RIP. Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.
One day in college, my journalism professor asked for volunteers to help the press corps visiting the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus during the Carter-Mondale campaign. I raised my hand.
To make a long story short, that volunteer experience led to my becoming an advance press person for First Lady Rosalynn Carter when she campaigned for her husband, former President Jimmy Carter. When I moved to Washington DC after college, I was resourceful and pursued the connections I had previously made on campus.
Mrs. Carter was delightful. I remember her as a kind, soft-spoken lady. We may have said no more than 12 words to each other, but she always acknowledged me with a smile. Being an advance person was a unique and heady experience. I had to become a big girl real fast. I traveled to a lot of places I never imagined I would go. I worked with the Secret Service and even rode in a presidential motorcade.
Rest in peace, Mrs. Carter. I honor her for her commitment to mental health.
This experience taught me a great lesson about the value of volunteering. You never know the people you’ll meet when you volunteer and where the path may lead you.
The Metro East Literacy Project has wonderful volunteers who help sort, label, and pack tote bags of books to give to families. They also serve as Encouragement Team Volunteers who connect with families who receive books. Pretty soon, we’ll be recruiting volunteers to help with after school tutoring programs. Click here to learn more.