By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- Julie Crews was making a nice salary as a postal worker in Jacksonville.
So you might think her husband would be a little ruffled when she quit and left the money behind.
But in his words, "It worked out wonderfully."
All this started one day when Julie was out delivering mail in Mayport. She saw a skinny boy, who looked hungry.
She offered him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and he got excited. The boy told Julie, "Now I can eat today."
Julie couldn't believe this was in Jacksonville.
It wasn't a foreign country. It was on her own mail route.
What happened after that has inspired our selection committee to award Julie one of our 12 Who Care Volunteer Community Service Awards.
Julie now goes back up and down her old mail route and gives blue jeans, toys, cookies and anything else she can collect to needy folks.
Julie's been known to get up before the crack of dawn so she can be at grocery stores when they give away bread. She's spent all night at hospitals with families not even related to her.
We asked James, a father in Mayport, "Can you believe she walks around and does all this?"
James, who's not employed right now, said immediately, "I can because of her faith."
Julie's husband is pastor at Oak Harbor Baptist Church in Mayport. She says the Bible is her instruction book. She says God tells us to "entertain strangers because they might be angels, and if they ask for bread, don't give them a rock."
Julie believes God put her on the mail route to show her the people who needed help. After she gave up her job at the post office, her husband wound up becoming the full-time pastor, in turn, making more money.
She says God had things worked out perfectly.
One lady Julie stops by often to see is Miss Emma. She's 93. Every morning Miss Emma rakes her yard, every square foot of it. There's no grass, just dirt and plants she's grown from cuttings.
Miss Emma is proud of her home and Julie is there to say, "Oh, Miss Emma. Your yard is gorgeous."
As she drives away, Julie waves and says, "Goodbye, Miss Emma! I love you!"
It's the belief in human dignity which propels Julie to stop and give what she can. She visits with folks many people wouldn't even wave to heading down the street.
One man, who received a big stack of blue jeans from Julie, said, "She's the Mayport angel."
It would be hard to argue with that.
For her work in lifting people to the level of dignity they deserve, First Coast News is proud to award Julie Crews one of our 12 Who Care Awards for 2007.
By the way, Julie is so humble she first tried to refuse the award. Her husband finally convinced her to accept it. But she still says, "I'm the least of your twelve. I'm nothing special. I'm really not."
First Coast News