Public Relations / Community Service Committee

Gathers Food Donations

On a rainy recent Saturday, the Shelby County Democrats made life  a little easier for some struggling families by conducting a successful non-perishable food drive.  The collection point, originally planned for the Big Lots / Staples parking lot in Pelham, was quickly and efficiently re-rerouted to the Pelham Community Services Building because of the weather.

Members of the Democratic Party and others who support their efforts joined forces to collect hundreds of pounds of canned and packaged foods, with an emphasis on single-serving containers with easy-open lids.  The need for such kid-friendly meals and snacks became urgent when Alabama, under the leadership of Governor Kay Ivey, refused to participate in a federally-funded program that provides summer food assistance to low-income families with children in school.  

According to Public Relations Committee Chair Leslie Tyus, “In families where children qualify for free or reduced-price lunches at school, the grocery bill increases when those growing children are out of school.  The summer food program provides extra grocery money during the summer months.  But sadly, not in Alabama.”

The generous donations collected by the Democrats will be distributed by local non-profit social service organizations.

Shelby Democrats Fill

Middle School Teachers’ Wish Lists

‘Tis the season when students of all ages are excitedly collecting supplies to enable a successful school year.  But students aren’t alone with concerns about materials for school.  In too many school districts, dwindling funds for public schools lead to teachers stocking classroom necessities out of their own pockets.

The Shelby County Democratic Party membership is heavy with teachers, retired teachers, former teachers, and other good-hearted people who want to support public education.  Many of them came together as volunteers on Saturday, August 5, to collect donations of items specifically requested by teachers and counselors from three of Shelby County’s middle schools.

Organized by the tireless Leslie Tyus, Community Service Chair of the county Dems, the morning’s work resulted in thousands of items which will be quickly distributed to Thompson, Calera, and Columbiana middle schools, and will ultimately be used by students who need them.  In addition to recording, organizing, boxing, and loading all the donations, the volunteers were also introduced by county Chair Marsha Sturdevant to the new Executive Director of the Alabama Democratic Party, Tom Miro.  Mr. Miro was quite impressed with the quantity of useful school supplies amassed by the group, as well as the dedication of the volunteers from Shelby County’s Democrats.

We’re Trying to Clean Up the County !!!

May, 2023

After many days of soaking rain showers, Community Service Committee Chair Leslie Tyus, by sheer force of will, kept the rain away on Saturday, May 20, for May’s donation drive.  Volunteers gathered at our often-used outdoor venue, the parking lot near Staples and Big Lots in Pelham, to receive donations of household cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items.  A sea of containers of laundry detergent, dish soap, disinfecting cleaners, body wash, soap, and shampoo, plus piles of packages of toilet paper, paper towels, and feminine hygiene products quickly covered the asphalt under the white tent sporting our huge Shelby County Democrats banner.

In addition to Committee Chair Tyus and County Chair Marsha Sturdevant, several volunteers included the usual suspects Troy Goss, Sheila Roche, Chris Nelson, and Cheryl Olin, plus the welcome addition of first-time volunteers Don and Nancy Simmer and Sheila Pavlovac, all of whom helped unload donor’s cars and organize items.  As usually happens at the donation drives, folks dropped by to express surprise at finding an active and engaged Democratic Party in Shelby County.  It’s always fun to meet people who are happy to know that there are other Dems around.

Luckily, some of the volunteers drive large vehicles, because three SUVs were filled to bursting with all the items collected, which will help clients of the Shelby Baptist Association Ministries, Shelby County Emergency Assistance, and Oak Mountain Mission Ministries.

Don’t be shy about volunteering; we have fun and we help people.  Watch the Shelby Democrats newsletter for announcements of future projects.

Shelby Democrats Collect Diapers

For Babies and Elders!!!

March, 2023


Diapers are expensive, as any new parent or caretaker of an incontinent adult can attest.  The Shelby County Democratic Party’s latest community service project, led by Public Relations Committee Chair Leslie Tyus, was successful in helping families who struggle to obtain these necessary supplies by organizing a Diaper and Wipes Drive.  Not the most glamorous of products, disposable diapers and wipes make a huge difference in the lives of people who depend upon them, no pun intended.  And nothing is more stressful than to run out of diapers when money is tight.

