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Remembering Jackie Usey

By Mike Waldmann  *

Jackie Usey

Jackie Usey, Mississippi Gleaning Program Coordinator, 2009-2015

I don’t often write about our staff because we stay focused on those we serve and all the people who make this ministry possible. But I’ll make an exception and tell you about someone who is just pretty special.

Since 2009, Jackie Usey was our Gleaning Program Coordinator in Mississippi. In March of last year, Jackie was diagnosed with a particularly bad form of leukemia. On December 27th, Jackie finished that battle and went on to a far better place.

Jackie in the field in Mississippi

Jackie in the field in Mississippi

Mississippi is a wonderful state, but the need there is so great that it usually ranks worst in the percentage of its population living in poverty. Like most people who come to SoSA, Jackie had never done work like this before. But when she interviewed for the position, I knew she was the right person for the job. She was “called” to do it, even if she didn’t fully recognize it as a calling.

Her wonderful, compassionate heart, combined with her energy and joy in life, ensured she would succeed. Those qualities also made her a favorite of everyone she met, and in this ministry, you meet a lot of unique people. Jackie was just plain fun to be around, as anyone who knew her could say. That was certainly the case among the rest of the staff at SoSA – Jackie made every staff gathering fun.

Jackie at the annual staff meeting in Big Island, Virginia in 2014

Jackie at the annual staff meeting in Big Island, Virginia in 2014

And she was driven to care for the hungry in her state. In her years with SoSA, Jackie saved and distributed more than 16 million pounds of fresh produce to the hungry in Mississippi. She also sent millions of pounds of food to help the hungry in other states. Even during her battle with leukemia, which lasted just 9 months, Jackie was able to save and distribute 2 million pounds of food in her state. Think about that.

Many thousands of people have been fed because of the heart, spirit, hands, and feet of Jackie Usey. And it is important to remember that Jackie, and all the staff of SoSA, are able to accomplish what we do only because of the caring and support of all our partners in this amazing ministry. Your support is a precious resource to some very dedicated people in our common fight against hunger.

*  Mike Waldmann is Executive Director of Society of St. Andrew

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VOLUNTEER WAIVER

In the event I, or a registered family member, suffers any illness or accident requiring emergency hospitalization, medication, or other medical assistance while participating in a gleaning event, permission is given for any medical treatment which is deemed necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. I fully understand and comprehend that reasonable care will be exercised by the adult staff for this gleaning event to protect the safety of those involved. I understand that the field supervisor’s instructions must be followed at all times, and that I am responsible for any damages caused to fields, farms, or equipment by me/my family members not following these instructions.

Photos, videos, and other images in which I, or a registered family member, appear that are taken during gleanings may be used by the Society of St. Andrew for news coverage, newsletters, reports, displays, and for other print, broadcast, web, or electronic news or promotional purposes.

I do not hold the board, members, or employees of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA,) or any volunteers liable for injury, bodily harm, accidents, or death of myself/my child during events sponsored by the Society of St. Andrew. Neither will I hold the person(s) who owns and/or operates the property from which we glean, salvage, or to which we deliver food, liable for accidents, injury, or death during the gleanings or other SoSA events.

For a PDF print version of this waiver, click here.

How the Story of the 12 Baskets is Connected to SoSA’s Name

Matthew 14:16-21

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

2 Kings 4:42-44

[…]the man of God […] said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” His attendant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

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