I can’t stop thinking about the impact that one person has had. At last week’s Wall of Fame event, we gave out our first ever Seeds of Hope Award to Ms. Penny Poe. Several of her friends and co-workers came to pay tribute to a woman I call the Angel of Putnam City. Though her health is not where I would like it to be, she saved up her energies so she could be present at our event. And then she spoke.
Having received at least three cards in the mail from Ms. Poe with words more generous and kind than any I’ve gotten from anyone EVER, I should have known that she would bring me to tears again. She delivered a speech full of grace and gratitude for all that has transpired in her name. She is the reason that we have CareShare in Putnam City. She is the reason we have the re-christened Penny’s Closet. These two programs help hundreds of children each year and have for 35 years!
It wasn’t just her early efforts of having started these programs that make her our angel, but also because she has inspired others to follow in her path. She has championed the causes, and passed the torch on to other women who share her light. They then have shared that light with others who are carrying the torch for Putnam City’s children, though some have never met Ms. Poe.
It is difficult to quantify how much of a transformation her dedication to Putnam City’s children has made, but Sherri Boyd tried at our event. She asked people to stand if they had done anything with CareShare or Penny’s Closet. I daresay more than half the room has participated in the program in some form or fashion.
To say she’s a mentor for so many of us seems really inadequate, though she is. To consider her an example of so many good things doesn’t convey the depth of character she exemplifies to us. She is the pebble in our pond that created ripples as far as we can currently see. We at the PCF will work to ensure those ripples go forth in perpetuity. Thank you, Ms. Poe, for being our angel.