One Ann Arbor Family Strives to Change the World

. December 31, 2015.

A peek inside the Cash house provides a glimpse of a mother-daughter duo heavily involved with community service programs.

“If you have a vision, you need to share that, because sometimes you might be the only impression that others may see. So if you involve yourself and you care and you’re nurturing, that may create the next great leader.”

Those are the words from Laverna Cash, a community leader and a consistent name associated with local projects.  Along with her daughter Alex Cash, the two have created a stable of community projects that involve a variety of local organizations. Together, this mother-daughter duo are making our community better.

Helping others

“It’s good to help others, that’s what life is really about” said the elder Cash, who, she states, has always been a nurturing heart. She adopted four children, including Alex, the youngest. Laverne has opened her doors to six foster children as well.  Her commitment to provide support at her home and in the community stems from her years as a teenager.

“It was always a part of me,” said Laverne. “I think it began when I was a teenager, I thought about the real need of helping and really believing that statement — it takes a village.”

While the Atlanta native has certainly become an Ann Arbor staple, her community service work goes above and beyond what could be expected from even the most dedicated public servant. Serving as a childcare provider for over 37 years, she truly has raised a village.

It starts at home

Perhaps because of all that hard work, Ms. Cash exuded humility and considers  her time to be a privilege. “It feels really special to do community work and take care of so many people,” she said. “I’ve had the opportunity to take care of my (foster) children’s, children. It’s a pretty good feeling”

Alex proves that the apple certainly doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her involvement through her school showcases just how far hard work can carry you. Currently a senior at Skyline High School, Alex’s impact can be felt throughout the community as she serves as President of her school’s Black Student Union, plays on the softball team, and works on a variety of community service projects. Together with her mother, they ran the youth program at New Hope Baptist Church, bringing high school freshman and sophomores to various camps and activities.

Common goals

She certainly follows her mother, as a leader within her  social group by working to promote self-love within the African American community.

“I feel like it’s important to promote self-love and to feel great about being yourself,” said Alex. “It should feel good being black. I just want to help the students that don’t see it.”

The younger Cash is currently weighing her college options (she’s certain she wants to attend an HBCU (historically black college and university)) while planning several community service projects that she, as President of the the Black Student Union, plan to execute by the year’s end. Those projects include summer camps, working with food banks, the Ann Arbor YMCA, school projects,and church community service projects.

“We want to do coat drives, food gathering, and other projects as well throughout the school year,” said Alex. “We want to help other students.”

This mother-daughter combination continues to improve their community before Alex begins her college career. Laverne Cash has kind and inspiring words for the children of the future, stating  “You can be anything you want. It’s important to understand there’s no little ‘I’s’ or little ‘me’s’ here, You matter in this world. Be proud of You. You are very important. Tell yourself you are. It’s important to let your little light shine.”