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By Cynthia Haggitt
Shelly Sanderson Snider is a mom on a mission. Snider is a Jerseyville resident and has been very active in the community and in surrounding areas. She has volunteered her time to mission work with a nonprofit charity organization called Moms On a Mission.
Snider has worked with this organization and has found ways to serve our homeless, displaced friends on the streets, veterans, teens, low income families, disabled people and our elderly population. She helps out by donating everything from food, clothing, hygiene products, blankets and even shoes during different times of the year.
“So there’s a mission group making a difference and they go down once on the second Saturday of the month to Granite City, and they feed the homeless. We are staying closer to home this time. We are going to make this trip on Saturday, Sept. 11, to try and help people who need it,” Snider said.
Snider said this time, she and a few others who have helped her out before are willing to travel a little bit outside of Jersey County and they are not afraid to travel to help others. When she contacted the organization they told her they already had a meal planned for September, but if she would like to bring desserts she and a few other volunteers could.
“I’m huge on the community and getting help from volunteers from friends, co-workers or even people from Jerseyville. I understand not everyone can donate money, but there are people who can bake cookies, including myself,” Snider said. “So you know what? People may just be happy to help out; and it could be the highlight of the day to be able to provide just baked goods.”
Snider said she got into volunteering last year.
“We made a big meal for a bunch of people in Jersey County at Christmas time. We also did blessing bags that went to the homeless in a certain area in St. Louis.”
Recently, we just came back from Louisiana and we went there with 112 blessing bags that we took to the homeless down in the Louisiana, New Orleans area,” Snider said. “We had milk crates and boxes full of supplies. There were probably 12 to 15 crate milk crates that were stuffed with supplies and The van was packed. We had three seats for the three people and all the seats were filled to the top of the van with donated items. We had book bags shoved underneath seats, bags on top of seats and there were bags everywhere. It was pretty tight but we made it work.”
Snider said this type of mission work kind of took on life of its own. She said that they are already planning a blessing bag trip for or next spring. However in the meantime she has plans to also venture out to other states and help there too.
“Like I said, I’m not afraid to travel. I’m not afraid to go around into the homeless camps because we’ve learned how to approach people. I’ve picked up on their body languages, so if they’re like, I don’t want to talk, then I just tell them. Okay. Thank you. We don’t. push anything on them,” Snider explained. “ When my husband and I went to Louisiana in March, I saw a young 20 year old sleeping on the streets and that just broke my heart because my kids are all in their twenties. And then someone aske me again if we were planning to do Blessing bags again. I told them I could and next thing I know boom, boom-we have stuff to make and 112 bages were made from the donations people gave me.”
Snider also finds ways to help raise funds for her mission work. She said she holds yards sales and all the profits they get from the sale go back into whatever else we need for our blessing bags. She recalls raising almost $500 from a recent yard sale she held.
“I do believe God told me this is my calling right now. I don’t know how long this call is gonna last, because like I said, I mentioned one thing to people on Facebook and it just kind of takes over. Things just a little early are falling into place every time.” Snider said.
Snyder said the work she does is keeping her earnest and honest. She is doing her best to keep updated when she plans to do something, especially those who are helping her by donating items. If you are interested in helping or donating you can contact Snider through the Local Love in Jersey County Facebook page.