On Saturday, March 25 at the Community Room at Shelby County Services Building, members of the Democratic Party plus their friends converged on the site with bags and boxes and loaded car trunks.  A total of 2073 baby items, including diapers and packs of wipes, plus 493 adult care products, including incontinence garments and packs of adult-size wipes, were collected.

Shelby Baptist Association Ministry, Oak Mountain Ministries, and the Elder Justice Center of Alabama, an arm of the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging, received all the donated items and will distribute them to needy families and individuals county-wide.

Democrats & Eastern Star Collect 
Warm Clothing & Blankets  –  January, 2023


The Shelby County Democrats and the Order of the Eastern Star, Harris Pride chapter, are a great team.  On Sunday afternoon, January 29, a day of constant chilly rainfall, nothing dampened the warm generosity of Democrats and Eastern Star members.  Thanks to the efforts of Democratic Chair Marsha Sturdevant, the site for this donation collection was indoors in the Community Room of the Shelby County Services Building in Pelham.  The volunteers who man the collection drives are a hardy bunch, but the day would have been much less pleasant if they’d had to shiver under a tent trying to keep all the donations dry.

As steady as the rain falling outside, a parade of donors laden with new or gently worn work coats, elegant ladies’ coats, men’s and women’s jackets — some with carefully selected matching scarves, children’s winter wear of all types, hoodies, raincoats, gloves, hats, more scarves, new underwear and socks, plus blankets and even handmade quilts streamed in for the two hours of the event.  It was an explosion of kindness from the many donors who drove through the rain to help their neighbors.

The volunteers had the daunting task of boxing and bagging this mountain of comfort, which was then delivered to agencies who help people in need county-wide.  Because of the big hearts and open wallets of Democrats and Eastern Star members, many people in Shelby County are warmer now.



Shelby Democrats Collect Hygiene Items
for Thompson Students – September, 2022

On a sunny Saturday morning in September, a group of volunteers from the Shelby County Democratic Party and the Shelby County Partners for Progress in Education gathered to accept donations for students who struggle to maintain their standards of hygiene while in school.  Solicitations for these products were made to members of both groups and their friends and neighbors.

The Staples / Big Lots parking lot on Pelham Parkway was graced with the white tent and large banner of Shelby Dems, to show donors where to drop off their generous gifts.  Collected items included soap and body wash, toothpaste and toothbrushes, feminine hygiene items, deodorant, first aid supplies, razors and shave cream, shampoo and conditioner, and much more.

Thompson High and Middle Schools were the grateful recipients of this bounty. The items will help students whose living conditions may lack necessities like running water or a place to shower, and who find assistance at school.

The volunteers expressed much gratitude to the kind-hearted and compassionate folks who donated.



Shelby Democrats Collect Food
for Shelby Emergency Assistance – August, 2022

On the morning of Saturday, August 20, a pavilion at George W. Roy Recreational Park in Calera resembled a mini-grocery, with cases of canned goods, stacks of cereal boxes, and bags full of a bounty of non-perishable food items.  Volunteers from the Shelby County Democratic Party helped unload and organize donations from generous people who heard about the food drive at the monthly Democratic Party meeting or from local media reports.  All items donated were delivered to Shelby Emergency Assistance (SEA), to assist in that organization’s mission of providing aid to people in need.

Concurrent with the food collection was a canvassing effort during which several enthusiastic volunteers roamed the streets of the subdivisions nearest the park, ringing doorbells and informing residents of the Democratic candidates running in the upcoming election.  Included among those volunteers were Ashley N. Bell, candidate for Shelby County District Court Judge (Family Court) and Chris Nelson, candidate for Alabama House District 41.  It’s a special thrill for someone innocently opening their door to a stranger to find themselves face-to-face with a candidate who’ll be on the November ballot.  Slow, hot, tiring though it is, personal contact is the best way to connect with a potential voter, as Ashley and Chris can testify.

