Henry County Senior Services
Our volunteer this month is Ms. Diane Greene. She is a transplant from New Jersey who found her way to Georgia about 8 years ago and started volunteering with the meals on wheels program. We are so glad she did. Diane has been delivering smiles, meals and lots of love to our seniors for 5 years now. Ms. Diane said she delivers on Monday because it’s a great way to start the week - visiting beautiful, inspiring people that have a wonderful outlook on life.
Twice a week you will see Sandra and Melvin Roy delivering meals to our home bound clients with a little help from Hebrew. These three have been delivering in the Hampton area for the last 5 years. I always ask “why” and their response was “It is rewarding, it is in us to give and share our passion and love. We have a street ministry in Hampton and we travel all over the United States sharing our faith.”
A special Thank you to all our Henry County Senior Services Volunteers!
Our Volunteer spotlight for this month is two very special ladies. They started delivering 6 years ago with their church group. Each has a very giving and loving spirit. Ms. Annie Thomas (in the green shirt) loves visiting and handing out lots of hugs to our senior clients. She enjoys making a difference in people’s lives. In her spare time she likes reading and gardening. Now, Ms. Jeanette Cheatham stated “I consider my love of cooking a ministry and share that love with others. By the grace of God this might be me one day.” She is there to lend a helping hand to friends, family and neighbors.
Ms. Mildred Williams is our Meals on Wheels volunteer this month and this is one busy lady! Not only does she deliver meals weekly on one of the McDonough routes but when we start gearing up for the walk she really puts it into high gear herself getting sponsors, walkers and gathering donations. This year marks her 10th year walking. Ms. Mildred loves playing with her six grandchildren, pulling weeds in her garden and sometimes – if we’re extra lucky - we get to sample some of the homemade jams and jellies she puts up. She loves the meals on wheels clients, “ Each are unique in their own special way, you will receive more than you give. The seniors love to have someone to visit and check on them during the day”. Thank You Ms. Mildred and to all of our Henry County Senior Service Volunteers.
Mrs. Christine Evans started delivering in June of 1995, which is 23 faithful years ago. She loves to quilt, although she admits she doesn’t do it as much now as she did, she loves cooking and helping. Ms. Mary Kincade has been volunteering for the last 6 years, she loves to garden – any type of flower – she just loves watching them grow. She also loves to collect cook books, especially church cook books.
They both agree that volunteering makes them feel better knowing they have made a difference in someone’s day. If you ask Ms. Christine why she keeps on doing it she says “If I can make one person’s day just a little brighter by visiting and delivering meals, this is something I can do and feel like I get back more than I give”. Ms. Mary said she just wished she had started earlier delivering meals, “It’s a real blessing helping others, the clients look forward to seeing you and it makes their day, sometimes we are the only person they see”. They both agree they really enjoy volunteering with MOW.
Rita Green and Diane Reed accept a Spring Cleaning donation on behalf of the Senior Citizen services department. The items were delivered by Michael and Bunny Abraham from the congregation of Grace Summit Church in Stockbridge for use when providing services for in home clients. Pastor Vaughn said the donation is seed for their new facility on Hwy 155 which could use some Spring Cleaning, too. Blessed to be a blessing.
Linda is an Indiana transplant who jumped head first into volunteering when she moved to Stockbridge. She had learned of volunteering and meals-on-wheels while living in her birth state of Indiana. Linda started out volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels. She calls all her clients, “My People” and looks forward to seeing them every Wednesday to see how they are doing. She volunteers at Hidden Valley Senior Center at the front desk, which involves many duties aside from answering the phone and greeting new and current clients. Linda is quick to make new friends and she certainly has many now! She said she is always running into these new friends when out and about. And to think, she chose to volunteer to help her get out and overcome her “bashfulness!”
This month’s volunteer is a hard man to catch. Mr. Willie Gube stays very active with his church, substitutes with the Henry County school system, plays golf, gardens and does a little fishing on the side. His first love is his family Ms. Bonita (48 years and counting) and family. Together they have 3 grown children and 8 grandchildren. After retiring from Norfolk Southern railroad he moved his family back home to Georgia.
While he was still in Virginia he heard about the Meals On Wheels program and thought that would be a good way to give of himself and make a difference in his community. He is overjoyed to be able to interact with the seniors he delivers to and really enjoys volunteering – he finds it fulfilling to give back to the community.
