Meridian, Miss. A touch, a prayer, and a smile are ways the Rev. Vicki Gladding comforts others, in her volunteer work with Rush Hospital in Meridian.
Chaplain Dennis Duvall nominated Gladding for 11 Who Care, saying it's inspiring how she always puts the needs of others ahead of her own.
"Her sincerity, her love of the Lord and the love of people, wanting to meet the needs of other people. It just seems like that's what she's about," said Duvall, chaplain for Rush Health Systems. "And when you see that, you sense that, you know that she's in touch with the Lord and she's filled with God's spirit. And she has the needs of others at heart, all the time."
The former missionary continues volunteering to teach and train in Africa. She also started a local Anglican congregation, the only one in Meridian, that meets at Rush on Sundays.
Gladding finds time to lead a Bible study as well at Mustard Tree Mission, distributes food to those in need, and volunteers at Daleville United Methodist Church.
She says she is too busy to be 'retired' and God has always provided what she needs to continue her calling.
"I don't call myself retired," said Gladding. "Because if you're working all the time doing stuff, I don't consider myself retired! But I tease Bro. Dennis and others a lot when they say 'and you really do all this and it's volunteer?' And I say yes, but don't worry about it, because I'm on the deferred payment plan."
Gladding is not very comfortable with attention or praise, but just grateful to use the gifts God has given her.
"I really am thankful for the opportunity, because that gives me joy and satisfaction," she said. "So whatever it is, when I'm praying with people or meeting their needs, just spiritually, or seeing them grow in the faith, because we need to be getting stronger and stronger, because times are getting tougher."
To nominate your favorite volunteer for 11 Who Care, pick up a nomination form at 815 23rd Avenue, or print one online and return it to us.