The “Thank You for Showing Up” Recognition Series is the Women & Girls Fund’s effort to share stories of local people who go beyond saying “What can I do for you?” to offer simple acts of kindness to help someone in need. “Showing up” is about seeing a need and taking action. Such supportive gestures of caring and generosity of spirit are all around us in the Mid-Shore and make our communities stronger.

RONDA HERMAN, a first-grade teacher at Maple Elementary School in Dorchester County, is responsible for managing the MidShore Meals til Monday (MtM) program at her school. She helps identify food-insecure students who would benefit from taking home a bag of extra food over the weekend and is in charge of seeing that these students receive their bag at the end of each week of school. At Maple ES, 100 students receive Meals til Monday bags every week.

When the Covid-19 pandemic closed schools last March, Ronda didn’t hesitate to STEP UP and show up! She immediately contacted MtM director, Leslie Bishop, to ask if she could get 100 bags once a week to home deliver to her students. When asked why she would do that, she simply replied, “Because they need the food and it’s the right thing to do.” 

Well, Ronda has been doing “the right thing” every week since then; going to her students’ homes, handing out bags of weekend food, and giving out words of encouragement. Now that students are going back to school, Ronda is responsible for teaching her students virtually and in-person, but still makes the time to do her deliveries. To date, Ronda has personally transported over 4,500 bags of food. 

Ronda is committed to this endeavor until all her students return to the classroom and receive their MtM bags at school. Until that happens, Ronda will continue her deliveries to help give her students food and a smile — even with her mask on! 

 Ronda shows up every week to feed her students.
Her simple act of kindness is an inspiration for us all to “show up” to help a friend, co-worker or stranger in need. Thank you, Ronda.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
– Leo Buscaglia