We both love to garden and talked about how we share our beautiful bounty with the deer that wander by – one day you see it and the next day it’s gone.
He encourages everyone to volunteer – he feels that it is all about sharing your gifts with someone and says that it does your heart good to know you have made a difference in someone’s day – that you might be the only person “that someone” sees that day. He knows that it’s not only good for the senior it’s good for the giver too.
November’s spotlight shines brightly on Michael Sharp – Mr. Sharp has been a volunteer for Senior Services for the last 8 years on the Fairview Route – he started in November - of 2004. Mr. Sharp feels like he was born to help others, he is a volunteer at heart. He says “It just comes naturally and I love volunteering and helping the seniors”. He knows that volunteering is a calling to serve and to help; he feels that life is about being able to serve others and that you will always get more from volunteering than you receive – sounds like a good trade to me. Mr. Sharp has been married to Mrs. Barbara for 20 years and they have three children and one granddaughter. In his spare time he enjoys hunting, reading and is a student of the Bible. He believes you need to get out of yourself; you need to help by putting things in perspective and remembering you reap what you sow.
The spotlight this month is on Ms. Juanita Mills who started delivering for Meals on Wheels 10 years ago this very month. Her driver (Mr. Dub) (and her significant other) started a few years later. They deliver the Mt. Bethel route and are grateful that they are able to continue serving others this way. This September another spotlight will shine on them – they will celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary. They share a common love for Henry County and have lived here most of their lives with their four daughters, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Ms. Juanita “Thanks the Lord she is able to help others”, and we Thank her (and Mr. Dub of course) that they chose to help through the Meals on Wheels Program.
Ms. Emma Jean volunteers twice a month delivering Meals on Wheels to our Locust Grove homebound clients. She started delivering in September 1975, (17 years of dedication!). She is a long time member of the First Baptist Church of Locust Grove where she is the Volunteer Coordinator, recruiter and scheduler for the meals program. In 2008, she was named Locust Grove’s Citizen of the Year and the United Way volunteer of the year – you can see why she is such a busy woman. When she is not delivering the meals she finds time to drop in and check on her friends and church family, or give them a quick call. She has one son and 3 grandchildren to keep up with as well. She has a new partner in her endeavors – Mrs. Jane Lute someone who also loves helping and visiting with our seniors. They have been attending the same church and have known each other for a long time – Mrs. Lute has 4 children and 10 grandchildren who keep her and her husband very busy.
Meet Ms. Lynn Thompson! She is our super volunteer of the month. Ms. Thompson is a very active and very supportive volunteer for Senior Services. She attends the senior center in Locust Grove with her husband Butch Thompson. A few, but certainly not all of Ms. Thompson’s Volunteer activities include: The Council on Aging-Finance Committee, Meals on Wheels, and Front Desk Receptionist at LG Senior Center. And that’s not all! She also finds time to dance with The Cactus Club Line Dancers, keep the children on Wednesday night at First Baptist Church and attend Zumba/Yoga Classes twice a week at the Senior Center! Who could keep up with her? I asked Ms. Thompson what her favorite words to live by are, she told me, ‘don’t ever give up –if what you are doing is not working, just try something else.’ What a pleasure to know her and an inspiration to all of us that are fortunate enough to know her!
Mr. & Mrs. Clark Runion have been sweet on each other for 46 years, about 8 1/2 years ago they started sharing their sweet nature with the folks who live on the Bethany Meals on Wheels route. Mrs. Carolyn Runion says she loves good food and appreciates having a good meal and by delivering Meals on Wheels she knows that other people are able to enjoy a hot, nutritious, healthy meal too. Mr. Clark says he looks forward to meeting the folks and enjoying the fellowship they share with their clients. The Runions are also members of the Henry County Beekeepers – they started about 2 years ago, Mr. Clark says he sure does love his honey! Wonder if he means Ms. Carolyn or the actual honey they get from their bees? Probably both! Either way, it’s clear to see that they have a real sweet spot for each other and the people they deliver Meals on Wheels to!
Ms Frances Upchurch started volunteering in the very early stages of the Meals on Wheels program, somewhere around 1990. Mr. Richard joined her a little while later. They both agree that “Volunteering with the Meals on Wheels program makes you feel good about helping others; it is a blessing doing something positive and making a difference in someone’s life.” It’s easy to see that Mr. Richard and Ms. Frances’ comments come from the heart. Mr. Richard is so funny, he says “I’m just thankful that I can deliver and not be on the receiving end of the meals!” This January they celebrated 62 years of marriage – congratulations to you both and here's to many more years – married and still delivering!
