Charity Angels...Celebrating Those Who Give of Themselves
“We have all heard of herald angels as in “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” but what about unheralded angels?”
My Dearest Friends-I have been writing this column for quite a while now and it has been my pleasure and privilege to meet so many wonderful women. It has also been my pleasure to honor these women and the organizations to which they belong and the causes they serve. Sure, it is simple to find the president or the winner of the Volunteer of the Year award for an organization. It is not so easy to find those who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Those unheralded angels who never make PINK or anything else and don’t really mind. I know many and I am sure you do to.
So, who am I talking about? Well, just for a start, there is the woman who takes phone calls each and every month from people needing rides to doctor appointments, or church, or just the grocery store. She (Dee) has been doing this for years.
What about the woman who volunteers at Hospice Community Thrift on Mathews Court (Norma) and comes in several times a week to stage, clean and work the shop floor and has done so since the shop opened?
At my church, two ladies (Michelle and Vicki) act as greeters and ushers on their regular schedules and also serve as substitutes whenever they are needed.
This isn’t just about women either. What about the guy (Ted) who answers the phone once a week at Deep Well, serves as head of the technology committee, and also serves on the board of directors?
Also at Deep Well there is a guy (Joe South) who has been the head of a team of guys for numerous years, who make up the Livable Housing Committee, and repair homes, trailers, and pretty much any other place needy, elderly, or disabled people live. There are several of them and they work once and sometimes twice a week to change people’s lives. I bet you have never heard of any of these people.
Many unheralded angels simply participate with generous donations, never darting the doors of any organization to volunteer. So, let’s look down on them as non-participants, shall we? Well, NO! So very many people make so much possible with their donations of money that it is mind-boggling. I recently went on a mission trip where every medical item, educational item, book, and piece of clothing we took was donated. At Christmastime, Deep Well is the recipient of so many donated dollars; it is a big part of their annual budget.1 The entire summer program at the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head is funded by the annual gala fund—a generous group of donors (You know who you are)! This program serves more than 300 children, who would be on the streets all summer without this 10-hour per day wonderful program. One gala committee member (Chris L.) does an entire designer boutique herself and donates 100 percent of the proceeds.
Local events have very hard working committees who labor for months to present dinner dances, gala evenings, etc., but without ticket buyers, live and silent auction bidders, and sponsors from the business community, there would be little money raised and no success. Many people “only” write that check, but indeed, where would we be without them?
So many local unheralded volunteers serve in their churches. I know a woman (Lyn C.) who personally calls every person in her congregation who expresses interest in membership. Her only goal is to make them feel welcome. Did you know that there is a committee at one of our churches who is responsible for a twice-a-week soup kitchen? Another local church holds a food drive for local food pantries once a month. Another sends reading teams into the Jasper County schools to be letter writing buddies (Linda E).
I could go on and on, but I am sure you get the idea and you may even be or know some of these wonderful angels. Honestly, from knitting prayer shawls (Ellen and Co.) to cleaning up yards for the elderly, we have people out there who change lives!
Central Oak Grove Church has a vibrant youth group on Wednesday nights that has a large group of young men, and every week they are fed by a lady (Claudia), who asks local stores and restaurants to contribute food for them. What a lovely gift. Also on the youth scene there are several local youth groups who do service hours in the summer (Bree Reader with Nerve2Serve among others) and they clean, stack, cook, and much more for those in need of their help.
Finally, the biggest group of unsung, unheralded angels—guess who? It is spouses. Be it husband or wife in the supporting role, many couples do not go into anything without the support of the other (Marcia and Jim C.). That understanding and support from home is so key. Be it a partner, spouse, friend or co-chair (Jane C.) one never feels alone in the angel business. We are all out there doing our best.
Oh, did I forget someone? It seems so. A local women’s magazine editor and publisher (Yes, it is, Elizabeth Millen) donates her time as a speaker, supports numerous charities, serves on charitable boards, and works tirelessly for the Lowcountry, including volunteering as a part of her Toastmasters’ commitment in a prison 85 miles away.
Look around you and if you do not literally trip over Charity Angels, you need new glasses!