Serving Mankind with Five Flags Sertoma
Each year for many years, Five Flags Sertoma has partnered with Ministry Village at Olive to provide food for 10 needy families in the Pensacola area at Christmastime.
Sertoma is an acronym for “Service To Mankind.” A philanthropic organization founded more than 100 years ago, Sertoma has been in the Pensacola area since 1976 with several individual Sertoma clubs. While their national mission is focused on improving the lives of those with speech and hearing impairments (Five Flags Sertoma has donated more than $150,000 over the years to the Baptist Speech and Hearing Center), Sertoma also looks for other charitable opportunities to make an impact in our community. It is this desire to make a difference that led Five Flags Sertoma to partner with Ministry Village.
Tender Hearts Caring Hands connects Sertoma with local families who are struggling and could use some extra help at the holidays. This year, 10 families will receive deliveries from Five Flags Sertoma, who works with Winn Dixie on Bayou Boulevard to create the generous baskets full of dry goods and perishables. Each family also receives a 10-12 pound turkey. Members of the Five Flags Sertoma Club personally deliver the baskets to the families, spending some time with each family.
Neal Smith, a member of Five Flags Sertoma, spoke of his Sertoma members’ desire to focus on helping others – how the focus on others helps to lift us up, remind us of the truly important things in life, and pass blessings on that we have ourselves received. “We look forward to doing this every year, and we enjoy spending time with the families, when they are open to it. Sometimes they seem a bit embarrassed to be receiving help, and they don’t really want to talk. But a few years ago, we delivered a basket to an elderly grandmother who had her small grandsons with her. She was in tears when we delivered the basket, and told us how thankful she was. She said, ‘I literally have nothing in the house to feed these children for Christmas,’ and she walked us to her pantry, which was empty. We were so humbled to be there, and we were able to spend time visiting with her and playing with her grandkids. We were so thankful to be able to help her.”
Tender Hearts Caring Hands and Ministry Village are thankful to Five Flags Sertoma for their generosity, and for taking the time to make a difference in the lives of these families. There is much work to be done throughout our community, and with partners like you, we can make an impact — one family at a time.
Donations of food and hygiene items can be made at the Ministry Village office on Olive Road Monday through Friday from 8 am to 2 pm, or call to make arrangements. Contact Kathie Schuster at (850)475-1118 (KSchuster@MinistryVillage.org) for more information on how you can serve our community through Tender Hearts Caring Hands.