Our volunteers of the month started delivering meals for our homebound seniors after reading an article in the local newspaper about the meals on wheels program. This was in 1994; eighteen years later Mr. Carl and Anita James (his lovely wife) are still delivering lots of smiles, love and meals. When asked the age-old question why, they both answered “The Heart of the Volunteer is giving to others, as Christians we follow his example of helping others.” If you really want to know the truth, it is like an addiction. You can’t stop. It’s time well spent, helping and giving to others.
L-R Beverly Watson, Ruth Bussey and Margarita Boothe
Three seniors that have supplied Hidden Valley Senior Center with lovely, handmade items to sell in their store. It all started with Ruth Bussey volunteering to make items with precut needlepoint patterns. She taught Beverly and Margarita and all three ladies started making items in their spare time, along with participating in the craft class! Beverly took over making our "scrubbies," (shown in Beverly's hand),which sell like hotcakes. The necklaces are copied from one seen on a senior trip. Laying on the counter is a casserole carrier made by Margarita. Thank you ladies from everyone at Hidden Valley!
I know why our seniors love our volunteer of the month, Ms. Shirley Gideon. She has been a Meals-on-Wheels volunteer for 9 years, not only does she deliver meals, she also delivers compassion and love. If you ask her about volunteering, she feels blessed to have good health and is active and able to help others. Ms. Shirley counts her blessings everyday.
Henry County Senior Services volunteer this month has been volunteering for the last 10 years, delivering hot lunch meals to our homebound seniors in the Stockbridge area. Mr. Noel Lilly retired from Ga. Power, moved to Henry County (with his wife of 53 years; Ms. Jean) and started volunteering with our Meals on Wheels program. Mr. Noel is celebrating his 75th birthday this August! Not only does he keep busy volunteering, he stays active playing golf and working in his yard.
Our volunteer this month is Renée Yawn. For the past 10 years, she has volunteered her time, enthusiasm, and help, warming-up and leading groups of walkers for our annual Miles for Meals Walk. Her daughters, Jessica and Sabrina, grew up knowing not to make plans for the first Saturday in May; they were going to attend the walk. Renee and Wendell (husband of 20 years) love helping and supporting the community. Thank you to Jazzercise of McDonough and Renee.
Twice a month you will find our Meals on wheels volunteers, Hillary and Alice Jordan riding around Locust Grove delivering meals, sharing life experiences and rejoicing with the homebound clients. When asked why they started delivering meals Mr. Hillary said, “After an invitation from Mayor Lindsey, we decided to run.” They have been running together for 47 years. They have two children, a daughter and a son (Hillary II). If you want to see their eyes light up ask about Hillary III. Ms. Alice’s advice to some one interested in volunteering, “what do you do in your spare time…try it! Ride with someone you will be hooked.”
Stella Yates is a retired RN who relocated from Florida to live with her daughter after losing her husband. She has been attending the senior center in McDonough for abut two years and is always willing to help in any way. She assists with client satisfaction, AARP tax assistance registration, the annual Health Fair surveys , the Miles for Meals walk and Seniors Farmer’s Market; to name a few. She is also the Treasurer of the local chapter of AARP, teaches literacy and serves as Queen Mother for her Red Hat Chapter!
Our volunteers of the month are Ross Johnson, Ed Webster, Darrel Rutherford, and William Wheeless. This very entertaining “young group” is affectionately known as the Three Old Men and Friend. (I’m still trying to find out who the friend is) As a collective group, they have about 280 years of musical talent. On the first Friday of the month you will find them playing, laughing and sharing their love of music with others. Blue grass County and a lovely mix of shoe tapping sounds come from the stage at Hidden Valley Senior Center.
Our volunteers this month are the Singing Purcell’s. Stop by Hidden Valley Senior Center the 4th Friday of every month and you will be treated to a little Contemporary Christian and Southern Gospel music; you will hear Kenneth (Dad), Ken (Jr.) and Phyllis share their gift and faith with music. They have been performing together over 11 years. Mr. Ken and Ms. Phyllis met in their church; Ken even proposed to her in church. Since then they have been “making a joyful noise together.”
