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Food, kids ministry volunteer shocked by first Angel Award

Food, kids ministry volunteer shocked by first Angel Award
Food, kids ministry volunteer shocked by first Angel Award
At the Corydon Baptist Church Food Ministry, Janice Young of Corydon comforts Joe Payton, 6, Depauw, who is still haunted by the Marengo tornado last spring. (Photo by Randy West)

Late on Tuesday morning, Aug. 24, Janice Young dropped in at the Faith, Hope and Love Shop in Corydon to get her name printed in her new Bible and to drop off some Ivan Parker concert tickets. She noticed balloons and other party items strewn on the counter at Barbara and Dean Owsley’s book store on Water Street.
‘What’s going on?’ she asked clerk Pam Harrington.
‘Oh, just a little celebration we’re planning later,’ Pam answered, honestly.
‘Well, what’s it all about?’ Janice persisted.
‘Oh, we’re honoring a mystery guest,’ Pam said, still honest but getting increasingly uncomfortable. She was immensely relieved when Janice said, ‘That’s a nice thing to do,’ and left.
Well, wasn’t Janice surprised one hour later when her sister, Sharon Buck, and a friend brought her back to the store for a party … for her?
When Janice reappeared at the counter, Pam said, ‘As long as you’re here, why not join us in our festivities? It will only take a few minutes.’
Janice, still unsuspecting, strolled to the back of the store and then noticed a large sign that read, ‘Janice, our special angel! Unusually kind.’
Janice, 62, was surprised and tried to run out the door, but by then her family and more friends were there. They had all been part of the conspiracy: the first Angel Award, dreamed up by Pam Harrington and her husband, Steve, and their five children, Hannah, Benjamin, Barbara-Joy, Grace and Hadasah.
Janice said she was surprised, ‘totally in shock,’ because ‘I know so many other people who do so much more than I do.’ She proceeded to name all the people, old and young alike, who prepare, serve and deliver food with her each Tuesday evening at her church, First Baptist of Corydon.
Pam said, ‘We made a decision to endeavor to ‘bless’ our earthly ‘angels’ with what we call our ‘Lord of the Wings’ Angel Awards,’ based on the popular J.R.R. Tolkien novels and movies.
‘In our case,’ said Pam, ‘we are merely making reference to the fact that the God of the universe is Lord over all, including ‘winged angels.’ ‘
The person the Harringtons and the Owsleys chose to receive the first Angel Award was Janice, an ‘unsung hero’ who loves to help others, especially children, in a ‘quiet, unpretentious way,’ said Pam. She is one of those ‘people who cheerfully serve others without one thought to earthly reward, people who epitomize the biblical mandate to do unto others what you would have others do unto you,’ Pam said.
Janice, retired after a 35-year career at Chevron Texas in Louisville, volunteers at the book store and serves meals and greets all the ‘guests’ by name at her church’s weekly food ministry. ‘My first love is children,’ she said later. ‘I am drawn to children like a magnet.’ She helps out with Sunday School, children’s church, Vacation Bible School and field trips. ‘Where the children are, that’s where I am,’ she said.
Pam made a brief presentation at the surprise party and said they were grateful for those people who delight in serving others with a cheerful attitude. She referred to Christ’s words in Matthew 25:40: ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’
Janice was given $100 raised by the store and the Harringtons from Janice’s family and friends. Pam and her family custom-designed and handstitched a little angel figure for Janice, to reflect her personality and interests. It was in University of Kentucky blue because Janice is a big Cats fan. One might think the initials U.K. sewn onto the angel might have referred to that big university in Lexington, Ky., but in this case, Pam explained, they stood for ‘Unusually Kind.’ The $100 was sewn into a little pouch on the angel. The angel will likely become a Christmas tree ornament.
Janice was also given a photo album of her surprise party.