Family remembers Rawlings through volunteer effortsPublished 10:14pm Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Pam Clark came to the Beauford-Hyde Partnership for Children wearing purple boots in honor of her close friend, Wendy Rawlings, who died last October. She also wore the purple earrings she had made and planned to give to Rawlings for Christmas.
She volunteered at the partnership, collecting Toys for Tots applications for the hours that Wendy had signed up to cover.
Clark isn’t the only one who will honor her friend by volunteering. Wendy’s family started HoursForWendy.org, and set a goal for friends and family to volunteer 1,000 hours before what would have been Wendy’s 65th birthday on March 6.
“When someone passes away, the number one gesture among the friends of the deceased is to support the family by advising them to, “Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you.” We, as a family, have decided that we would like to take you up on this wonderful gesture,” reads a letter posted on the site. “We would like your help in being a part of Wendy’s memorial.”
Clark and Wendy used to volunteer at Camp Dove in Trinity, a retreat for cancer survivors. They started out as guests of the camps, then came back to volunteer. Wendy beat lung cancer five times in 12 years.
“We had the best time volunteering to do crafts. She asked me to go as her support person the first year and then we just kinda got involved,” Clark said.
Rawlings never talked to Clark about how she wanted to be remembered after she died.
“As close as we were, we never talked about leaving. We talked about living,” Clark said. “I think she would be very honored (by Hours for Wendy).”
Wendy’s widower, John, said the campaign has gained momentum as word spread throughout the southeast via social media.
“People simply go on to her website, which is HoursForWendy.org and say they want to volunteer in honor of Wendy. They volunteer then go back in to log the hours,” he said.
John plans to volunteer, as well. He signed up for Toys for Tots and will start at Eagle’s Wings next week.
“I think that it’s the best way others could honor her. I think she would be very proud,” he said of the campaign. “One of her main goals in life was to help others.”
Wendy was retired and served as a guardian ad litem in Beaufort County.
In the span of about a year, Rawlings volunteered 226.75 hours at the Beaufort/Hyde Partnership for Children.
“I just think one of the greatest joys in life is to know that you’ve helped others,” Rawlings said. “That is something Wendy strongly believed.”