BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Pat Templet is looking at thank you notes with her Boys and Girls Club on-site supervisor Yameka Carmouche. Pat is a volunteer during the school day and for another Boys and Girls club program after school.
"She's normally working one on one or in a small group to make sure they understand their school work and do their homework. And these are the cards to say thanks," Yameka Carmouche said.
The cards are covered in spots. That's because they're supposed to be chocolate chips.
"I just get them out of the box and put them on the plate. The kids think these are the greatest cookies in the world. I don't have the heart to tell them that they're not really!" laughed Templet.
One card featured a child's drawing of a woman in a dress. Donna Britt asked Pat, "Is that you?" Templet laughed, "I'm hoping it is. 'cause I'm a lot slimmer there in the picture!"
9News visited Pat Templet on her birthday, so Donna convinced Pat to go shopping.
At Clegg's Nursery on Donmoor near Florida Boulevard, Donna said, "She and I share a trial and error style of gardening, and just love to dig in the dirt."
The women point out that Templet's volunteer work is a lot like gardening...young lives require that you be there. Many of the children Templet works with don't have stability in their lives.
Pat said the kids depend on you. "They need to know - they have to know that they can trust you. They have to learn some discipline that can help them in life."
"If I tell them if they do something or don't do something, they're gonna not get to do this. They know that," said Templet.
Donna laughed "So we had oodles of choices here at Clegg's Nursery, and this is her choice!"
Pat chose a vine with a flower that looks like an umbrella blown inside out. Its petals were all upside down with the stamen sticking in the air. Pat cooed, "It's so unusual."
But just like some children, Pat's choice plant had some issues. When she tried to pull up the pot, she discovered the vine had grown into plants around it with tendrils wrapping around and around the neighboring branches.
Pat said, "OK, I may not get this plant." But Donna insisted, "Now hold on! Sometimes a child has problems that have to be worked out before he or she can properly do their studies! This plant is like that."
Templet added, "You need to be there, even when it's not a good time. You don't run on them."
With help from the Clegg's staff, the two women had their "Passion Flower" vine and Donna was happy with Pat's birthday present.
"So Pat celebrates her birthday with a fiesty new plant," Donna said. "And looks forward to a new school year for the chance to help more children.
Capital One Bank, Volunteer United and WAFB are proud to honor outstanding volunteers with the Power of 9 award.