By Philip Case
It’s a word not heard often beyond the church walls or in some other faith-based context, but it’s one Sandy Rhodes uses frequently as she describes the benefits of volunteering.
And like many of those who give freely of their time and talents, she feels as if she’s the one who’s blessed — far beyond the blessings her work may give others.
“I wish others would get involved volunteering, no matter if they only have a little time – or a lot – to give,” said the Frankfort native. “They just don’t know how blessed they’ll be.”
Much of Rhodes’ volunteer work centers around her involvement in the ministries of Frankfort’s First Christian Church.
She leads one of the cooking teams that prepares the meals for the church’s Wednesday Evening Fellowship dinners and fixes food for families following funerals.
“The extra food we have left over from the Wednesday meals is delivered to our shut-ins and to the Women’s Shelter and Family Center,” Rhodes said.
The church invites the homeless and anyone in need to come to eat on Wednesday evenings.
“There’s a charge for adults who can pay but no charge for children or adults who need a good, hot meal,” she said.
Rhodes has been on numerous mission trips sponsored by the church.
“I like to cook and my ‘pay’ is having folks tell me how much they enjoy a dish I’ve had a hand in preparing,” she said. “On the mission trips, I usually serve as the chief cook as well as going into the field to work.”
Having traveled to the New Orleans area after Hurricane Katrina devastated large portions of the city in 2005, she’s also been on numerous mission trips to eastern Kentucky and to Joplin, Missouri, after a tornado there.
“It’s a blessing to see how others live,” she said, “and what’s important to them. We’re able to do our part to help them get back on their feet and in doing that you get close to people. You develop relationships with them.”
Rhodes also cooks on a team from the church that goes twice a month to the Access Soup Kitchen and Men’s Shelter; has served on the board of ROSM (Resource Office of Social Ministries); has done work at the women’s shelter; and helps stock shelves at the Emergency Food Pantry.
“My son, Matthew, who lives in Lexington, comes over and we do that together,” she said.
Her stepson, Bobby, lives in Frankfort as does her husband, Jerry.
In addition to being an elder at First Christian, she serves on the administrative board and is the devotional leader for the Tubman-Nunnelly Circle, and of late has been working on the church’s annual bazaar, set for Wednesday, Nov. 7.
“I love to serve,” she said. “And we here in Frankfort are blessed with a lot of service opportunities.”
There’s that word again — blessed.
“What we need are more who are willing to serve. I hope I can get that word out,” she said.