Daily Point of Light # 2369 Mar 4, 2003

Nancy Simons has always been an advocate for children. She attended every practice for a POP Warner football league. In addition, she was at every game and fundraiser with the team. She also made it possible for children who wanted to participate to attend by giving them a ride.

Simons became a Police Athletic League (PAL) volunteer in 2001. She then worked with the basketball league. Though it is volunteer work, Simons takes it very seriously and is as dedicated to community service as she is to her paying jobs. Though she does work three jobs, Simons always makes time to work with the children in the community.

She has built a basketball court in her back yard. Many times there are 10 to 20 young people playing ball there instead of in the street. Simons makes it a point to help to direct youth and keep them on the right path. Her time as a PAL volunteer in invaluable and the program would not be as successful as it is in Kansas City without her attitude, dedication and demeanor.

She has done a myriad of tasks with the PAL program. Simons has managed and coached basketball. He has helped young people who needed additional instruction or tutoring with their work. She held fundraisers that enabled the basketball team to go to the National PAL Tournament. She speaks to the children about drugs, gangs and the dangers of hanging out in the streets. Simon also gives of her personal space by allowing children to utilize her personal basketball court. She creates a safe friendly environment for youth to participate in educational and fun activities.

Most people go home on a Friday night after working three jobs for the week; however, for Simons, that is the beginning of her real work. She believes it is her moral obligation to help keep the children off the streets, out of gangs, in school and out of trouble. It is evident that she is serious about this as she spends all of her free time doing just that.

When the PAL Officer was off work due to an injury, Simons stepped up so the children could continue to have recreational activities. She made sure all the young people had something productive to do during the evening hours in his absence. Many of the children in the PAL program come from single parents homes and their parent is not able to see them play sports. Simons steps in to fill that void and continue to encourage the youth. She treats all of the children as they were her very own, and they appreciate the sacrifice she makes to spend time with them.