Student helps provide special Christmas for local seniorsBy Stephen Dawkins Published 6:46pm Wednesday, December 11, 2013
While most high school sophomores might be thinking about what they’ll be getting for Christmas, Taylor Edwards has been spending time thinking about what he can give.
And the beneficiaries of Edwards’ kindness aren’t even family or friends.
Edwards, a student at Thorsby, handed out gifts on Wednesday to regular visitors at the Clanton Senior Center during a special Christmas celebration.
The bags were donated by AARP and included toiletries, hand sanitizer, hot cocoa, paper towels, candy and ornaments, among other items. Edwards sought help from relatives to fill the bags.
Edwards was joined by his mother, Tonya Edwards Erwin; grandmother, Donna Williams; and Meghann Liveoak, volunteer coordinator with Alacare Home Health and Hospice.
Edwards and his grandmother began volunteering with Alacare and were introduced to the Senior Center by a friend, Betty Frater.
“They were all really nice and welcoming,” Edwards said. “I like being here.”
“It’s like having a bunch of grandmas and grandpas,” Williams joked.
Edwards is given a principal’s excuse to visit the center once a month, helping with games of bingo and a penny auction, where seniors are given 20 pennies each and then bid on different items brought by the volunteers.
He said that he has a history of volunteering since being a Cub Scout years ago.
“Once he came, I couldn’t get him to stop coming,” Erwin said. “He’s always had a big heart.”
Those at the center appreciate Edwards’ effort.
“He’s a sweet young man,” said Carolyn Thomas with the center.
“For him to come in and do this at his age…if we had more young people like him, it would be so much better,” added Barbara McMillian, also administrator at the center.
Liveoak agreed that volunteers like Edwards are rare. He has helped call patients and make greeting cards for them.
“It’s hard to find teenagers that put others before themselves,” she said.