by Martha Smith
Before the pandemic hit, every second Tuesday of the month I would load up my camera into the car and drive to the Senior Center. It was Birthday Bingo day. 9 a.m. sharp, rain or shine. I looked forward to these mornings because they meant I’d get to see Mr. Hollis. Being new in my job, I was intimidated to stand in front of crowds and tell people what to do in order to get the photo for the paper. Mr. Hollis showed me how it was done, but there was always the usual, “How are you? How’s your day going?” And when the job was done, he followed it up with, “I hope you have a good day. See you next month.”
My first Christmas with The Clarion, I received a Christmas card, via snail mail, from the Hollis family, and this tradition has continued ever since.
Going about our days, we can say hello and how’s your mama and how are you, and rarely do we actually stop and take to heart the response. Mr. Hollis is one of those who means what he says, and he genuinely wants to know how you are. He remembers past conversations, even if it was just small talk. With him, it’s sincere small talk.
Any errands I have to run during the holidays are brightened because I can usually find him standing outside the entrance, ringing that bell, no matter how inclement or cold the weather. And what a comfort it is to know that he is there because he truly cares. There is nothing fake about Robbie Hollis, and that’s hard to find these days.
This recognition warms my heart, and it should bring a warm and fuzzy feeling to you, reader, because there are still good, genuine, caring people out there in the world, and they are on your team.
“Mr. Robbie Hollis has been the bell ringer for the Salvation Army for the past nine years during the Christmas season,” Michaele Gulledge/Salvation Army Director for Jackson and DeKalb counties stated. “We appreciate him more than we can say. He helps us help others in Jackson County, helping us do the most good.”
Hollis is pictured receiving a certificate of appreciation from Angie Casey for his invaluable service all these years.