We are presently living in some uncertain times with the Covid virus that is circulating around the world. A week ago I was in the grocery store and a woman had a bag of over 75 masks, she had sewn, and was giving away to anyone who didn’t have one. She offered me one and I asked her to give it to someone more vulnerable than me. She insisted I take one and so I did. She said she had been a quilter for over 40 years and now knew why God had told her to hang on to the scraps all these years. I thanked her and said what a blessing she was to others during this time.
Later that day my friend, Betty Harrison, put out a plea on Facebook asking where to find more material and supplies so she could continue making face masks. She had run out of options and prayed for God to provide, if he wanted her to continue making them. Betty had been making the masks and donating them to health care workers, family, friends and anyone needing a mask for protection…whether it was by their own health or a job. It has given her a purpose while staying home and is a joy to be helping others. I told her about my mask encounter earlier and said what a blessing both of these ladies were. Then it clicked… I wanted to be a part of Betty’s outreach of help others. So I gave her a Love, Action, Faith Scholarship. After all what she is doing was an excellant example of…showing love to others, through her making mask, because of her faith…the intent and purpose of these scholarships. Betty was thankful and said she was honored to do this in Lauren’s name.
My friend Betty Harrison. May God bless you for being His hands and feet during this time.
And in the pictures above her are her skilled hands and some of the many, colorful masks she has made for local children and adults.
Sarah Withem is our Lufkin High School scholarship recipient this year. What a lovely young woman…in body and spirit. Very friendly, warm and open. She laughed often, has a big, genuine smile and that reminded me of Lauren. We enjoyed getting to know her after pictures were made. She is active in her church and helps teach 2nd grade boys…she is brave…lol. She will be living on campus and plans to join the Baptist Student Union to make more friends and be with other Christian students. She will be working part-time to help pay for her schooling. She wants to be a Speech Language Pathologist.
After being notified of the scholarship Sarah wrote a really thoughtful thank you note to us. In it she said, “I feel very fortunate to have been chosen as the recipient of a scholarship that believes in love, action and faith. Those three words drive my life, and I admire this foundation for standing behind those concepts.” She took the initiative to look up Lauren, our foundation and learn about us. Wow…that says a lot about her character and her heart. I have no doubt we chose well this year. She is special and her parents should be proud of her…they have raised a lovely, young woman.
Met Cristina Williams our recipient for Lufkin High School 2017. We enjoyed getting to know Cristina during “picture time” before the awards ceremony. She is a very quite, respectful young lady…matter of fact I think we scared her with how talkative and loud we can be…but she got used to us peppering her with questions and our laughter. She is in the LHS band and plays the clarinet and is thinking of trying for the SFA Band. She is already a CNA and has plans to work her summers and then concentrate on school during the semesters. Her family has had some health issues and that has steered her toward her chosen path. She is going to start the Pre-Med program and major in Biology from there she wants to go to Baylor and become an Anesthesiologist. She then wants to come back to work in Lufkin and to also start a youth program to help keep kids on track to achieve their goals and dreams.
Here is part of her thank you note:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Alston,
It is an honor to receive the Lauren Alston Memorial Scholarship. Mr and Mrs Alston I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I understand how important this scholarship is and I promise that the name Lauren Alston will forever live with me, as I attend SFA, in this cruel yet beautiful world. I am glad you gave me the chance to achieve my goals. I thank you for lifting this financial burden that almost stopped me from pursuing my dreams. I thank you for putting your faith in me. It is good to know that there are good and kind people still left in the world.
So once again I thank you, Cristina Williams