THOMASVILLE — The Zion Christian Outreach Ministries Church bestowed six Humanitarian Service Awards on Wednesday.

Recipients were Officer Dean Morey of the Thomasville Police Department, Thomasville Police Assistant Chief Eric Hampton, Sharon Edwards, Priscilla Maxwell and Shameka Bowdry of Thomasville, and Joey Wright of the Quitman Police.

“We were looking around at all the good people were doing,” said Dr. William L. Bradley, church overseer. “But each year, we find a growing number of people who are qualified to receive one.” 

The criteria for selection is appreciation for their lifelong work for humanity.

Officer Morey talked to Bradley after his mailbox and those of his neighbors were broken.

“He kept coming back and visiting to see if I was OK,” Bradley said. “Come to find out, he was doing that throughout the whole neighborhood.”

Edwards heads the Thomasville/Thomas County Homeless Coalition and also has started Spark Thomasville, to encourage and mentor entrepreneurs.

“I’m surprised. I’m really shocked. The work we do here is not about awards. It’s seeing a need in the community and just taking care of the need. I love Thomasville. Whenever we see need, we just work the need. I love the work that I do.”

Back in 2008, everything she owned was lost in a fire, Maxwell said.

“I stood on the side of the road and watched everything I had worked for go up in smoke,” she said. “At that moment, I asked God, ‘why me?’ And He said, ‘Why not you? You’re not too good to be homeless.’ At that point, I began to have a passion for those who are homeless.”

Maxwell, with the Community Outreach Training Center, said she tries her best to meet the needs of all the people.

“If you’ve got any clothes you want to donate, we’ll take it,” she said. “If you’ve got any money to donate, we’ll take it.”

Bowdry, 36, also works with the homeless and foster children.

Editor Pat Donahue can be reached at (229) 226-2400 ext. 1806.

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