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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

'Copy queen' enjoys giving her time, helping teachers

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Marilyn Hasty, a volunteer at Morehouse Elementary School, makes copes Wednesday afternoon.
MOREHOUSE -- Around Morehouse Elementary, Marilyn Hasty is affectionately known as the "Copy Queen."

For the past 14 years, the Morehouse woman has volunteered every Wednesday afternoon, making photocopies for teachers and handling any other tasks thrown at her.

From noon until school lets out at 3:30 p.m. -- and sometimes later -- on the days she volunteers Hasty can be found racing back and forth from one work room to another across the hallway, making photocopies for teachers in grades K-5 and office personnel.

And she does it all for free.

"It gives the teachers extra time on Wednesday to not have to do this," Hasty said as she retrieved copies of first grade worksheets from a printer.

A basket with Hasty's name sits by each copier in the two work rooms at the school. Throughout the week, teachers and office personnel will drop off their assignments to be copied complete with instructions on how to copy and the number to copy.

Hasty said there never seems to be a shortage in the need for her assistance.

"There's always copies to be made," Hasty assured.

Hasty said she doesn't tire of making copies.

"It breaks my week up. I'm one of the mothers who wanted to stay home with their children," Hasty said.

Over the years, her copying skills have improved.

"I've learned how to operate the machines and shrink and enlarge things," Hasty said, adding copy machines can be pretty temperamental.

Any mistakes made have been honest ones or due to a copy machine malfunction, Hasty said.

In addition to making copies, Hasty is the chair person of the school's collection of labels from Box Tops for Education, Campbell's Labels for Education and Tyson Project A+.

"I enjoy it. If I didn't, I wouldn't be here. I love everybody here. They're like my family," said a teary-eyed Hasty.

Hasty rarely misses her day during the school year; although she usually misses the first and last Wednesday of the school year.

"She's a pretty dedicated volunteer -- and she doesn't even have a child coming here," said Elaine Old, a 28-year first grade teacher at Morehouse.

Hasty probably runs off more paperwork for first graders because those grades don't have workbooks, Old said.

"Anything that gets colored, cut and glued, she copies," Old said about Hasty.

Janet Moll, second grade teacher, who taught Hasty's son, said Hasty's work is a time-saver for the faculty.

"Teachers are allowed one 50-minute planning period a day, and without her help, we would spend at least one of those hours making photocopies each week," Moll said.

In light of National Volunteer Appreciation Week this week, the Morehouse staff honored Hasty with a meal on Wednesday.

"We couldn't have done it without her. She's a valuable asset to the staff and we depend on her a lot. I can't say enough about her. We are definitely blessed to have her," said Sharon Turner, administrative assistant at the school.

Hasty's volunteer work at the school began when her son, Michael, was in second grade. One night at a PTO meeting, the principal requested more parent-volunteers, Hasty recalled.

"I stepped forward and have been here ever since. The inside joke is they let Michael leave after fifth grade and never let me go," Hasty said.

Today Hasty's son is a junior at the University of Missouri-Rolla.

"Sometimes people will ask how I do this for free," Hasty said. "But when that first child gives you a hug and says thank you, that's all you need."

Principal Jeff Williams called Hasty's volunteerism a rarity.

"We just appreciate Marilyn for all the years of service and dedication she's given us and her willingness to provide these hours," Williams said.

And as far as Hasty is concerned, she's not going anywhere anytime soon. She said: "I'll be here until either they close down the doors or I'm physically unable to help."