Mothers of May Essays

Submitted by: Anne Vassar
Mother's name: Lucille Graybill

How is your mother making a difference? My mother is 96 years old and is still fully independent. It is amazing to all of us how she has raised a family and been an active member of the community to this day. She has not only raised her own three children, but has been very active in the lives of her three grandchildren who think of her as a second mother. She has seven great grandchildren who also adore her. She makes a difference in the community by remaining a respected musician who still plays the organ every Sunday at Troutville Baptist Church. She still also plays for funerals, weddings and special services upon request. She has taught countless students in her life as a music educator and private instructor. She has been the organist at Troutville Baptist Church for seventy three years, with only a short break in all those years. Her music is beautiful and touches the soul. A church organist is becoming a rarity, a special treasure these days. With smaller keyboards and computerized music churches and funeral homes are often choosing alternatives to the traditional organ. Young people are not taking up organ due to the large time commitment. Basically it is a lot of work for not a lot of money. But there is nothing like the real deal. So, to find someone still playing just for the love of the organ and service to her church and community is very special. And indeed, my mother is very special! At 96, she plays a lot of her music from memory and is very in tune with current events and major sports. She is an example of being truly dedicated and is making a difference with her dedication to her music, her church and her community.


Submitted by: Belinda Edwards
Mother's name: Shirley Mullins

How is your mother making a difference? I have often said everyone wants my mother as “their other mother”! I have to share her. She is a ray of hope and sunshine and has a nurturing quality that makes everyone feel so special. She actually is “another mother” to many people. The way she makes a difference in our community is through “Hope Builders”, a ministry of Christian Women's Job Corps founded by the WMU. Hope Builders is a hand up outreach program designed to move people from dependency to self-sufficiency so they can provide for themselves and their family. Each participant receives free life skills and job skills training. They attend parenting classes, nutrition classes, job skills training and Bible study. Through mentoring participants meet someone further along the road of life who can help them reach their goals. My mother works with the Roanoke Chapter of Hope Builders and she established the Botetourt County chapter of Hope Builders at Troutville Baptist Church. She is making a difference with “hands up for hope!” I am very pleased to share her with anyone who needs her.

Submitted by: Cathy Pinkley
Mother's name: Betty Shideler

How is your mother making a difference? My mother is making a difference in the fight against breast cancer and serving as an inspiration to others to volunteer. In 2009 my mother Betty was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy, chemo, radiation and reconstructive surgery all within the next year. 2 days after my mother finished her last treatment, we participated in Roanoke's 1st Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Immediately my mother signed up to volunteer for next year's event. Even though she was still feeling very sick and weak, the thought that she could not help did not even cross her minid. Since that first race in 2010, my mother has been a volunteer on the survivor committee for Susan G. Komen working tirelessly all year long every year since shebbegan to work on that committee. She puts in countless hours of her own time and every lunch hour at work to secure donations and gifts to be given to breast cancer survivors. my mother also hosts numerous other fundraisers at work for breast cancer. My mom has always been a very strong woman, but her strength in facing breast cancer has served as an inspiration for me. I admire my mom's dedication to fighting this disease and know in my heart that her fight is not her main concern; she is fighting with the hope that neither I nor my daughters will ever have to face breast cancer. My mom Thank you for considering my wonderful mother, Betty.

Submitted by: Elane Moses
Mother's name: Erica Thomas

How is your mother making a difference? My sister who is 36 stepped up and helped take care of me. Regardless of the fact that when I moved in with my sister when i lost my dad. She also has three kids of her own. She treats me like one of her own. So I want to nominate her for this even though she isn't my real mom I consider her my mom. She deserves it. She is a great Role model to me and others.

Submitted by: Madison Toole
Mother's name: Dawn Toole

How is your mother making a difference? My mother is a great woman with a giving heart. She will do anything to provide my family with what we need. My amazing mom has started a back pack program that provides underprivileged kids in our community with food for the weekend. She is a fabulous kindergarten teacher who has been a finalist twice for the McGlothlin award of teaching excellence. My mom deserves to be a “Mother of May'' because she always puts everyone before herself and she is making a difference one step at a time. Happy Mothers Day mommy! I love you!

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