Canvassers returning to the pavilion found not only a cornucopia of donated groceries, but also a welcome lunch of deli sandwiches, fresh fruit, and cookies awaiting.  The exhilaration of positive responses from potential voter contacts plus the reward of a refreshing, healthy (plus cookies) lunch made it a satisfying Saturday morning.

Keep an eye on this website for announcement of the next community service project and canvassing opportunities.  Join Shelby Dems in their grass-roots campaign to elect Democrats up and down the ballot.

Shelby County Democrats Collect School Supplies
While Introducing Candidates – July, 2022

A large Shelby County Democrats banner flew proudly from a pavilion at Veteran’s Park on the morning of Saturday, July 23, marking the location of both a school-supply collection point and a staging area for canvassers.

An enthusiastic group from the local Democratic Party were joined by candidates who will appear on the November ballot.  Ashley N. Bell, candidate for Shelby County District Court Judge, plus Prince Cleveland and Chris Nelson, candidates for State House 43 and41 respectively, joined the volunteers who spread out in the Valleydale/Inverness area to knock on doors and make new friends.

The heat and humidity were real, but forgotten in the exhilaration that came with every welcome from a resident who was happy to learn about (even meet!) the well qualified and capable Democrats who are running for office.  While the canvassers made their rounds, other volunteers stayed at the park to receive donations of school supplies from local Democrats and friends of Dems.  A truck load of the basics, from pencils and paper to notebooks and crayons and glue, were delivered that afternoon to Shelby Emergency Assistance for distribution to children from struggling families.

The canvassers returned to join the other volunteers in a delightful spread of deli sandwiches, fresh fruit, and cookies, organized by some generous members.

Making sure that all children have what they need to begin the school year is a simple yet significant act.  Shelby Dems try to live the motto of a respected Democratic leader: “Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

Democrats Clean Up While Canvassing – June, 2022


With multi-tasking all the rage, the Shelby County Democrats bought into the trend on Saturday, June 11, and combined canvassing with litter cleanup.

About a dozen sunscreen-slathered Democrats from Shelby and other counties gathered at the Helena Sports Complex for a refresher course on Mini-Van, assignment of turfs, and distribution of litter-pickers and garbage bags.  It may sound weird, but it actually makes sense – people want their neighborhoods neat and we want people in neighborhoods to know about Democrats running for office.

In some well-groomed areas of Helena litter was not easy to find, but most teams managed to find a stray candy wrapper or soda can, so the garbage bags did not remain empty.  Meanwhile, the canvassers’ hearts were filled with joy when they had repeated conversations with voters who were delighted to learn of well-qualified, dedicated Democrats whose names will appear on the November ballot.

Each canvassing team told the same story – a resident confirmed being a Democrat and declared that they were the only Dem on the street.  Then the canvassers found a neighbor of that person who was also a Democrat, then another neighbor.  We need to create a secret handshake.  Don’t despair – you may have a like-minded person right next door.




Shelby County Democrats, SCPPE Collect Food for Kids – May, 2022


The tireless volunteers of the Shelby County Democratic Party and Partners for Progress in Education collected over 2300 individual items of “kid-friendly” foods at their monthly service project on Saturday, May 21.  Consisting of easily opened prepared food or meal items requiring minimal preparation, this collection focused on the needs of school-age children in struggling families.  Many schools in the county whose population is considered food-insecure have programs to provide meals for children during the summer out-of-school months, and these donations will go to those schools to help fill some otherwise empty little bellies.

An outpouring of support from the Shelby Democratic groups and other good-hearted people resulted in a bounty of supplies.  The volunteers manning the drop-off site at the Big Lots / Staples parking lot in Pelham expressed amazement over both the number of donors and amount of donations, demonstrating the compassion and generosity of supporters.

The Democrats are grateful for the support of community members as well as their own members for making their essential items drives so successful.  Next month’s service project will not involve a collection of donations.  Watch this space for announcements of that upcoming, exciting venture.






