Unsung heroes: Donna Adams
Donna Adams, Milledgeville native and beloved Bell Hall custodian, has a passion for students and her faith.
Adams was born in 1957 at Central State Hospital.
“I have lived here all my life, and I came from great parents,” Adams said. “I couldn’t have picked my Momma and Daddy any better.”
Adams’ father was from North Carolina, and her mother was from Sparta, Georgia. They met each other while working at Central State Hospital. Growing up, Adams and her sister were extremely close, being only fifteen months apart.
Because Adams had a great love for sports, she was involved in a variety athletics growing up. She played basketball in high school and softball at the recreation department, and she was captain of the volleyball team. She was also on the softball traveling team until she was 20.
Adams’ sister, on the other hand, was heavily involved in theatre growing up.
“Now, my sister and I go to the [productions] here at the college, and we go to the ones at GMC,” Adams said. “My daughter goes, too. It’s a family thing.”
They also love country music, going to any concerts that are happening nearby.
Adams’ first job was cutting grass and raking yards around the neighborhood when she was 10 years old.
“I asked my dad to buy me a lawn mower because I wanted to make my own money, so he bought me a lawn mower,” Adams said. “I teamed up with another friend that I had, and we went around and cut grass and raked yards.”
When Adams turned 13, she started working at Pizza Villa on South Elbert Street with her sister, where they waited tables. Their mom let them work on the weekends but not during the week, so they could keep their grades up.
“It was the only pizza place in town, so it was slam-packed all the time,” Adams said. “I worked there until I was 18.”
After graduating high school, Adams went to work at Browns Transport as a secretary. Then she went to the local grocery store, Martin’s Food Lane, where she worked for about five years. In 1982, she got a job at Rheem Manufacturing Company and worked there until 2008.
“When Rheem shut down, I went and worked at Triumph Aerostructures for four years,” Adams said. “Then I put my application in here at GC, and I started working here in 2016.
Adams has now been in Bell Hall for two years. For a year and a half, she cleaned the depot in the mornings before she was assigned to Bell, which she said she loves.
“The students are great,” said Adams. “People laugh at me because I call them my kids. We’re like a family because I see them every day, and they talk to me about their life, and I talk [to them] about mine. I feel like we’re all one big family.”
Adams starts of her day at work by cleaning the basement and the basement bathroom. She walks around the basement to make sure everything is in operation, and she maintains the patio.
“Ms. Donna is the happiest person ever,” said sophomore Emily Green, a history major. “She always has the best attitude, and she encourages us to do our best and accomplish our goals.”
Then Adams cleans the third floor classroom and all of the laundry rooms on each floor. After she finishes checking the entire building, she goes to the second floor to clean the internet lounge.
“There is always more trash in the internet lounge because a lot of students hang out there,” Adams said.
She makes sure everything is straight, the trash is taken out and the tables are sanitized. She wipes down the elevator buttons, doorknobs and anything the students touch regularly to limit the spread of germs.
“Ms. Donna is great because it is really nice to have a staff member interested in a student’s life and willing to ask how their day is going,” said junior A.J. Harrison, an environmental science major.
She also goes outside on the front porch to sweep and wipe off any pollen that has collected on the chairs.
“I enjoy speaking to the students because everybody should be spoken to,” Adams said. “That just makes your day a whole lot better. Everybody needs somebody they can confide in, talk to and trust.”
Adams said she enjoys spending her free time with her grandbaby Reed. He is 3 years old, and she takes care of him as often as she can. She loves to pick him up from the daycare when she gets off work.
“He is smart as a whip and the light of my life,” Adams said. “I mean he is everything. He is like a small adult.”
Adams also likes laying in the sun and gardening at her house. There are two trees on both sides of her porch, and she enjoys decorating them. She puts lights on the trees to change the colors throughout the seasons.
Adams said her ultimate passion is for her family and for God.
“I am grateful for everything I have because God has been good to me,” Adam saids. “Any time I have a problem, I give it to God. I pray when I get up. I pray when I get out of my car, during the day and at night. God is like my best friend, you know what I’m saying? Because he can handle anything. There is nothing that he can’t work out. He is everything, and I believe without him, I can’t do anything.”