by Kai Bu
At the “Hand in Hand” service lunch on September 13, some Judson students were interested in serving as a full-time volunteers at the office of Sowing Seeds of Hope every Thursday. This year volunteering started off with five Judson sisters out of the 15 who signed up; Aqui Lacy, Rebecca Carver, Kai Bu, Cassidy Harrison, and Cassidy Padgett began on September 20 by helping at the SSOH in the office of Mrs. Angela Gaston.
Sowing Seeds of Hope, a community non-profit organization which helps provide shelter and promote equity in Perry County, has teamed up with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), a rural development agency, to provide home construction loans to families in need. Judson and SSOH has partnered for decades since former Judson president Dr. David Potts served as a secretary member on the SSOH Board of Directors during his terms at Judson. Since then, Judson students have been actively participating in the services that SSOH offers to reach out and stay connected with Marion community. This year, SSOH is offering students different areas of service opportunities such as “teaching computer class to elders; Social media and flyer making/distribution; Holiday events: Thanksgiving food bags and Christmas at the Center; Self-help housing: painting, drywall, laying tiles; Administrative duties; and Healthcare Clinic assistance,” as Mrs. Frances Ford said at the luncheon. Judson students will be volunteering especially in the areas of teaching and helping with housing under Ford’s lead.
Ms. Rebecca Carver, a Judson Jr-Soph student, shared her reasons to stay connected with the organization. “I went to SSOH last year with Heather Mae [a third-year senior] and enjoyed helping them out. I was asked if I would like to be the student leader this year over it and was very excited to be able to go back and help every chance that I have,” she stated. Gaston, the coordinator of family resources, delightedly shared her thoughts on Judson students coming to volunteer at SSOH. “Even though volunteering is not for everybody, if you could give some time to volunteer, it really helps out the people of community. It’s kind of letting them know that there are people who really want to help them out personally or as a whole community,” says Gaston.
SSOH highlights the big needs of the community and shows that each person can step in to lessen those needs. Judson sisters have made up their minds to stay with them until the end of their journey. “I will be at Judson until 2021. I will probably volunteer there until I graduate and hopefully even after I graduate,” Carver affirmed.