BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - United Methodist Women (U.M.W.) is the largest denominational faith organization for women with about 800,000 members. And at Broadmoor United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, one of their faithful U.M.W. Members was brought to the attention of the WAFB Hand It On team.
All of our local United Methodist Churches in Baton Rouge have a U.M.W. organization. Their mission is fostering spiritual growth, developing leaders, and advocating for justice.
At Broadmoor United Methodist Church general U.M.W. meetings are held every second Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Then smaller 'circle' groups meet in member homes every fourth Tuesday.
We were invited to the June 2017 fourth Tuesday meeting to recognize Ms. Beverly Hammond.
"Beverly took over UMW last year," says friend and fellow UMW member Joanne Cowgill. "And all through last year, starting with the police shootings in July, Beverly was called constantly. Can you come make sandwiches? Can you get some ladies to come feed these people? Can you come hand out water. And she always says yes; never no."
So Beverly, who lost her husband to COPD about five years ago, got busy and created an organization called "Women Making a Difference."
Beverly's group has several projects they are responsible for, and all serve the local community. They include making mats for the homeless by tying plastic bags together and use that as the crochet yarn. They also make snuggle blankets for kids taken from their home and moved to the Parker House prior to being placed in foster homes.
Another area Women Making a Difference is responsible for is making fiddle quilts for patients with dementia. Often memory compromised individuals like to pick and fidget. These special blankets have things sewed onto them like buttons, zippers, and other attachments allowing an individual with dementia or Alzheimer's to sit and fiddle with these blankets.
That act often has a calming effect on the patient. Other members under Beverly's guidance color post cards for sending to sick and shut in church members, and the list goes on. So Joanne Cowgill thought it was about time to recognize Beverly for all her inspiration and hard work. Joanne sent an e-mail to WAFB's Hand It On.
We were invited to attend this group's monthly Faith Circle meeting at a member's home. It was a pleasant salad social at a member's home in Central. Once everyone had been greeted and served, we were all escorted into the living room for the meeting. It was then that Joanne called Beverly to the center of the room for the big reveal.
"Well Beverly," Joanne began. "You started Women Making a Difference which has blossomed into a whole new mission and it's been awesome. So I felt like we needed to let people know how wonderful you are, so I nominated you for Hand It On."
The room erupted into clapping as Joanne handed Beverly three crisp, new one hundred dollar bills.
"Wow! I'm a little bit on the shocked side, may I say that?" a noticeably stunned Beverly finally said. "Well thank you all so much; this is delightful! But this is a combined effort from a lot of people." Beverly reminded the group. "I just happened to be the one that was present at the time, and it's truly been a pleasure. Thank you so much!"
Women Making a Difference? Without a doubt with this organization of the United Methodist Women. Without a doubt!
To nominate someone for Hand It On, send an e-mail to HandItOn@wafb.com. Make sure to include your phone number.