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Hats Off    |    by
Column dedicated to sharing news about community activities, service projects, and other events that are important to the life of the residents of our "mountain."

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published on 02/02/2003

What mark will you make?

By staff writer

“And you know, whatever you leave behind is your history, and it better be good, because you’re history longer than you’re fact.” These words, written by Clyde Edgerton in his book In Memory of Junior, are words we can all live by. When taken literally, we can look at the lives of two well-known and loved presidents, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Both lived for less than seventy years but are still remembered over two hundred years later. In fact both have birthdays this month, which are celebrated throughout the country in schools and libraries, programs and commentaries. But we can also interpret Mr. Edgerton’s quote in a more figurative manner, one that hits home to each of us. We do this every time we meet someone on the sidewalk, in our place of worship, at a meeting, in the store, or just in passing. When you walk away from that conversation, what are you going to remember about that person? And more importantly, what will that person remember about you?

February is a month of LOVE. Last month, many of us made out “to do lists”; some were resolutions that incorporated change, others were new ideas or desires for the coming year. But all required making a commitment. Many organizations sent out pleas to remember them all year, not just during the holiday season. “Keep on giving” is a recurring theme but how do we make this happen? Julie Baumgardner, executive director of Chattanooga’s First Things First, offered a list of ideas in her article the first Sunday after Christmas in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Among other things, Julie suggested finding an elderly neighbor who could use some help with yard work; make little crafts to take to an area nursing home; if you or your children are musically inclined, call ahead and ask permission to perform at a nursing home; instead of being overwhelmed by all of the end of the year tasks, choose and support a monthly; make time in your schedule to volunteer on a regular basis; do something anonymously for someone in need; go through your closet, garage, children’s toy chest and pass on the things you have outgrown or don’t need to someone who will appreciate them; go visit a shut in; and volunteer at one of Chattanooga’s many reading centers.

This is a grand list, something for everyone, but let’s take it one step further and make a list for Signal Mountain and the surrounding communities:

1.Go to this month’s Town Council meeting. The Town of Signal Mountain meets on February 10 at 7:00 PM in the Town Hall while the Walden Town Meeting is the next night, February 11 at 7:00 PM in the Walden Town Hall. It’s not about politics; it’s about being a responsible citizen.

2.Join the PTA at Signal Mountain Middle School, Thrasher or Nolan Elementary Schools. You don’t have to have a child in school to do this and volunteers are always needed.

3.Volunteer at the Signal Mountain Library, the Bachman Community Center, Signal Mountain Recycle Center, the Lone Oak Community Center, Walden’s Ridge Civic League, or the Signal Mountain Welfare Council. Putting others first has proven to be one of the most rewarding adventures you will ever go on!

4.Join Newcomers, the Signal Mountain Community Guild, Walden’s Ridge Guild, the Alexian Auxiliary, the Signal Mountain Evening Guild, or the Lion’s Club. All these non-profit organizations benefit the residents on our “mountain” and need members.

5.Be pro-active by attending the Friends of Signal Mountain High School meetings; attend the various boards, commissions, or committees meeting within our towns. You can make a difference!

If you have a question about any of these organizations or meetings or other ideas, please call me at . In the meantime, check out the monthly Calendar of Events.

“The mark the man or a woman makes on this world is most often a trail of faithful love, and quiet mercies, and unknown kindnesses.” (Reverend Michael L. Lindvall) . . . . . . . . What mark will you make?