Essential Supplies Drive – April, 2022


Shelby County Democrats Collect Essential Supplies


On the morning of Saturday, April 23, a convivial group of like-minded folks met at the Big Lots/Staples parking lot in Pelham to collect, divide, and distribute items necessary for running a home, like laundry detergent, soap, shampoo, household cleaners, toothpaste, paper products, and sanitary supplies.

Dozens of generous members of the Democratic Party, as well as their friends and neighbors, contributed boxes and bags and piles of these essentials.They will be distributed through helping agencies to families who sometimes struggle to have enough food, making cleaning supplies not a top priority.

By passing on the donations to the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging, Oak Mountain Mission Ministries, Shelby Baptist Association Ministries, and Shelby County Emergency Assistance, the Shelby Dems support these organizations in their missions of helping people in need.





Food Drive – March, 2022






Shelby County Democrats


Alabama Democratic Party

Sponsor Food Drive


On Saturday, March 26, under a huge banner emblazoned with “Shelby County Democrats” and braving a brisk wind that tried but failed to turn the white tent into a sail, several dedicated Democrats spent their morning unloading and organizing donations of food.  Generous donations poured in from Democrats well known to the group as well as others who had heard of the food drive and were welcomed as prospective members.

By noon, enough shelf-stable groceries had been accumulated for two SUVs and one pickup truck to be loaded to capacity.  This bounty will be given to Shelby County Emergency Assistance, Shelby Baptist Association Ministries, Oak Mountain Mission Ministries, and Elvin Hill Elementary School for distribution to those who need it.







Democrats Donate Diapers – February, 2022

Democrats Donate Diapers
by the Dozens and Dozens!


Over 3100 diapers were collected by the intrepid volunteers of the Shelby County Democratic Party on a frigid Saturday in February.  

Pickup trucks and SUVs sporting signs proclaiming Democrats Donate Diapers huddled in the parking lot at Big Lots in Pelham to accept the donations.  An anthill of activity ensued, with generous donors advancing from all directions to converge on the ever-growing pile of diapers on a tarp between the vehicles.

A well-known Democratic activist arrived with her car loaded with donations from her sorority, and another faithful Dem said that she budgeted $100 to see how many diapers she could buy.  Answer:  a lot.  A young mother stopped her car and jumped out, thrilled to find that Democrats abound in Shelby County, then she hurried home and returned with unopened boxes of diapers that her baby had outgrown, and left with an invitation to get involved with the Democratic Party.

The diapers, in sizes ranging from newborn babies to adults, were distributed by the volunteers to Shelby County Emergency Assistance in Montevallo, Oak Mountain Ministries in Pelham, Shelby Baptist Association in Columbiana, and Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging in Alabaster.

After surviving January’s successful school supply drive conducted in cold and windy conditions, then experiencing ice cube hands and feet while collecting diapers in February, the volunteers decided to order warm weather for the March donation event.  No matter the weather, snow or heat, rain or sleet, the Democrats will do our best to provide for the needs of the neediest in our county.










School Supply Drive – January, 2022


Successful supply drive by Shelby County Democrats benefits students at local middle schools


On a blustery day in late January, a few hardy Democrats shivered in a parking lot off Highway 31 in Pelham.  Two SUVs stood side-by-side displaying signs for the Shelby County Democrats and announcing their School Supply Drive.  

A steady stream of cars and trucks drove up to deposit boxes of pencils and crayons, stacks of notebook paper, binders of all sizes, arrays of composition books, piles of colorful glue sticks, and backpacks galore into boxes, bags, and bins inside the vehicles.  Donors from all over the county learned of the drive by word of mouth or from Democrats making appeals to neighbors, church members, and civic organizations.

After three hours of collecting, the SUVs were jam-packed with enough school supplies to satisfy the requests of five area middle schools.  One generous volunteer offered her garage as storage and staging area for the distribution, which happened a few days later.  Hours of counting, sorting, boxing, and labeling resulted in a bounty of supplies that hard-working Democrats delivered to grateful guidance counselors at Calera, Montevallo, Columbiana, Pelham Park, and Thompson Middle Schools.