Holly Frew: International aid worker ‘built’ in Alabama

mediateamheadshots-holly-frew-care

Holly Frew (Photo courtesy of CARE)

Meet Holly Frew, a communications officer for the humanitarian group CARE. I chat with her about her missionary and disaster relief trips in my latest piece for The Alabama Baptist.

Assisting with recovery efforts in Haiti following the destruction created by Hurricane Matthew is just one of the latest disaster areas in 37-year-old Holly Frew’s life.

The former Alabama Baptist serves as the emergency communications officer for Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), an international humanitarian organization based out of Atlanta. She attributes the preparation for her life’s work to her upbringing at home and as part of Gardendale First Baptist Church.

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Bader Farms: Just Peachy

Bader Peaches

Bader Peaches

Check out an excerpt from my profile of Bader Farms from Missouri Life:

Missourians take pride in many things. There are the beautiful Ozark hills that gradually fade into the distance; clean, sparkling rivers that weave through the countryside like a ribbon fluttering in the wind; and rustic old mills that tell of a lifestyle generations ago. And then there are Bader peaches.

Growing up in the northwest edge of the Bootheel, Bill Bader stared working in the peach orchards as a high school student in 1970 to earn money to buy his school clothes. This part-time job changed his life.

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Making the Difference: Entrepreneur helps volunteers find local outreach opportunities

Samantha Blyn with some of the Junior Achievement kids she works with through her nonprofit organization, Making the Difference Outreach.

Samantha Blyn with some of the Junior Achievement kids she works with through her nonprofit organization, Making the Difference Outreach.

I interviewed Samantha Blyn, the founder of nonprofit volunteer organization Making the Difference Outreach, for Florida Currents:

Samantha Blyn donated items to charity and wrote checks to support nonprofits. But she says she did not really view volunteering as a need in the community until age 39, when she signed up to help with Habitat for Humanity.

She not only felt a sense of fulfillment in helping others, but discovered what would become her life’s mission.

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Feeding the Hungry: Communities inspired by couple’s desire to feed the hungry

Jim and Linda Jones lead a team of volunteers to feed nearly 3,000 children with a backpack of food 49 weeks a year.

Jim and Linda Jones lead a team of volunteers to feed nearly 3,000 children with a backpack of food 49 weeks a year.

For Alabama Living, I profiled the Alabama Childhood Food Solution charity:

Jim and Linda Jones have always worked to make a difference, both in the U.S. and abroad. But their effort now is concentrated on their northeast Alabama community.

Serving on 23 short-term mission trips around the world — in the U.S., Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Kenya and Brazil — opened their eyes to hunger. But it was after a mission trip to Africa that Jim saw hunger within one mile of his home — in his own neighborhood.

Jim and Linda Jones lead a team of volunteers to feed nearly 3,000 children with a backpack of food 49 weeks a year.

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Casey Jones Village: Right on Track

Entrepeneur Magazine - Casey Jones

I wanted to post this piece from my personal archives on the Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee. It originally ran years ago in Entrepreneur Magazine‘s “Business Beat” column:

In 1965, Brooks Shaw of Jackson, Tennessee started collecting country folk antiques as a way to combat stress from the high pressure job as president of a canned meat company. Little did he know that along the way he would fall in love with the story of American railroad engineer and folk hero Casey Jones and start something that 26 years later would become a top notch business.   Continue reading

Horse Motel is Keeping the Barn Door Open

Bud Sikes checks on one of his Arabian stallions at the Southern Star Horse Hotel in Jackson, Tennessee.

Bud Sikes checks on one of his Arabian stallions at the Southern Star Horse Hotel in Jackson, Tennessee.

I’m extremely excited to have the cover story for the Winter 2015-2016 edition of Tennessee Home & Farm. Here’s an excerpt from the piece, which focuses on a “horse motel” in Madison County:

A well-known motel has the slogan: “We’ll keep the lights on for you.” For Bud and Lelia Sikes, owners of Southern Star Farms in Madison County, it’s more along the lines of: “We’ll keep the barn door open for you.”

Like a layover station for the Pony Express, the Volunteer State is becoming an area where owners and drivers look for overnight lodging before leaving home. Fortunately, they won’t be disappointed. One website lists 48 overnight stables sites and another 65. However, some of those listed are places to ride or train. With the Interstate 40 corridor connecting the eastern and western U.S., equestrians choose this route when transporting horses.  Continue reading

Dement Tree Service: Satisfaction Guaranteed

Tree Services Magazine

My profile of Dement Tree Service, as it appeared in Tree Services Magazine:

Dement Tree Service makes customer approval a top priority.

One man’s dream became a reality in 2011 when Joe Dement purchased an established tree company. He restored and improved the company’s services, added to the practices already in place and rebranded the new business as Dement Tree Service. The now thriving company, based in Medina, Tennessee, provides removal, trimming and pruning, cabling and bracing, stump grinding, chipping, hazardous tree assessment, storm damage cleanup and 24-hour emergency tree service.

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