There are some people who will help when forced, some who will help when asked and a select few see a problem, throw themselves into the cause and won’t stop until they have done all they can.
That describes Lesley Andy Brock. She believes every child is worthy of her time and effort, no matter the child’s race, income level, or religion. For Lesley, every child is a person of worth and she won’t stop as long as she can help.
She was fortunate, in her words, to have the freedom to be a stay-at-home mother in a time when so many moms had to juggle home and career. While raising her four children, she also helped raise the community’s children. Over the years, when asked if she was planning to join the family business, she invariably replied, “I’m in the business of family.” She knows where her priorities lie. “Children have always been part of my life. I’ve always been passionate about helping children.”
She helped in so many ways. Whether it was instilling values while teaching Bible release time, empowering children to grow through team sports at the Brownson House or bringing music into classrooms through Symphony South, Lesley spent decades improving the lives of children in Washington County, often providing educational tools at her own expense.
For the past six years, she has volunteered at the LeMoyne Community Center (LCC), most recently acting as volunteer coordinator and liaison with the W&J students who serve as tutors. Through her many roles at the Center, she helps children improve academically, read better, learn leadership skills, feel valued and maybe most importantly, have a safe place to go after school to do homework and meet friends. She helps these children, who have historically had few options, succeed in life.
Lesley is too humble to talk about herself, but the people she works with are not as shy.
According to LCC Acting Director Linda Harris, Brock “has a genuine love of learning which is contagious to those she comes in contact with. Ms. Lesley is always sharing her love of the Center and its students with those she encounters.”
“She is a great teacher and mentor,” says LCC Food Services Manager Chef John Williams. “She’s truly a blessing for the children and the program.”
Former LCC Executive Director Joyce Ellis originally recruited her along with her church group.
“I was impressed with what they were doing with so little help,” Lesley remembers. She saw how the team at LCC was committed to being a force in community.
After volunteering, Lesley found herself in an unfamiliar position. “I saw a picture of the management team on LCC’s Facebook page and saw, for the first time, that I’m the minority. I realized this was my opportunity to contribute to racial reconciliation.”
Lesley admits, “I learned what we all have in common. We all want students in our schools to succeed and thrive as they learn the skills needed. That we all want to be encouraged, treated with respect and dignity. And we can accomplish these goals by working hard together.”
She sums it up in one short sentence: “We all need to change.”
The WCCF is proud to announce that Lesley Andy Brock has been selected to receive the 2021 Louis E. Waller Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes a local individual or organization devoted to the promotion of human welfare and/or the advancement of social reforms.
Before she passed away this past December, Joyce Ellis weighed in with her appreciation of Lesley Brock. “Thank you, Lesley,” she wrote, “for being a strong force and advocate of the LeMoyne Center.”
Lesley knows that by giving, she also receives. “My life is richer because of the people I have worked alongside and the students I have met at the LeMoyne Community Center.”
By Dorothy Tecklenburg