The Gadsden Correctional Facility Supports Seniors
It’s a story about serving and connecting with the community.
Tira Jackson is the Deputy Warden of Programs at the Gadsden Correctional Facility in Quincy, FL. “We want to be a part of the community,” she says, “and that’s building the rapport with the community. So, the ladies, of course, they’re always willing to give back to the community, so we found that to be able to help them give back.”
The facility provides a hot lunch, three days a week, to a nearby senior center. The food is paid for by the senior organization, but culinary student residents of the Gadsden facility prepare the food and the staff transport it to a grateful group of people. Sherrie Taylor is the representative of the senior center that initiated and coordinates the effort. “I went to the warden,” she explains, “I said, ‘listen, I have a request’, and he looked at me and said ‘what is it, Sherrie?’ Because I’m always calling. Because he’s good! And it’s just a blessing to me, to have this partnership with the warden and with MTC, because we’re able to provide a service.”
“You heard the elderly talk about love that was put into – they can taste the love in the meal,” says Deputy Warden Jackson.
Vonice Green is a culinary student resident. “We did this,” she states, “not because it was assigned to us to do it, we did it in love. And when we cook, we cook from love. It’s such an awesome opportunity. It’s a privilege to even be involved in it.”
Alysha Rahmer is also a resident student. For her it even gets more personal. “For me to be able to give back to that community, it is something that I love, because I feel like my Grandma gave me so much, and taught me so much. So for me to be able to do everything that I’m doing here, and kind of give them something that I’ve done with love? It really makes a big difference, and it makes me feel great, because I know that I’m doing it with love, and so I’m hoping that they’re receiving it with love.”
The senior center has a one-of-a-kind representation in Sherrie Taylor who has served the community for many years in various capacities, including County Commissioner. She’s been an energetic presence at Gadsden events over the years where her engaging spirit has always been appreciated. Perhaps never more so than in her current capacity.
“Average attendance of fifty,” says Sherrie. “They’re eating good, they go home happy, they come religiously. Part of it is the food, the other part is me, just to be able to see what hat I’m wearing.” Sherrie smiles, then gets serious.
“But all glory goes to our Father who allowed that man, Warden Jerry Buscher, to open his doors, and for those young ladies, and all of his staff to give us this daily bread that we’ve enjoyed immensely. Thank God for y’all. Thank y’all very much. For everything.”