By Kathie Simon Frank
This year, I will participate in my 17th plant sale in my roles as “voice of the plant sale” (overseeing the phone line), as well as being the assistant liaison with Garden Fair exhibitors, and the “last one out” of the grandstand each evening after all the shifts are finished.
Two of my granddaughters, Brianna Mason and Alasia Williams, attended Friends School between 2004 and 2016. That first spring, I volunteered to spread straw over the lawn at Friends School, in anticipation of the crowds expected at the annual plant sale later that week. The next year I took on a larger role on the plant sale planning committee and also began volunteering in the school library. Though Brianna is now the mother of two sons, and a teacher, and Alasia is a senior in high school, I continue to actively volunteer for the Plant Sale each year.
What began as my grandchildren’s school community became my community. I read to kindergarten children, catalogued books in the library, helped on the Book Fair, and, starting in 2007, guided a group of middle school students in a knitting club. Over the years, the knitting club and the wider FSMN community created eleven knitted/crocheted afghans. The afghans were used for fundraising at the school’s annual Gala: one afghan each year through 2017.
I share the values that the school teaches and that are a part of the structure of all of its programs and activities. The friendships I’ve made through volunteering at Friends School and my “work” on the year-round plant sale planning committee are significant factors in a life I love so much.