Virginia Mayo is one of those people who hears of a need and sees that it is met. That may be through the AT&T Telephone Pioneers; her church, Moffett Road Assembly of God; or simply on her own.
Mayo retired from AT&T (Southern Bell, South Central Bell, Bellsouth) in 1995 after 35 years of employment. She has been a Pioneer volunteer since the early 1980s, serving in several offices, including president.
Currently, she is the education outreach chair. In that position, she coordinates projects such as the painting of 30' X 40' maps on elementary school playgrounds and preparing handouts for teachers with suggestions as to how the maps can be used as teaching tools. The committee purchases school supplies to be distributed to selected schools and participates in Annual Career Day for various schools.
For many years, Mayo has helped co-ordinate the Pioneer Easter Hat Contest. Straw hats are purchased and distributed to other Pioneers who decorate them. Judges are secured and at the end of the project, just before Easter, Mayo and others deliver the hats to nursing home patients, sometimes joining them in a tea party.
As an AT&T Telephone Pioneer, Mayo is deeply involved in Camp Bluebird, a twice-a-year retreat for adult cancer survivors. Other camps she helps with are Camp Rap-A-Hope for children with cancer and Camp Sugar Falls for youngsters with diabetes.
Mayo is also involved in other Pioneer projects--the Challenger League Cookout; American Cancer Society's Relay for Life and the AT&T Vital Link program, which is administered by the Mobile Area Education Foundation and which introduces middle school students to the workplace.
The AT&T stuffed Teddy Bears are well-known in the Mobile area, and Mayo helps create those. "We give the bears to emergency responders-(police or firemen--and occasionally to a children's ward at the University of South Alabama Children's and Women's Hospital," Mayo said. "They are given to children involved in traumatic situations just to give them something to hold on to and comfort them in some small way," she said.
One of Mayo's most recent and perhaps among her most-loved "jobs" is Eagle's Landing transitional housing for homeless veterans. In December 2012 before the facility opened, the Pioneers partnered with Semmes Walmart to buy more than $600 worth of groceries for the veterans, and, Mayo said, "I've been involved since then. It is one of my favorite projects," she continued, "and since it is near my church, we have several of the residents (veterans) attending there."
Steven Dahmer, director at Eagle's Landing, "will call sometime and tell me of a need; maybe someone's looking for a car, needs a ride to work, needs clothes, among lots of other things," Mayo said. "If it is something I can do, I do it; if not, I'll call someone that I know or the Walmart store manager, who has been very generous with them, and most of the time, we can take care of the problem," she said.
At her church, Mayo is the Senior Adult co-ordinator, which means sh plans at least one monthly activity for the group and a trip in the fall. In another volunteer activity, her group picks up bread from Panera Bread Company on Sunday nights, packages and delivers it to some needy folks in the church and to Eagle's Landing. What's left is placed in the church food pantry, which gives away food each Thursday.
And one more church volunteer activity: Mayo said, "I also responsible for the cooking and serving of the Wednesday evening meal each week. We feed the folks at church and take food to shut-ins when needed. We also visit the sick and shut-ins."
Virginia Mayo is the mother of six sons, eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren
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