Robert Weaver has been known as “The Ice Cream Man” in Talladega, Ala., for over 30 of his 83 years. Weaver began volunteering at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and soon started bringing along ice cream for the kids. The Institute estimates Weaver made 12,000 visits to the campus.
“Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much.” —Luke 16:10a
He has also done everything from teaching kids to ride tricycles to helping raise more than $200,000 for the construction of the institute’s center for prayer and spiritual counseling.
The state of Alabama and the city of Talledega honored Weaver for his years of volunteer service by naming a street Robert Weaver Way. The Institute’s director stated, “Robert Weaver is an icon in this city. He grew up here. He has continued to give back to this community for all of his 83 years. Robert has committed more than half of his life to these blind and deaf students. That’s astounding.”
When asked to respond to the accolades, Weaver said, “I have often said that I don’t hit home runs, I just do little things. It is the little things that matter so much in people’s lives. As I look back over my life, working with the children here has been part of my calling—it is why I was put on this earth. People think I’m a volunteer, but actually I’m the highest paid person here. I get my pay by direct deposit—direct to my heart.”
Whether we have 26 years or 86 years, investing in the lives of people is the greatest exchange we can ever make.
GRACIOUS LORD, it seems the people who focus on doing consistent small things end up making more of an impact on the world over a lifetime than those who attempt the grandiose. Guide me in the “Weaver Way” to do the little things that make so much difference and help me to stay focused on what You have called me to do.
Sadly, Robert Weaver, the inaugural winner of the NASCAR Foundation’s Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award in 2011, passed away in 2014. He was 86 years old.