Educator finds joy in helping

Published 9:09 pm Monday, October 17, 2011

Lowndes County native Wilma Thomas has been a volunteer with Vaughan Regional Medical Center since 2003. As a retired teacher and board of education member, Thomas enjoys helping others. -- Desiree Taylor

For more than 30 years, Lowndes County native Wilma Thomas has been touching lives in the classroom and as a member of the Lowndes County Board of Education. And now, the retired professional is helping to change lives in Selma.

As a volunteer with Vaughan Regional Medical Center, Thomas joined the Hospital Auxiliary staff with her sister Gloria in 2003 when retiring from the board of education after 33 years.

Thomas said the hospital allows her to help others, which she loves.

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“After I retired, I spent time with my sick father and my mother. I was free afterwards,” Thomas said. “It’s a chance to see friends, old acquaintances and students.”

Always smiling and polite, Thomas can be found stocking stuffed animals in a plastic bin inside the gift shop, manning the front desk to assist visitors or delivering flowers or papers to patients’ rooms.

“I will assist them whenever they need assistance,” Thomas said. “I greet them and say, ‘hello.’”

A member of Good Hope Baptist Church in Sardis for nearly 40 years, Thomas has been in the church choir and president of matron, or a branch of a missionary society. Thomas is still active, currently serving as the missionary secretary.

“I attend Sunday school and church …  I attend many conferences, meetings and conventions within the state,” Thomas said.

When she’s not volunteering every Thursday morning, Thomas enjoys reading magazines and the Bible and traveling with her husband Joe, who she’s been married to for 42 years.

Wilma and Joe have three daughters and seven grandchildren. Her newest grandson was born six weeks ago.

“I feel wonderful, it’s a real blessing,” Thomas said. “We’re all excited about it.”

Thomas said she’s thankful for the opportunity to serve her community at VRMC.

“I enjoy working with a wonderful group of auxiliary,” Thomas said. “I always wanted to give back to the community … I’m thankful for the privilege to share my time and service with others.”
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