Brenda Turner, senior residential channel coordinator, is passionate about her job here at Gas South, as well as her role as a mentor for kids in our community.
In 2015, she started teaching and mentoring students every Sunday as a small group leader at Decatur City Church. Brenda has witnessed the eight students grow from preschoolers to second graders after spending her Sundays with them for the last three years. She teaches them weekly life lessons, listens to their stories with enthusiasm and is continuing to set an example for kids on what it means to serve others.
Volunteering as a small group leader is fulfilling Brenda’s urge to look beyond herself to do something greater. She started volunteering as a mentor at Woodson Park Academy – a Title 1 school – in August 2017. Of the students enrolled at Woodson, 98 percent are eligible for free or reduced lunches, which is an indication of the need within the community.
“I’ll never forget the day I met my mentee,” Brenda said. “I walked into the school and they announced her name. Everyone started cheering and celebrating. It was like she won the lottery and it was just me meeting her for lunch.”
The program pairs volunteers with elementary students, and then volunteers are asked to visit the school once a month to spend an hour with the mentee. During that hour, volunteers teach the students a different virtue each month, and provide games and fun activities to do together.
“Obstacles we think will keep us from volunteering are not really obstacles at all,” Brenda added. “We often discredit what we have to give. The look on my mentee's face when she sees me every month shows me that I’m a part of something special.”
Gas South employees are given eight hours of paid volunteer time a year, and since the volunteer program is eight sessions, Brenda is able to use those hours to give back to children in need. And for one little girl, that makes all the difference in the world.
Thank you, Brenda, for showing us all what it means to be a fuel for good.