CHOCTAW, Okla.- Judy Smith sews together garments of hope.
The clothes she makes at the Choctaw Church of Christ go to the needy around the world.
The latest batch of dresses and bows went to children in Costa Rica.
One of Judy’s volunteers says the dresses make the children in desperate areas feel the pride of owning something for themselves.
“One little girl had one of our dresses on,” said Barbara Brandon, “and they asked her if she wanted to try on a different dress and she said ‘No! This is my dress. This is mine.’ And so that makes our heart feel good.”
It’s not just overseas that Judy and her staff of angels find their mission field.
They make window treatments for Habitat For Humanity homes and Judy also helps single parents like Patty Yarbrough.
“A few years ago I moved into a new home and my financial situation was not the best,” recalled Patty. “And Judy came out and kind of got an idea of my kid’s rooms. And completely re-did the rooms. And redecorated and kind of made 'em more of their own. It meant a lot to me and the kids. It just showed what a great person she is and what a godly woman she is."
Judy and her husband also help with the church food pantry that helps feed the needy in the Choctaw area.
For these reasons and a host of others, Judy was nominated for Pay It Forward.
Mike Stacy of First Fidelity Bank gave us the 400 dollars to give to Judy.
"We've heard lots of great things about Judy Smith,” Mike said. “She does lots of wonderful things for people who are suffering and who are vulnerable so give Mrs. Smith a hug for us and these 400 dollars.”
We handed the 400 dollars from Mike and First Fidelity to Maybell Bailey who nominated Judy.
"Judy is a wonderful person. She helps everyone,” said Mrs. Bailey.
When we surprised Judy at her church with the 400 dollar Pay It Forward award she was stunned.
“I am so surprised!”, Judy said. “There are people in need and we are called to care for them. So that’s what we do here.”
And Judy always made sure her kids understood the importance of helping others.
"We grew up getting to volunteer at different places,” says Judy’s daughter Mendy Huff. “One of the things, she would take us to the nursing home and I remember there was a lady with a baby doll. And that really stuck in my mind and mama would bring her clothes for her baby doll, little blankets and stuff."
From her church in Choctaw, Judy Smith is touching lives around the world and here at home, paying it forward.