COMMUNITY HEROES: Carter County school counselor creates clothes closet for students

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CARTER COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – It is a tough job, but their work is vital in the education system. School counselors work to help students manage behavior and maintain grades but one counselor in the Tri-Cities is known to do much more.

This week’s Community Hero is Blair Adams.

“You can’t take these kids home, and sometimes it’s hard when I go home to realize that I can’t take every kid home and help to the full extent that I want to, but I can at least do it while I’m here and love them,” Hunter Elementary School counselor Blair Adams said.

While the job has its challenges, it is rewarding.

“One of my professors back in grad school told me if you always put the kid first, you’ll always be right,” Adams said.

The elementary years are crucial for students to develop their academic learning abilities and learn decision-making and simple life skills, and that is what Adams brings past the front doors of Hunter Elementary School.

“She sees some of the most crucial cases in the home lives and she still keeps positive and she still keeps her faith alive,” her colleague, Ashley Whitmer said. “She improves these kids lives just by being in them.”

Adams has been counseling students for the last seven years. She said she has always had a passion for helping others.

“I actually started out in summer camp being a counselor and just thoroughly enjoyed that. In college, my friends would say, ‘It’s Dr. Phil time’ and then we’d have our own little counseloing sessions,” Adams said.

“She is willing to help everyone including teachers. We can go to her about everything we have on our plates too, and I love that about her,” Whitmer said. “She’s superwoman behind the scenes.”

This year, Aadams created a free clothes closet available for students at Hunter Elementary and Unaka high School, but it is not limted to these two schools. Due to limted spacing at Hunter Elementary, the closet is located at Hunter First Baptist Church, diagonal to from the school.

The clothes closet is currently helping about 30 students from different religiouss or community organizations in the area.

Adams explained, “You’d be amazed. They come here, we let them go through the racks and it’s like Christmas shopping for them and it’s free which they can’t understand or comprehend. A lot of these clothes, some of them are brand new and still have the tags on them. And then they go home with theswe huge bags of clothes and they’re so excited.”

Adams explained that you cannot learn unless your basic needs are met. Having clothes and being warm this winter season is their priority.

She also delivers food bags for the kids.

Whitmer explained. “Some of these children, they school lunch is all they get throughout the day, and she knows that. With the food bags and the clothes closet and all, the kids just see that as the school helping out, but Blair is who’s behind the scenes with all of that.”

She said she is inspired by the teachers she works with everyday.

“I look forward to seeing the smile on the kid’s faces but I also look forward to seeing my coworkers who love just as passionately as I do. We’re like a family,” Adams said. “Their job is really hard and tough, but they come here everyday and smile and love these kids like their own.”

“She’s one of the closest people to Jesus that I’ve ever met in my life. Every morning, she send me a worship song to start my day off right,” Whitmer said. “She’s a hero to even me. With the worship songs everyday, and just her Facebook status on what Bible verse she’s reading. The fact that she can spread the gospel everywhere she goes, she’s someone we all look up to.”

“Live, love and dance like a minion is what I’ve always joked about, but love is the main premise of it,” Adams said.

Because she understands that even the little things are what mean the most she is our community hero.

Adams said, “Anything you can do to show someone love goes a long way.”

Whitmer said, “We could all be a little more like Jesus but Blair, she just reminds us of that. Everybody needs a Blair Adams in their life.”

If you would like to donate to the clothes closet, you can contact Hunter Elementary School at (423) 547-4074.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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