As Director of Emergency Assistance and Referral at Rockwall County Helping Hands, Sherry Hamm is passionate about faith, family and helping those in need. Her humble demeanor is one reason a Blue Ribbon News reader nominated this “phenomenal lady and amazing role model” for our Good People profile series. After devoting 24 years to teaching in Rockwall schools, Sherry still sends birthday cards to former students. She and her husband Paul have three daughters, two sons-in-law and three grandchildren.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
I have lived in Rockwall 35 years. I was raised inKerens, TX- a small town on Hwy 31 between Corsicana and Athens, known as the “Birthplace of BigTex.” Big Tex was originally a very large Santa Claus built in Kerens and later sold to the Texas State Fair and re-dressed as BigTex.
BS and MA from Texas Woman’s University; Elementary Education certification from University of Houston; Gifted and Talented Education Endorsement from A&M, College Station (graduate hours).
ORGANIZATIONS YOU’RE INVOLVED IN?
First United Methodist Church, Rockwall – Leadership Council and Society of St. Stephen; Habitat for Humanity – Family Selection; Campus Improvement Committee – Springer Elementary.
YOUR MOST INTERESTING/UNUSUAL JOB?
I love my work at Helping Hands, and I loved teaching school. One of the most fun times at Dobbs Elementary was taking fourth graders to Camp Carter– fishing, canoeing and riding horses with students. Election as “Teacher of the Year” by fellow teachers was a great honor. Living as house parents at the Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home inDentonwas a most interesting job. My husband and I cared for about 10 boys, elementary through high school. Can you imagine getting laundry done…and homework…for 10 boys?
I worked at a factory making men’s hats during summer breaks in high school. I worked as a graduate assistant and as a waitress in college, and worked on a church staff as youth director.
SOMETHING OTHERS MAY BE SURPRISED TO LEARN ABOUT YOU?
I started playing trombone in 4th grade. As an adult, I played trombone with a professional USO jazz group, entertaining troops at many bases on two different tours.Tourswith this 15-member group took me to Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, Labrador, Japan, Korea, Okinawa, Taiwan and the Philippine Islands. This group gets together somewhere in the U.S. every two years and will meet in Milwaukee in 2014.
Yes, it is true that I send lots of birthday cards! I send cards to students who were in my homeroom classes. Many students have moved so I no longer have current addresses; however, some make it a point to send me updated addresses through the years. I receive lots of invitations to graduations, Eagle Scout ceremonies and weddings.
WHAT ARE YOUR DREAMS FOR HELPING HANDS?
It would be phenomenal to have sufficient funds to meet the needs of all the Rockwall County families in financial crisis and not have to turn any away for lack of funds. Supporters do a great job bringing in food for the pantry, but my dream would be that the pantry would be well-stocked throughout the year. My dreams are expressed beautifully in the agency’s vision statement: “Helping Hands strives to ensure that no one in Rockwall County goes to bed hungry, without a roof overhead, or is deprived of needed medical care.”
To nominate someone you know for our Good People profile series, email editor@BlueRibbonNews.com.