93-year-old volunteer devotes years to community service
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - 93-year-old volunteer Coralie McDavid has been giving back to the people in her community for years.
Born with a heart to serve others, McDavid has been a member and volunteer at St. James United Methodist Church in Montgomery for 62 years. After retiring, her own home became the epicenter for an array of even more volunteer projects.
“This is the lord’s house and it is going to be used to serve him,” McDavid said.
Every month for the past two and a half years, McDavid and her sidekick, Genie Rittenour, have used McDavid’s kitchen to cook hundreds of meals for Mercy House, a day house that provides meals for the homeless.
During the coronavirus pandemic, they have ramped up their cooking. Between the two of them, they now cook enough food to feed 100 people every other week.
McDavid said cooking for those in need brings her joy and gives her the strength to continue serving.
“It brings me joy to give joy to somebody else,” McDavid said. “I feel like the Lord blessed me so that I can bless somebody else. It’s passing it on.”
But cooking is not the only volunteer work McDavid does. She sews too.
McDavid’s living room has been transformed into a doll-making workshop. Since 2005, McDavid and nearly 50 other volunteers have used the workshop to create 1,200 Raggedy Ann dolls for children at the Family Sunshine Center, an organization that serves victims and survivors of family violence.
“We say that we send them down there for children with broken hearts and sad eyes,” McDavid said.
The volunteers who call themselves the “Raggedy Angels” have spent over 20,000 hours hand-making the dolls. McDavid said they send around 30 dolls to the Family Sunshine Center about four times a year.
“I anoint every doll and pray over every doll that the child and the mother and the worker will receive a blessing from this doll,” McDavid said. “That it’s not just a doll, that it’s the love of Jesus being expressed to them through our hands.”
During the pandemic, McDavid has started a new project through the use of her sewing skills: making cloth masks.
A project that proved to be challenging for McDavid who suffers from macular degeneration in her eyes. A condition that makes it almost impossible to see.
“I can’t see to thread the sewing machine,” McDavid said. “I had just quick sewing because it was so aggravating.”
But that didn’t stop her from achieving her goal. Knowing she had to sew the masks with white thread, she decided to use a black marker to make the thread more visible to see.
“I took that piece of thread with that black end and starting jabbing it at that needle and I have made 400 masks and I probably have threaded 400 needles,” McDavid said.
McDavid turns 94 in September and she said she plans to continue serving.
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