The people's voice of reason


Have you ever been approached to help at a school event or with an organization’s fundraising affair? It seems many people are willing to help organizations or community projects to be a success by giving their time freely which helps the company.

One dictionary defines this meaning for volunteers, “A volunteer is a person who voluntarily offers to perform a service or other undertaking.”

When you have gone to a fun outing do you notice how many people are wearing name tags asking if they can help you? They are volunteers!

After talking to a few people who volunteer, l learned from them it is just my way of giving back.

As Danna Showalter, a mom, wife and realtor, who lives in Autauga County told me, there are needs in her church as well as her children’s school. With her church she has helped decorate it for Christmas and taught Children’s Sunday School with her husband Andrew, she is also a monthly nursery volunteer. She again teaching Sunday School to second and third graders.

This past year she chose to sing with the choir for the church Christmas program. This required many practices to be ready for the program but also preforming two nights in her church. She had the blessing of having her children involved as well.

Danna is teaching her children to get involved early just as she did. As a young person she volunteered in her church nursery, helped with Vacation Bible School along side with her mother and sister. Outside of church she helped with the Angle Tree and walked many miles with The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

As a member of the Montgomery Area Association of Realtors, Danna is involved with a couple of committees. The Association is helping raise money to replace seats in Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum, a project she is excited about for the people in our area.

Danna says, “as a Christian I was taught and encouraged at a young age by my family to serve in our church and our community. I continue to have a love for volunteering even with my responsibilities with family and career.”

From a man’s perspective I talked with Johnny Robertson, a semi-retired insurance broker. He said in 1939 the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery started the West End Boys Club. He has always been active in the Kiwanis Club of Montgomery but 25 years ago he was serving as past president when he decided Montgomery needed more involvement for the West End Boys and Girls Club. Johnny knew Al Harrison from coaching Little League together. He talked to him about having more volunteers for improving the West End Club. The idea blossomed into becoming one of his favorite volunteer ventures in our city.

He said the children over on that side of town were at ends about what to do after schools and in the summers. He believed the Club could provide the guidance these young people needed, it just needed some work.

Of course this was a huge challenge, but Johnny convinced the Kiwanis to take this project own. Johnny Robertson has continually worked with Boys and Girls Club of the River Region by serving on their board, being board president and working with the Annual Golf Tournament fundraiser.

He now has memories of seeing the changes made through the years and the progress he envisioned. He said he once read a “Newsweek” magazine article about the National Boys and Girls Clubs which said 67 percent of the people who were alumni of the clubs said they would not have finished high school and gone on to achieve other education without the support of the Boys and Girls Club.

Johnny also has served our community in other ways. He remembers when Lanier High School (his alma mater) needed some painting. He joined his Sunday School Class to go in and spend a day making a difference in the interior of Lanier. Recently he served on the committee which decided on renaming of some of the public schools in Montgomery. He said it was a hard and difficult task.

Additionally, he is the Woodmen of the World Area Chapter President. He is also extremely proud to support Mercy House. Johnny has been a volunteer for the Camellia Bowl since the conception of it. He says it has been a delight to see this occur in Montgomery especially since he has served as an official for Alabama high school football and basketball teams, as well for the smaller college games.

Currently he is helping establish the new Wesley Methodist Church in Montgomery. Johnny said they have seen amazing growth in this new church. Another example of loving to be involved in Montgomery.


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