Giving back is a core part of who Shirley Singleton is. When she’s not in the infant room at the Columbia Gateway Drive KinderCare center in Columbia, Md., this teacher can likely be found lending a hand to someone in her community. It’s just what she does.
“My mother brought us up that way,” Shirley explained. “She worked at a nursing home and she took her kids with her.”
Earlier this year Shirley received a huge surprise – a President’s Volunteer Service Award from former President Barack Obama. The award recognizes volunteers for a lifetime of long service.
Shirley volunteers two to three times a month with a variety of organizations, including the Order of the Eastern Star, and the Daughters of Shriners. She also volunteers at the polls during voting season. She recently took part in a Prince George County event called Christmas in April: Volunteers visit an elderly homeowner and spend the day doing home repairs like painting, plumbing, and yard work and clean the house.
Shirley was excited and surprised to earn the award, but doesn’t have any plans to slow down her volunteer work anytime soon.
“It’s always good to give back,” she said.
In fact, she’s now looking for a way to encourage students at her center to give back to their community – building the next generation of volunteers.