Several weeks ago, I told the story of Arnold and Carol Hillman, who retired as educators in Pennsylvania and moved to South Carolina. Instead of living a life of relaxation and leisure, they threw themselves into volunteer work on behalf of rural schools and created clubs and activities for high school students in a nearby school. I named them to the honor roll of the Blog for their many acts of goodness.

I recently received this email from Arnold.

Diane,

Many wonderful things have happened as a result of your posting of our story on your blog. The most important one was that the chairperson of the House Education Committee called us to talk about what we are doing and how we could help her with rural schools.

We spent a couple of hours with her. She is the majority chair, a former school board member and someone who has traveled around the state to see firsthand what is happening. We can only say thank you.

Arnold and Carol Hillman

I wrote back, and Arnold sent me a photograph of the group of young men he sponsors, called the Jasper Gentlemen. They were wearing matching red blazers and were very handsome.

I asked how he paid for the blazers, and he wrote:

We have gotten donations from friends in PA and local organizations. We pay for any residual cost. We also can only meet with the Gents and the Diamonds and Pearls (young ladies) during lunchtime. We probably bribe them with pizza, Subway and wings. Carol and I pay for the food during the year. We meet with the groups about 3 times a month. We also arrange for an etiquette luncheon. We hire a woman from Georgia who does a great job. We pay for that with donations and sometimes ourselves.

We also take the youngsters to various colleges. Sometimes the colleges pay for lunch. Oft times, the kids pay for a fast food meal. If they don’t have the dough, either the teachers or Carol and I pay. We also give a $2000 dollar scholarship to a graduating senior. We are happy to do all of this “stuff.”

Note to Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos: Goodness is its own reward. Learn from the Hillmans.