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Nov 23

City Manager's Message: Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on November 23, 2016 at 4:17 PM by Mary Bunting

Thanksgiving is a special time of year at which we celebrate our many blessings. It is all too easy to get caught up in the every day "hustle and bustle" of our very busy jobs and lives. While we shouldn't wait for Thanksgiving to reflect, this annual holiday does remind us to pause and say thanks to those we care about for the impact they have on our lives.

Each of you are among my many blessings. Like many of you, I spend more time at work than I do with my family so it is especially gratifying to work with so many talented, dedicated and caring individuals. Each of you has given so much to this organization and, more importantly, our community. For some people a job is simply that. For most of us, however, our job is so much more. We accept our positions of public trust because we believe in service before self and we want to be a part of building an even better community. You work tirelessly to do this, and I thank you for that.

As I was writing this Thanksgiving message, I received the following email from one of our employees. Loretta Ayers wrote to me to commend an employee in the Parks & Recreation Department. Her message exemplified my point better than any words of mine could do, so I wrote her and asked for permission to share her story with you. She agreed. The following are Loretta's words: 

I would like to recognize Lee Davis, Little England Cultural Center.  My daughter passed early 2016, and I have her 5 children.  However, three of them are small children.  Tymeiya & Symeiya are twins age 8; and King is 7.  Every day I leave work at lunch and grab them when they are let out of school and take them to the Cultural Center.  Mr. Davis has several students from various other Hampton City Schools there along with my grandchildren;  and a hand full of Hampton University students that come over to the Cultural Center and help them with homework.  My one particular grandchild (Tymieya) has been really struggling with school, especially since losing her mother.  She was retained in the 2nd grade and is still struggling with school/home work.  I have been dropping them off at the Cultural Center since September in hope that that will help some.  

 

My grandchildren are in therapy with three (3) different agencies.  One of them being CSB.  I explained to him the problems I was having with trying to help my grandchildren with school and homework, as well as some things that were being said from their school counselor and teacher that didn’t sit right with me.  However, Mr. Davis took the time out of his busy schedule and met me at my grandchild school to advocate for my grandchild.  He was very professional, precise and knew what he was talking about, understood their language as well. 

 

Not only did Mr. Davis meet with the teacher and counselor but proclaimed Tymieya “his” project.  During the meeting a comment was make by her teacher that she will never be an “A” “B”  student.  Mr. Davis is determined to prove them wrong.  He works with her every day to insure that she understands her homework and to insure that she develops her social skills.  I truly truly believe he has gone over and above to help my grandchild.

 

Kudos to Mr. Davis and it a blessing to have this “angel” in our lives.

 

I too, want to thank Mr. Davis for all he is doing for these children, especially Tymieya. Mr. Davis is an example of the powerful impact we all have the opportunity to make through our public work. Again, I thank each of you for all that you do for others. While the people whose lives you touch on a daily basis may not get the chance to express their thanks in as powerful of a way as Loretta thanked Lee, I can assure you that your work has and will continue to make a positive difference for our community. 

I do hope each of you has a very happy, safe and relaxing holiday with your family and friends. While most of us will get to enjoy an extra long weekend with both Thursday and Friday off, many of our employees will be working to keep us and our city safe. I would like to extend a special thanks to all you who give up time with your families on these days to protect and serve us all. On behalf of a grateful community, please know your sacrifice is understood and valued. 

Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Mary

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