Last week, The Leader published a guest opinion column by Donald Parr III who asked, “What happened to my hometown?” In it, Parr suggested a list of changes that he believes need to be made and a list of problems he’d like solved.
I believe we can be the change we want to see in the world. In Covington, there are many ways to become involved in our community to help make a difference.
Below is a partial list of volunteer opportunities:
• Help Covington’s future by investing time in the children:
Covington High School 901-475-5850
Crestview Elementary School 901-475-5925
Crestview Middle School Reading program 901-475-5900 (contact Shelley Gough)
Covington Integrated Arts Academy 901-476-1444
If you’re not up to date on the excellence of our local schools, the Tipton County School Board meets the second Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. at the central office on Highway 51. If you’d like a tour, contact the Tipton County Board of Education, 901-476-7148, for this and for information about any additional volunteer opportunities, such as Adult Literacy programs and GED support.
• Youngsters are, well, young, and may be too rowdy for you. If that’s the case, then what about volunteering at the Tipton County Commission on Aging?
Call 901-476-3333 to find out how you can help. Kerry Overton is the executive director.
• What if you work in Memphis and only have weekends available? I’d suggest spending some time at the Bread of Life Food Pantry. Bread of Life is an outreach ministry of First United Methodist Church in Covington. You can contact Rev. Grace Phelps at 476-9694 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
• Not a people person? That’s okay, too. Let me steer you towards Covington Animal Rescue Effort. CARE’s motto is, “You may not be able to save every dog in the world, but you can change the world for one.” You can find them on Facebook.
Don’t see what you like yet? Then try one of these:
• Boys and Girls Club of the Hatchie River Region- contact Tracey Johnson
• SRVS adult developmental center- contact Ginny Oceguera
• Clothes ‘n Things Thrift Shop- contact Ginger
• D’Vine Outreach Ministry- contact Marilyn Barbee
• Library Summer Reading program- contact Susan Cheairs
• Special Olympics (once a year opportunity) contact Dee Dee Faulk
• Clean Up/Fix Up Covington (once a year opportunity) contact Ruth Ann Wallace at Keep Tipton County Beautiful
• Covington-Tipton County Chamber of Commerce needs volunteers at community events such as Heritage Day, Dickens on the Square, Chocolate Tour, or Scarecrows on the Square
• The Ruffin Theater- contact Vonda Stankey
• Habitat for Humanity- contact Walter Black
• Dixie Youth Baseball- see local parks and recreation office for details and contact information.
• Upward Sports - contact Oak Grove Baptist or First Baptist Covington
• Exchange Club- Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse
• The Anti-drug Coalition of Tipton County- contact Robin Racine
• The Rotary Club
• The Lions Club
• The Exchange Club
• CASA of Tipton County
Additionally, there is a Volunteer Tipton County page on Facebook that provides up to date information for the community.
If none of these things catches your fancy, then why not invite someone to your church this week? The angry person you see on the street or at the store may be lost for reasons that are simply unimaginable to us.
The last suggestion I have is for each of us to simply practice kindness with each other. It’s a little thing, but taking a moment to consciously be kind can make a huge difference.
Covington is only as good as the people who live here. We are the doers, the dreamers, the actors on this stage.
It is up to us, no one else. We all know nothing is perfect, but I believe this city is full of great potential. Let us be the change that meets and exceeds that potential.