Many area residents are truly Angels on Earth, selflessly giving of their time and talents to help others in the community. The Messenger is honoring those people in a special series of articles. To submit someone for consideration, readers are asked to send the person’s name, contact information and the things they do to help Obion County, along with the submitter’s contact information and why they think this person should be recognized as an “Angel on Earth.” Information must be submitted in writing by emailing email@example.com or by mailing to Donna Ryder, The Messenger, P.O. Box 430, Union City, TN 38281.
Anyone who knows Catherine Nailling knows her for her abundance of positive energy.
Ms. Nailling volunteers with organizations around the county to use her special energy to its fullest potential.
“To whom much has been given, much is expected,” said Ms. Nailling, the fifth-grade science and social studies teacher at Lake Road Elementary School. “And I don’t mean financially,” she said. “No, I have been given a great family and wonderful friends, so I feel it’s only appropriate that I give back.”
Ms. Nailling was raised learning the importance of giving back and she encourages everyone to start volunteering young. She grew up participating in Chimes for Charity with her family and in college she became the service officer in her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi. Since 2005, she has been a member of the Union City J’Cettes, a community organization to support and volunteer around Union City and Obion County.
She previously served as J’Cettes president and chairman and helped put on the Project of the Year in her years serving with the organization. She has been awarded J’Cette of the Year and Key Woman.
She continues to give back to her community through the organization by working with Chimes for Charity — having served as chairman and as a member of the organizational board — and by participating as a member of the group’s Hometown Walk of Hope team. On the Hometown Walk of Hope team, she has used her positive energy by participating in the clown competition and putting on a show at the lip sync.
Clown competitions and lip syncs aren’t the only places you can find Ms. Nailling putting on a show. Throughout the years, she has let her light shine in over half a dozen Masquerade Theatre productions, playing lead roles in “Steel Magnolias,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Christmas Belles” and “Dearly Beloved.”
Don’t let that fool you though, Ms. Nailling does her share of behind the scenes work, too. She takes special interest in local organizations such as Friends for a Cure that supports her family and friends. Friends for a Cure raises support and awareness for juvenile diabetes and Cystic Fibrosis for children like Ada Reed Rogers, daughter of Michael and Laney Rogers, some of Ms. Nailling’s close friends. Friends for a Cure puts on events like the recent Glo for a Cure 5k and an adult kickball tournament, Kickin’ It for a Cure. In these events, as awards are being handed out and as the action is taking place, Ms. Nailling can be found doing the backstage work — cleaning up the event or seeing that everything is running smoothly.
“I like organizing and planning out events because I can use the strategic planning part of my brain, which I enjoy, and I see total fruition of my plans carried out,” said Ms. Nailling.
She also uses her planning skills working in her fifth grade class and helping the parent-teacher organization at Lake Road. There, another of Ms. Nailing’s passions shines through. “I can’t hide it!” she smiled and laughed. “I love to be around and work with kids.”
That, Ms. Nailling said, is the most important thing — to find a passion that you enjoy.
“Finding something to be involved with that you care about is the most important thing because that gives you a passion that shines through everything you do.”
And that must be what Ms. Nailling has found, because no matter if she’s performing at the Hometown Walk of Hope or teaching her fifth-graders her new favorite dance move, she is always illuminated with a passionate, serving spirit.
Editor’s note: Messenger summer intern Hope Montgomery is a sophomore at Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. She is the daughter of Bob and Amy Montgomery of Union City.
Published in The Messenger 5.17.13