Andrea ThomasSeveral days ago, two local ladies chatted together in a conversation that led to a positive decision. Mental health advocate and former Americus first lady Andrea Thomas confided to her friend, Charlene Hayes, a fellow advocate and nurse at Perry Wellness Center, that she would really like to volunteer at the center.

After receiving encouragement, Mrs. Thomas approached Perry Wellness Center founder and CEO Stuart Perry on the grounds of St. Johns Anglican Church, where she offered her volunteer services. Needless to say, Stuart was thrilled to accept her offer and quickly made arrangements for her to begin.

On Monday, April 16, Andrea Thomas arrived at Rudy’s Happy Patch Market – named, by the way, in memory of her friend Charlene’s late husband, advocate and author Rudy Hayes. She was greeted by Stuart, who quickly escorted her around the many greenhouses and open pavilions in the market area.

“The wind was cold and rough,” Stuart recalls, “But Mrs. Thomas was not hampered in her enthusiasm to help. I gave her the visitor’s tour, but she quickly reminded me that she was here to work!”

As for her duties, Stuart explains, “She will be visiting our center to help water the thousands of plants that we currently have.”

With a smile, the appreciate director concludes, “I am thrilled to have Andrea Thomas and lost no time in asking her to find additional volunteers.”

As for Andrea Thomas, her feelings mirror Stuart’s. “I am thrilled to be involved with Perry Wellness Center,” she says. “I have known Stuart for a long time, but his attendance at St. Johns Anglican Church excited me to help in his mission.”

Welcome and thanks, Miss Andrea!

In the photo above, Stuart Perry, left, and plant maintenance staffer Steve McKenzie, right, welcome their newest volunteer, Andrea Thomas, to Perry Wellness Center.

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