Southern Georgian Hospitality

May 08, 2017

Myra Dickens, 19, was born in Fort Campbell, Tennessee, grew up in Thomasville, Georgia, and currently resides in French Settlement, Louisiana. She is a graduate of Bishop Hall Charter School and is currently studying cosmetology. She was a member of Southeast Peace Jam during high school. Myra enjoys daily journaling and collecting Pokemon Cards, music, and handheld Nintendo games in her free time.

From the historic town of Thomasville, Georgia there are many places to visit, different places to eat, and extraordinary people to greet. Out of the thousands that I have seen in Thomasville, there is one kind woman who stands out: Sheri Stewart. A native of the small town of Ochlocknee, Georgia, she has performed hundreds of acts of kindness.

Her kind acts span decades and dozens of people, each from different homes, different backgrounds, and diverse cultures. From helping families that are less fortunate then hers in her own community to helping families all the way in Nicaragua, Sheri has done a lot in her lifetime out of kindness and her faith. Her definition for kindness is, “To show love and respect for others.”

We met during a Vacation Bible School at a Baptist church when I was twelve years old. Little did I know, this woman would change my life forever. Sheri has done countless things for me throughout the years. She has bought me clothes when I didn’t have much clothing. She has brought food to my family when we were struggling to make ends meet. She has helped me move to Louisiana, driving from Georgia to Alabama to meet my stepmom half way. She was in the hospital with me during low points in my life with depression back in 2013. Sheri even picked me up at the Grey Hound bus station when I had to move back to Georgia this year.

The most remarkable thing she has done, however, was remodel my unfinished room in Georgia over a year ago during a cold winter.

At that time, my walls still had writing and random drawings all over it from middle school. I was sleeping on a hard wooden floor with a king sized hand me down blanket and laid my head on whatever pillows I could find. Something would always come up that would postpone getting my room done. I had a bed frame in my grandpa’s old barn he used for storage though the mattress had been damaged by small wild animals.

So Sheri, her family, and members from the church came over one weekend to fix up the room. They painted my walls, put in new flooring, and got me a new mattress for my bed frame with a new black comforter set and matching black pillows. Having a bed felt like a luxury item for a while. When I was sleeping in a normal bed again, my soul felt so blessed.

There are things numerous people overlook such as a bed or clothing you see every day. I have seen people take those things for granted along with many other objects. When I asked Sheri why she chose to help me so much, she replied, “When I first met you, it was an instant connection. I noticed your actions were different from others. So it signaled that you needed someone.”

Sheri’s kindness is changing the world one person at a time and she has been inspired to live this way by her faith. Her own life changed when she was 19 and she became a Christian. From that moment on, she started working with children at church. Then she became the youth leader at Barnett’s Creek Baptist Church for 20 years. These acts of kindness has left an impact on so many lives and I am forever grateful she could help me be where I am today.

Thank you Sheri Stewart for being there and helping me when I needed someone the most. One day, I will take the kindness you showed me and help someone else in need. I hope I impact their lives just as much as you impacted mine.