A love for helping others


Doris George-Manning threads a needle as 7-year-old Steven Davis and 9-year-old Tarkesha Taylor finish up a section of a quilt. Manning visits the Woodlawn Park Boys and Girls Club to teach children to quilt.

JOSHUA L. HALLEY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, June 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 31, 2006 at 11:07 a.m.
From throwing birthday parties for people turning 85 or older to teaching children how to quilt at a local boys and girls club, Doris George-Manning enjoys helping people.
"I just love helping others," Manning said. "I give up what I need to do to help someone else. I do so many things."
Manning, who was raised in Long Pond, just outside of Archer, said she decided long ago not to let anybody change her mind about helping others.
"I get a very good feeling that comes over me when I help people," she said.
Manning has been going to the Woodlawn Park Boys and Girls Club daily since April.
"I see good things in the children, regardless of their situations," she said. "I help them with their homework and their manners. That is foremost, their manners. I teach them to respect themselves and others.
"The kids today are not like they were when I was growing up," Manning continued. "Just look at the way they act."
She said she gets on the kids about walking in the door unruly. She went on to say that she had been trying to become a foster grandparent for five years.
Manning, who is 60 years old, also teaches the children about quilting. To her surprise, she said, many more boys than girls attend the quilting class, but she added that all of the children seem to be enjoying the experience.
"The kids have taken to it very well," she said. "After helping them with their homework, we spend two hours each day quilting. It's a lost art, and I wanted to make a difference."
Manning, a proud 1963 graduate of Lincoln High School, said she started quilting in the early 1970s after getting involved with a group called the Older Americans Council. Being around older people as a child led her to join the group. She credits Anna Lupkiewicz with teaching her how to quilt.
Manning said she had a good upbringing, and credits the couple that raised her and her brother, the late Leonard George, for shaping her lifestyle.
"My mother's uncle and his wife raised us," said Manning. "They were Leonard and Daisy Devard, and they taught us to treat people right. I really appreciate all of the values that they instilled in me."
Manning said she does a lot to help people in the Oak Park retirement home where she lives. For example, she threw a birthday party Sunday for one of her neighbors.
"I decorated the tables and prepared some chicken wings, a tossed salad, punch, fruit trays and a birthday cake that looked like it came from Publix," Manning said. "I do that at least once a month."
Manning said she reads to some of her neighbors, and perform various duties for some of the disabled residents.
"I take one of my neighbors to Ward's Supermarket every Saturday," she said. "I just like to do what I know is right."
One of her biggest passions is cooking, especially baking, and she credits her skills to her mother and aunts. She said she did the cake for former University of Florida football star Vernell Brown's wedding, as well as most of the food.
Manning said she also is very active in her church, Hope to the World, where the Rev. Robinsky Reed is the pastor.
"My pastor and my church are very important to me," she said. "I'll be doing most of the cooking for a big picnic we're having in June. I draw strength from my church."
Manning also mentioned that she has volunteered with the group, Power for Elders, headed by Patricia Hilliard-Nunn.
Manning has four children, Darryl, 39, Daisy, 38 and a set of twins, Paul and Paula, 37. She also enjoys spending time with her 10 grandchildren.
Manning's many kind acts do not go unnoticed.
"She is one of those people who gets joy out of helping others," said one of her neighbors, Walter DeCoursey. "You can see the joy on her face when she makes somebody else's life easier or more happy. She is surely remarkable."
Manning does not look at it as being remarkable.
"Helping people is all I know," she said.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

Comments are currently unavailable on this article

▲ Return to Top