Greenville Community hero has passion for helping children succeed

·3 min read

Missie Mahoney Galaher wants children to succeed.

She helps make that success happen as a volunteer for Unity Health on Main's tutoring and reading enhancement program.

A goal of the program is to reduce stress for children, parents, and educators and also to support children in their education goals.

It's a program that would not be possible "without the amazing support and valuable service" of Galaher, said Maria Gray, community wellness case manager at Unity Health.

Galaher's dedication to providing free tutoring services to children in need, commitment to education equity and "the improvement to the quality of life of people in our community," makes her worthy of recognition, Gray said.

Galaher is being recognized as a Community Hero Greenville.

The Community Hero Greenville program, sponsored by the Greenville Federal Credit Union, is our way of highlighting the generous, noble, and selfless work of those among us who work tirelessly — often behind the scenes — to make our community a better place.

Missie Mahoney Galaher, poses for a portrait at Unity Health, Monday, June 14, 2022.
Missie Mahoney Galaher, poses for a portrait at Unity Health, Monday, June 14, 2022.

Galaher, who was nominated for the honor by Unity Health on Main, was described by Gray as a former teacher and retired IT professional "who has timely served the community with her skills and knowledge."

Also according to Gray, Galaher has donated more than 200 volunteer hours of tutoring services and to the preparation of worksheet folders.

"The estimated value of a volunteer hour in South Carolina, according to Independent Sector, is $25.47 per hour, which represents a total value of over $5,094 of free tutoring services to the community," Gray said in the nomination letter.

Galaher said she is very appreciative of the honor.

"I love what I do," she said. "It's very rewarding, in itself, volunteering and working with these children and so it is very nice to be recognized, but I'm not sure I would term me as a hero.

"The children are the heroes in this situation, she said. "They're the ones doing a lot of extra work."

Unity Health is a non-profit organization in Greenville that provides holistic primary care services to underserved communities.

Unity Health's virtual tutoring program was launched in January 2021.

It was created with "the extraordinary support and leadership of our volunteer tutor due to the pandemic," Gray said, for those identified through case management as struggling with academics or high levels of stress.

The program had two elementary students when it initially launched. A third student was added to the program in April 2021. The tutoring and reading program have continued during the 2021-2022 school year. Two children are currently receiving tutoring services and reading support two days per week.

Galaher is a native of Upstate, New York  who has lived in South Carolina for over 20 years.  She loves working with children and helping them to succeed in some way.

With Unity Health, she saw the children's need for help with virtual learning.

"Luckily, I have two backgrounds. I have a Master's in education. And I also have a degree in computer science," Galaher said. "I was able to learn Google Classroom on my own. So, in turn, I was able to help students with classwork and to help them understand how (Google) Classroom works. It was very difficult for the children to understand what they needed to do.

"They didn't have a schedule and a teacher directing them anymore. They were sitting in front of a computer and trying to understand the software. So, that's where we came in."

Galaher said the most rewarding part of her volunteer work is seeing the children improve and and their confidence return.

"I considerably, thoroughly appreciate, and just really enjoy and love to help these children. Seeing children succeed is a good thing," she said.

This article originally appeared on Greenville News: Greenville Community hero helps children succeed with tutoring program