Helpers find ways to use strengths

  • Shelves at local stores are running low of baby formula and supplies some days, but workers say more is coming. Photo by Sam Jokich
    Shelves at local stores are running low of baby formula and supplies some days, but workers say more is coming. Photo by Sam Jokich

    Murphy - It takes a village. Shelly Stephens believes the reasoning behind that phrase – everyone helping each other in any way they can – will get the community through the effects of the coronavirus, COVID-19.
    “It’s going to take an old-school approach and self-sustainability,” she said.
    Stephens is one person who self-isolated before everyone was told to do so, as she has compromised respiratory and immune system, but that hasn’t stopped the local resident from doing what she can to help others.
    She realized she had no choice but to try Walmart’s grocery pickup service to stay healthy. However, before finalizing her order Saturday, she publicly reached out to friends to see if anyone needed something from the store. She offered to put others’ items on her list, then drop the items off on their porch.
    “This community has been such a blessing to Di (Diane Bishop) and I,” Stephens said. “And if we don’t stick together, we’re not going to make it through this.”
    She said mostly people have been helping her out lately, dropping off items from trips to Costco or 7M Farms on her doorstep.
    Stephens thinks everyone needs to use their strengths to help others. For example, she has always been good at connecting people, and she’s already helped a friend acquire yeast to make bread from another friend.
    “We’re going to have to lean on each other,” Stephens said. “We’ve got to help each other out.”
    Local resident Crystal Radford plans to do her part by helping make sure babies don’t go hungry. She has roughly 60 gallons of breast milk in her freezer because she is an overproducer.
    “I have it, and I don’t need it,” the mother of five said. “I’ve always wanted to help others, and babies need to eat.”
    Radford started donating extra breast milk about two years ago. When she heard some families were having trouble finding formula because adults without children allegedly were stocking up on the product because it lasts longer than cow’s milk, she was mad and wanted to help. She also knew how expensive formula is, and the WIC can only help if the product is actually on the shelf.
    Radford has had one person interested in her milk since posting that she wanted to help babies on social media. She said she can also make bread, and is willing to make and sell loaves to families that can’t find bread in stores.
    She thinks it’s important for the community to
help each other, especially seniors, the disabled and babies.
    “Hopefully, more people start stepping up and stop panicking,” she added.
    Anyone who needs to reach Radford can message her on Facebook or call her at 361-2434.

Downtown flower
sponsors still needed

    Andrews – The town’s annual beautification project is still looking for support from businesses, clubs, churches and individuals. So far, the project is only at about 66 percent of its goal, project chair Bill Anderson said.
    Businesses, clubs, churches and individuals are invited to help make the town beautiful by sponsoring a flower basket to hang on one of the 24 stands throughout downtown Andrews.
    Sponsorships are available for $195, with the funds going toward the costs of the baskets and town gardens. Plaques with sponsor names are mounted on the poles. The goal is to have at least 65 sponsors.
    This is the fourth annual Beautification Project from the Town of Andrews and Andrews Chamber of
Commerce. Anderson plans to have the baskets hung with sponsor signage by
May 8.
    For details, call Anderson at 321-2111.
    Samantha Sinclair is the Scouting Around columnist for the Cherokee Scout. You can reach her by phone, 837-5122, Ext. 24; or email,