Giving Your Best: Debbie Callan - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Debbie Callan

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Evans, GA -

If there's one person who deserves a day off on this Labor Day, it's our September Giving Your Best award winner, Debbie Callan. 

A media center filled with friends and former colleagues will vouch for that!

Debbie retired from Columbia County schools after a 34-year career in the classroom. But when one of her former students needed a lung transplant, she took the lead as a community organizer for the Children's Organ Transplant Association.

Through several events -including yard sales, a motorcycle ride, and BBQ dinners- she raised over $89,000 for COTA.

News Channel 6's Jennie Montgomery now, with the Giving Your Best Award.

"We've just tried to do what we think the Lord would want us to do with our children."

She's described as a Godly woman...  

"We've made them accountable for things, loved them unconditionally."

And God surely knew what he was doing when he put Sawyer Mobley in Debbie Callan's path.

"You know, the fact that he's here, the fact that he's swimming."

There was a time when it didn't look like Sawyer would be here. He has cystic fibrosis and needed a lung transplant. His mom, Angel, looked to the newly-retired teacher for help.

"When Angel had asked me if I would be community leader for COTA, I didn't even know what COTA was. It just opened up so many doors, so many opportunities- so many ways I could have reached out to the community but the community reached out to us. Facebook, believe it or not- you can say what you want to about social media- but that's where we've reached out to the people. That's where we've been able to reach out and they've responded."

Responded to dinner/dances, t-shirt sales a 5-K and more, all kinds of fundraisers to get money for Sawyer's transplant.

"My girls would be there, and a lot of these adults in here, teachers that I have taught with have helped with the fundraising."

And they don't know how she does it all, from her church activities to tutoring, to part-time teaching at GRU. Daughter Danielle Callan Starcher says her caring nature didn't just start after she retired!

"As long as I can recall, she's always thinking of others and never thinking of herself, so she's been a great Christian example for us to follow."

Both daughters teach in Columbia County schools, and her son is in medical school. THEY are the reason she does what she does.

"I've been blessed with 3 healthy children, and now 3 healthy grandchildren, you know it makes you want to be able to do something when someone else is less fortunate."  

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