Volunteering has been her lifelong mission
WINTERSVILLE — Sandy Grimm has spent most of her life helping others.
After all, the Steubenville native has been involved in some charity or another from the time she was a child.
“I grew up volunteering,” Grimm said. “My mother was a volunteer, and I have been involved in volunteer work since I was a kid. Whether it was Special Olympics or Girl Scouts, that’s just how I grew up, and I love doing it.
“My mother was definitely my role model.”
Grimm’s efforts have largely been centered on helping the area’s youth in a multitude of ways.
She has been a teacher, either full or part time, since 1971. In that time, she’s also coached swimming and tennis.
“I love kids,” she said. “I love to coach and teach them what they need to know. I still love working with kids.”
Grimm is a substitute teacher for Steubenville City Schools, noting after retirement and moving away for a while, she never lost the desire to teach the youth.
“It’s been wonderful,” she said of her time as a teacher and coach.
She noted that being a teacher allowed her the opportunity to help bring kids into the sports of swimming and tennis.
“I was able to interact with kids and get them involved in something they had not thought about doing,” she said. “If you have a coach who works with you and encourages you, it not only helps keep you in physical shape, but teaches you about working with others.
“Swimming and tennis are individual events, but you also have to work as a team because your points go toward the team score. As Mr. Rodgers would say, cooperation.”
Outside of the school system, her dedication to the area’s youth does not stop.
Grimm has been involved with many programs, including Kingdom Kids and Vacation Bible School, through her church — Wintersville United Methodist, where she has served as an assistant youth leader.
“I’ve been all sorts of different things over the years at the church,” she said.
Her reach through the church goes well beyond the Ohio Valley, as it includes Operation Christmas Child, a program headed by Franklin Graham that packs shoe boxes to send items to children around the world.
“I’m in charge of it, but I have a lot of help,” she said. “It involves packing boxes the size of a shoe box with necessities for kids, things like soap and wash rags, and things like toys and school supplies and all sorts of things for the kids. They can end up in any country.”
She noted the church has a ‘good neighbors’ program that serves local people, as well as various other programs for adults. Prior to COVID-19, Grimm also gave manicures to seniors in the area’s nursing homes.
Grimm also went on a mission trip to Kentucky at the Red Bird Mission to serve the poor in that region of the country as well.
“My particular group did some flooring at a trailer,” she said of the trip. “It was a wonderful experience. We met some great people and hopefully provided a service to some people who weren’t able to (do it on their own).”
She said the sense of pride and community in the Ohio Valley is key.
“We’re a smaller community, and everyone just kind of jumps in where they see a need,” she said.
To be recognized as a community star is something incredibly humbling for Grimm, who said she just did what her mother taught her.
“I’m overwhelmed,” she said. “The gentleman who nominated me, I actually wrote him a thank-you note. This is truly a surprise. I couldn’t believe that I got this.
“It’s been a big part of my life, and I have enjoyed it.”