Nominated by Jane Howland
United Methodist Children's Home
Length of Service:
Hours per Month:
March 13, 2012
Eighty-year-old Bobbie Wakamo can found almost any day of the month rummaging through old clothes and dusty, discarded furniture. Though most of us couldn't think of anything much worse, Bobbie has been doing this for more than 19 years at the United Methodist Children's Home in Decatur, GA. After a lengthy career in nursing, she showed up on a whim one day at the Children's Home to helpé and she hasn't been able to leave yet.
Over the years Bobbie has sorted through donated items such clothing, sports equipment, books, jewelry, shoes, toys, games, furniture and china to determine what can be cleaned up and sold at the Children's Home flea market. Like her job as a nurse and caring for her family, Bobbie has poured her whole self into the inner-workings of the UMCH Auxiliary Flea Market which raises $100,000 each year for items that serve the children and families at the Children's Home. Over the years the Auxiliary has purchased furnishings for cottages, a van for the residential program, tutoring for foster families and group care children, clothes for children, field trips for student and more. The Auxiliary flea market, thanks in part to Bobbie's leadership, is a vital part of the ministry of the Home.
Bobbie now helps oversee the work of 60 volunteers at the Home and even at 80 years old, continues to work tirelessly putting in more than 550 volunteer hours a year. She works just as the Auxiliary's mission statement says, "As we work, we continually remember that we do so as Christians work. We cheerfully, harmoniously and prayerfully serve God, these children, our fellow workers and our community by our labors." That describes Bobbie perfectly.
Bobbie's son, Rob Wakamo, says that although her job requires working under the radar, she likes to be a part of something bigger than her own family and she enjoys the camaraderie with the staff, clients, and the community who come to shop at the flea market, and he calls it a blessing.
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