We all like birthday cards. Lois Hayes of Lexington counts on that. Because she sends out hundreds and hundreds of birthday cards a year, and has been doing so for years. To who? Or, since she is a teacher, maybe I should say to whom?
Lois Hayes retired after teaching for 33 years. "I just always wanted to teach. Mama said when I was little and would play with my dolls she knew I was going to be a teacher."
And all teachers recall some of their students, long after they have left their classroom. But Lois, on the other hand, remembers all of hers. At least all of the ones over the last half of her career. And they remember her because they all get a birthday card from her every year.
"I just always have liked to send birthday cards and I did not get to send cards to the children that I taught the first few years when our children were growing up. When our children were grown I started doing it."
This birthday tradition started for each student the first birthday after leaving Lois's classroom. Linda Dickerson's children get cards. "Well the first year after the 2nd grade I thought, well, this is sweet. She remembered the first year and sent ‘em a card. Then the next year and the next year and I realized there was a pattern."
And the pattern is, every former student gets a card on their birthday evidently from now on, because there doesn't seem to be a logical cut off point.
Hayes says, "The amazing thing is when I retired I didn't think I would be able to do it financially. And the Lord has been good and I've never had a problem getting the cards or the stamps to mail them. And it has been so much fun keeping up with the kids."
And some of those "kids" are in their 50's now. And still getting a card from Ms. Hayes every birthday.
"I just want them to know they're special and somebody's thinking about them and praying for them on their birthday."
And as meaningful as that is to her former students, the gesture hasn't failed to impress the student's parents, and challenge them, too.
Dickerson says "I send more cards. I definitely send more cards. And I try to be more caring. People like her make people like me better."
And that's not a bad investment: improving the world for the price of a card, a stamp and an envelope, and taking time to remind someone that they are special.
Copyright 2011 WLBT. All rights reserved.
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