By Brionna McCall, Intern
Cubie Rae Hayes is a longtime community servant of Montgomery, Alabama. Hayes is the founder of Citizens That Care, Inc., a non-profit organization that aids to her community in various ways including back-to-school drives, food drives, and much more.
Hayes was born in Birmingham, Alabama. At four months she was adopted by her great uncle and aunt, and they moved to Montgomery where she grew up and thrived. She attended Shavers Kindergarten, and during her time there, she won the title of Queen. Following that, she entered second grade at Billingslea Elementary at 5 years old. When Hayes was in Junior High School, she attended Houston Hills Junior High School at first, then she transferred to Booker T. Washington Junior High School where she became a member of Mrs. Mary Briers Dance Group. When she entered high school at Booker T. Washington High School, she was selected to join the Majorette Team under Dr. Farrell Duncombe for the BTW Marching 100 Yellow Jackets, and she graduated in 1971.
When it came to college, Hayes was as active on her campus as she could be. She attended Alabama State University in 1971 as a first-generation college student and became the Queen of the junior class and became a proud member of the Beta Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Hayes danced to the tune of “The Sting,” which was the first time the Mighty Marching Hornets allowed women in the band, and the Stingettes were formed the following year.
Hayes has been married to Eugene Garrick Hayes for 19 years and they share two sons, Byron Kenneth Gilmer and Lebarron Garrick Hayes. She has three grandkids, Kashanta Cubie, Byron Jose Gilmer, and Johnathan Garrick Hayes, and one great grandchild by the name of Jada.
In 2018, Hayes was the coordinator and advocate for preserving the history of Rev Richard C Boone, producing and directing Rev Richard C Boone Day. She is currently the Parent Liaison for Sidney Lanier High School for the past seven years, founded the Poet SuperGrands to inspire grandparents to become active in their high school student’s education, and started the first Lanier High Boys and Girls golf team and became a certified coach with the Alabama Athletics Association.
She was the first Black person employed as an instructor at Massey Draughon Business College in 1973, the first public information specialist for the Montgomery County Commission in 1982, and she was the only female announcer at WXVI Radio in 1979. Hayes produced and hosted “The Spirit of WAPZ,” a cable TV gospel video Saturday morning program, with co-host Rev. Walter Ellis, pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. She established C. Rae Public Relations Agency and became the editor for the first newspaper tabloid, “The Westside Weekly News,” that was produced by the Montgomery Tuskegee Times Newspaper. In 2020, Hayes represented the Downtown Business Association as the Mardi Gras Queen where she raised funds for That’s My Child, Inc. that serves deserving youth in her community.
On Christmas 2021, Hayes served over 1,000 families with turkeys, hams, and toys through a grant from the Steve Harvey Foundation. As the director for the Lanier Parents Center, Hayes served over 3,000 families each Thanksgiving with food and toys. She also serves as the Lanier High PTSA Food Pantry Director, serving almost 50 families per week.
According to Hayes, she created Citizens That Care, Inc. to be an active voice for the voiceless, to lend a helping hand to the deserving citizens and to guide them to resources and improve their quality of life.
“With Citizens That Care, we had just received an award from the 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. memorial scholarship gathering of Alpha Upsilon Lambda educational foundation,” she said. “They gave it to me because I partnered with the state’s health department to provide hygiene bags with masks, gloves, and sanitizers during the pandemic. I also provided food boxes and cleaning supplies that were delivered to doors of those whose family attended Lanier High School who contracted the virus.”
Citizens That Care, Inc. partnered with the Mercy House, Sam’s Club and several other businesses and organizations to provide bottled water to Lanier and other schools during the pandemic.
“We still serve the Lanier food pantry by the delivering boxes to deserving families who don’t have transportation to come to the school to pick them up. We just finished a disaster relief drive for Selma and supported two 18 wheelers to go to Selma along with Rep. Penni McClammy and my A.S.U., and we’re proud to go down there this past weekend and passed out blankets, water, jackets, food and other supplies.”
According to Hayes, she really has not been seeking any money for Citizens That Care, Inc. because it’s a support organization. She sees other organizations struggle to get a program produced and other people just trying to do a community program, so she sought to bring other resources to help make what they were doing greater.
“This past Martin Luther King Day, I was asked to help with the Martin Luther King parade, the family fun day and the Martin Luther King birthday bash, so my organization brought in other people who could enhance what they were doing,” she said. “Citizens That Care has grown because a lot of people know about it, and anybody can become a member. All you have to do is have a caring heart and want to see Montgomery strive and be successful in everything. Every program that we have in Montgomery should be just the best program ever, because we all just need to come together and help, because we all have something to offer.”
To get more involved with Citizens That Care, Inc., people can contact Cubie Rae Hayes by Facebook, Citizens That Care, or email her at [email protected].
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