It’s like celebrating Christmas every week is how David and Krystal Dumas described delivering meals for the homebound seniors for the Meals-on-wheels program. You get far more out of volunteering than you give. This is our family; we have been delivering for 6 years. They stay very busy with 4 children and 11 grandchildren and church. David and Krystal have lived in Henry County for 32 years and when asked how long they have been married David looked at his wife and said “not long enough”.
If you stop by Heritage Senior Center, you will find our volunteer of the month, Jerry Dobbs hard at work keeping our poolroom and tables in “pool tournament” shape. This is truly a labor of love; He promised three years ago to a long time friend and volunteer, Bobby Clark, during Bobby’s final days with us, He would make sure the poolroom would be kept clean and almost every day you will find him here keeping his promise. Jerry and wife Vickie, wife of 30 years, live in McDonough. They have two sons and three grandchildren.
The bread lady’s here, the bread lady’s here, Every Monday morning bright and early you will find Ms. Lena and her husband Bob delivering bread to the Senior Center. Three years ago, she walked into the center and wanted to get involved, helping, volunteering, just something. A few weeks later, she had a plan, picking up day old bread and delivering it to the center for our seniors. She contacted one of the local Publix’s and as they say, the rest is history.
Our volunteer of the month said he delivers the meals and says a little prayer for all the seniors. He also said he is blessed by the interaction and the hugs he receives from the clients. Todd Chestnut has been a Meals-On-Wheels volunteer for the last 6 years; a co-worker asked if he would like to ride with him one day and Todd has been hooked ever since. Delivering meals is his peaceful chill-down from the corporate world. Todd and Rene (wife of 23 years) have two beautiful daughters, who reside in Fayette County. The Chestnut family is very active in their church and with the Special Olympics.
When Ms. Josie Rodgers retired from the State in 1993, she wanted to stay involved and give back to the community. She and Harold (her husband of 61 years) started delivering with the Meals-on-Wheels program. After 5 years, Dana started helping and for the last 10 years, it has been Dana and Ms. Josie. With out Dana’s help Ms. Josie might not be delivering today. “I get joy helping others and that is love to me. Every day I give the good Lord thanks for all my blessing and I like to share. The joy you get delivering a meal, a smile or a thank you. There are no other words to describe it except Love.”
Do you remember The Silver 60’s on Spring Street in McDonough? Ms. Bunny Abraham does. She started helping with the Meals-on-Wheels program back in the early 1990’s and is still delivering today. Her husband (Michael) retired last year, now she has a partner helping deliver meals and passing out special treats for all the pets.
“What type of reward do I get for volunteering…a Blessing. What more could anyone ask for. It is an honor to make their lives a little easier. Some times, you think you are doing a good deed for your neighbor; we are the ones that end up getting the reward. I have always had a tender spot in my heart for babies and people in the golden years of their lives. Sometimes it’s hard making friends knowing that you are going to lose them.” We love you Ms. Bunny.
The ladies of the McDonough and Stockbridge Tax Commissioners office are revving up their engines, gearing up, getting ready for the annual Miles-for-Meals walk. For the last 6 years, they have collected donations to help the homebound seniors in Henry County. When they started out just wanting to help, little did they know how it would touch one of their own? Last year one of the staff’s family needed home delivered meals, and because of the community’s continuing support, Senior Services was able to help.
Stop By the Tax office and help touch some one in our county by making a donation.
Pictured the McDonough Office L/R: Karen Gray, Angela Cook, Eve Young, Debbie Kelley, Denise Springer, and Dottie Green.
Good byes are sometimes happy and sometimes sad. That’s how we feel about Ray and Pat Evans, they are returning to Mr. Ray’s home town. The Evans have been married for 47 years and called Henry County home for 40 years. They started out 4 years ago filling in for a church friend and ended up running a Stockbridge route every week. What do they love about volunteering, the clients, they love checking on them, and hearing their stories. Ms. Pat said “they all have their own stories and love to share them.” Polk County watch out we are sending you “some good people” for your M-O-W’s program.
Good luck we are going to miss you. Thank you for all the lives you have touched.
Judy and David Barkdoll moved to Henry 14 years ago. Ms. Judy began volunteering when her mother started receiving Meals-on-Wheels and of course on the days David doesn’t work he is the chauffer. Some of the things she likes about volunteering are her extended family has grown over the years and the positive attitude of the clients. “How can you not leave feeling better?” The Big bonus, the seniors are a wealth of information about the families and history of Henry County and the roads are now paved.