A few years ago, Dottie Flaherty’s daughter announced her plans to perform one random act of kindness on each day of Lent, the 40 days from Ash Wednesday to Easter often marked by giving up a pleasurable habit as an act of devotion and discipline.

“She came up with 40 different ways to show her children how to give of their time, talents and treasures to be a blessing to others,” Dottie said. “One day, she left a tray of bottled waters at the base of a local mountain running trail with a note to take one. Another day, she baked cookies to give to her children’s school bus driver. She paid for the meal of a person behind her in a drive-thru one day. And the list went on.

“It overwhelmed me with pride,” she added. “I thought, ‘If nothing else, I’ve taught my children to give back to others.’”

A daughter was simply walking in her mother’s footsteps.

For years, Flaherty has surprised and delighted others with her generosity. Like helping to buy a car for a needy family, serving as a certified hospice volunteer for 12 years or recently emptying her wallet on the spot after hearing a friend speak of family members who lost everything in a fire.

Her kindness will impact future generations. For the past 10 years, she has volunteered with the Family, Career and Community Leaders (FCCLA) chapter at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Alabama. The nonprofit career and technical student organization encourages students to make a difference in their families, careers and communities by addressing important personal, work and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. Regions is donating $1,000 to Chelsea’s FCCLA chapter in honor of Flaherty’s Better Life Award.

Congratulations to Dottie Flaherty for winning the December 2017 Better Life Award.