My turn: Dora woman proves everybody can contribute

On the walls at Dora School last week were flyers that read, "Got food? Some don't."

In the center was a photo of a young woman known very well to that school.

Sarah Walker is a 20-year-old daughter of the Dora community (her real parents are Lisa and Lewis Walker, but many of us claim her). Born with Angelman Syndrome, a rare neuro-genetic disorder, Sarah is mostly non-verbal, but her smile can knock your socks off and her hugs can squeeze you breathless.

Sarah's special education teacher, Susie Thomas, gave Sarah a goal this year of doing something to "help less fortunate people in her community." Thomas is a long-time friend of Nancy Taylor, director of the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico. She arranged for Sarah to volunteer there for an afternoon packing groceries. It worked so well that Sarah and her teachers decided to try a school food drive.

In only four days, Dora students — cheered on daily by Sarah — brought in 874 pounds of non-perishable goods, including over a thousand canned items.

Thomas, who helped pack the two carloads of donations, said it was a wonderful reminder that "Everybody can contribute something."

Need inspiration?

Not me. I have Sarah.

Betty Williamson knows a true hero when she sees one. You may reach her at

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