Meet a Homeowner - Ms Gladys
In the latest installment of “Meet a Homeowner”, SOS Academy intern, Emily Gluntz, sat down with Ms Gladys whom SOS and Team Leader, Nick Stevenson, partnered with in summer 2014. Emily: SOS had the privilege of partnering with you this last year, can you share how you found out about us?
Miss Gladys: I found out about SOS through a friend I grew up with. Someone had worked on her cousin’s home and she told me about y’all.
Emily: What was your experience like while the repairs were being done on your home?
Miss Gladys: Well I enjoyed the children and I still get letters from them-- they send me pictures & everything! I got Anna’s letter out now in front of me- I need to reply to her. I got a couple letters from Selena, she’s strugglin’ with changing majors at college. I’m gonna write back and tell her to just let God lead her- He’ll take care of it and she doesn’t need to worry. They were just like my children the whole summer!
Emily: How were you able to take part in the work throughout the summer?
Miss Gladys: I would help clean up the yard-- all the shingles layin’ around and stuff. They used to say, “Miss Gladys, how ‘come you doin’ that?” and I’d tell them that I was just doin’ my share. I also used to surprise them with donuts from Gibsons’ on Friday. There was a new group every week, you know, so it was always a new surprise. And we always had to save some for Zack, the Construction Manager, because he’d come pokin’ around lookin’ for them!
Emily: You obviously love this neighborhood, how long have you lived here & what has changed the least?
Miss Gladys: I’ve lived here all my life just about, except for when I was married. I grew up in this house and then moved back here a while ago to take care of my mom when she wasn’t doing so well. Everything has changed. They are tearing down some of these houses, which is a good thing--- the houses behind those big hotels that bring bad news to the neighborhood. But all my neighbors are good. They are new and younger, all working during the day, and they protect me!
Emily: Even though I grew up in Memphis, I just moved back to the city and haven’t lived here very long- what is one place or restaurant that I should make sure I get to go to at some point?
Miss Gladys: Rendezvous! It’s a BBQ place but they have other things and it’s so good! It’s in an alley but don’t let that fool you. You should also just walk around downtown. I’m sure a lot has changed since you lived here and there are some real nice places!
Emily: I love that so many of the kids still keep in touch with you! What is something that you use to tell them throughout the summer to encourage them?
Miss Gladys: Well you know how we would pray before we eat? One girl was real shy about praying and I used to tell her that I was shy too - even though I talk a lot. I don’t like to get up in front of a crowd you know? I would share about prayer and say that you just talk to God like he’s right there. You just ask God, thank him for your life, thank him for your parents and pay attention to the small things. Like when I noticed my elderly neighbor next door was going hungry during the day, I just started taking meals over to her when her daughter hadn’t been by. Makin’ sure she was fed and had somethin to eat. It’s the small things but they matter.