that simple. We tend to get bogged down in the enormity of a problem and not see the simple things that can be done. Great things can be accomplished in small steps.

    What accomplishment are you most proud of?
    I am truly amazed at how an idea turned reality with the toy drive. Our first year we helped 60 kids, and last year more than 350. I am also proud to be a Girl Scout leader in a low-income neighborhood. Every time one of my girls acts to make a difference I am so proud. When our county libraries closed for lack of funding, my girls started their own library. They didn't let "I can't do it" enter their minds.

    What do you want to accomplish next?
    I'm hoping to save a school in a low-income neighborhood. Voters wanted it saved, but the school board is saying it will take more money than originally approved. So wish me luck.
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Wow - I got chills reading about her giving nature. She is a rare person indeed.
  3. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    That was lovely - a nice reminder to be - nice.

  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    While she is a low income mom she still finds time and energy to give back. What a blessing she is.

  5. HereWeGoAgain

    HereWeGoAgain Grandpa

    I am in awe.