10 Country: Bettye’s Perfect Gift - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: Bettye’s Perfect Gift

July 15, 2003

Irwinville, Ga. -- Sometimes we find it most difficult to buy a gift for someone who seems to have everything. But, a woman makes a gift that few people ever receive.

Bettye Singletary sews prayer pillows for cancer patients every week, as well as organizes fund-raisers for needy people.

But give Bettye Singletary $25, a little time, and you’ll get quite a conversation piece suitable for framing. “They just fascinate me.”

She’s talking about plain, ordinary dollar bills that have lost much of their value, but are invaluable in her artwork. She takes those old George Washingtons and gives them new purpose.

Would Ole George care? “He might be proud that I’m remembering him.” With twenty-three, one dollar bills, she prefers brand new ones, she folds, tapes and presses them into a new type of service, arranging them into a picture. “If they don’t fit in one place, you put them in another.”

Her pictures come rather close to the perfect gift for the person who seems to have everything. “I don’t have any trouble getting rid of them when you make them. Somebody wants them.”

She gives most of her creations away. “I love to give. I’d rather give than receive any day.” She gives more than folded dollar bills cleverly arranged, giving hours of her time to create one with arthritic, 72-year-old hands that want to stop, but she won’t let them. “I use to think I’d want to sit and rock. Not anymore.”

She wants people to remember her. “I told the preacher I wanted to be known for something when I die besides hair dos and apple tarts.”

And, she probably will get remembered as a very generous person willing to give her time and talents to others, with shirts made of dollar bills, with coins for buttons and cuff links.

“Ok, there it is.” A new shirt, complete with a bow tie, but will it fit? Everything has to be the right size for it to work out correctly. And, she always has to adjust a little bit here and there.

Bettye Singletary has forgotten how many special shirts made of dollars she has made and given away over the years, but her friends and neighbors know she is a gracious person who would give you the shirt off her back.

posted at 10:00AM by dave.miller@walb.com

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