MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Each month, we shine the spotlight on one person in the community who goes above and beyond to make a difference in our Eleven Who Care segment. This month, that person is Brenda Buxton. She finds different ways to help the community and inspires a younger generation to do the same.
"It's so rewarding to be able to give back," Buxton says.
For years, she's found different ways to get involved, always with a smile on her face. One of her favorite projects: the Community of Hope scholarship program. Buxton helped to found the program back in 2011, after volunteering in the Jubilee Mennonite Church tutoring program. The idea is to mentor local students and make sure they're giving back to the community.
"We're able to give back to the community," Buxton says. "Because we're thinking, we have 10 students, and they have to get in 100 hours of community service, so that's how many hours?"
Buxton believes in teaching through showing, not just telling.
"I usually go to the areas that they're going to be volunteering in, so I volunteer there, also," she says. "I can't ask them to do something I'm not doing, so I volunteer in the different areas."
You can catch her helping at local organizations or even bagging and praying over food for those in need. For anyone around her, that enthusiasm is infectious.
"Soon as I met her, she lit up the whole room," Community of Hope's new program director Adrian Cross says. "She has such a positive attitude. She's always smiling, and when she gives you a hug, you know it's a genuine hug. I don't think she'd hug you if she didn't want to."
After years of volunteering, Buxton is ready to spend more time at home with her family and volunteering on mission trips across the world. But she hopes to keep her passion shining through every one her work has touched.
"I believe in volunteering," she says. "It's giving back to the community, and I think that the reward of volunteering is so important."
You may nominate someone for Eleven Who Care by clicking on the nomination form link in this story. You may also learn more about Community of Hope and the other ministries offered through Jubilee Mennonite Church by clicking the attached link.