Tammy Williams - Helping Students Succeed, One Stitch at a Time
Tonight's 'Pay it Forward' takes us to Cleveland High School. That's where parent volunteer Tammy Williams has taken on a mighty role as 'mom' to more than 100 students of the Blue Raider Marching Band.
Behind every single band member is a doting mother, her dedication to student achievement is evident in each of those crisp, blue, custom fit uniforms.
Nominator Doris Griffith beams with pride for her daughter, Tammy Williams.
"She (Tammy) alters all of the uniforms at the beginning of the year. She fits them to all the students, alters them to fit them, then it's laundry time. We take them all to the laundry. She coordinates the laundering and that usually takes the whole day. She never misses a ballgame, whether it's home or away, and all the competitions she goes to."
Doris goes on to say, "Those are her children. I mean, she's so proud of them and when they start down Raider Dr. it's like 'here they come', all of her children."
Like most days Tammy is busy inside Mr. Burton's band room.
"She doesn't know anything that's going on. She thinks she's here for a meeting," Doris says.
So, we count out our 'Pay it Forward' cash and make our way through the hallways.
Doris shouts to Tammy as we burst into the room, "Looky here! We have the 'Pay it Forward' crew!"
Doris walks toward her daughter and explains, "On behalf of McMahan Law Firm and NewsChannel 9 we want to 'Pay it Forward' for all of the work that you do in your community and your church."
A very surprised Tammy is moved to tears as Doris hands her $500.
Tammy smiles as she says, "We're just like a big family in here because after you spend a whole school year together and traveling and going to games I feel like I've got invested time in them."
Tammy holds up a uniform as she tells me how she is always there to repair and re-fit each piece for the students.
"If they have grown we have to let the hems out. We have to make sure the elastic's on there to keep it on their feet. They have to look like almost like soldiers."
Tammy's daughter, Chelsea, a senior band member, is in on the surprise and describes her mom's dedication to young people in the community.
"We are very involved in children's ministries and things like that and just this past Saturday we had a carnival at our church and right after the carnival we went straight to the laundry mat to go wash uniforms. So, it was an all day event," Chelsea says.
Tammy, who shys away from recognition, simply encourages others to connect with children and create memories that will last long after high school.
"It's making lifelong friends with other band parents and the kids. They will grow up knowing they've got somebody."
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