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Volunteer keeps lending helping hand
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Shaw Wilkerson smiles as he prepares to fill 75 bags with toothpaste, shampoo and laundry detergent at his church, Guyton Christian. The donation is helping clients of The Fillin Station food pantry. - photo by Photo by Paul Floeckher

It’s been quite a year for Shaw Wilkerson.

In March, he was honored by the Rotary Club of Effingham as the county’s volunteer of the year.

Last month, his local ministry celebrated its fifth anniversary. Started by Wilkerson when he was just 17 years old, My Father’s House hosts monthly socials for people with social, mental or emotional challenges, who otherwise might not be able to enjoy social activities.

Now, he is expanding the ministry to help more people in the community.

Wilkerson, who has autism, and his mother Vicki, who coordinates My Father’s House with him, donated 75 bags of toothpaste, shampoo and laundry detergent for clients of The Fillin’ Station, the food pantry in Guyton where Shaw volunteers.

“It makes me happy that we have a ministry for people to have fun and now we can also help people have some of the things they need and might not be able to get if we didn’t get it for them,” Shaw said. “It definitely makes me feel blessed that God has helped me find another way to pay back my blessings I have been given.”

Vicki bought the hygiene items with My Father’s House funds — “I cleared the shelves at two Dollar Generals and a Walmart,” she said — and hopes other people will follow suit with similar contributions to the food pantry.

“I was trying to think of a way (for people to help) that would be simple and easy to remember,” she said. “People can pick up these things in the grocery store, the drug store, the dollar store — just three things that everybody will use.”

The Fillin’ Station began giving out the bags on Tuesday, according to coordinator Bryant Garner. They are available to any of the food pantry’s clients, he said.

“It’s really a blessing for us,” Garner said. “We really appreciate it.”

The idea sprouted from a conversation between Shaw and Vicki about helping people in the community. Vicki mentioned that people in need cannot use food stamps to buy items such as toothpaste and shampoo.

“I just asked if maybe My Father’s House might be able to help,” Shaw said.

“He thinks about other people all of the time and comes up with ideas all of the time,” Vicki said of Shaw.

For more
Read more about Shaw Wilkeron and the My Father’s House ministry in the upcoming edition of Effingham Living magazine.