Sisters volunteer together at Backyard Blessings

Posted 11/5/19

Four local sisters gather each Thursday morning in a donated space at the back of the Piggly Wiggly in Dora. 

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Sisters volunteer together at Backyard Blessings


DORA – Four local sisters gather each Thursday morning in a donated space at the back of the Piggly Wiggly in Dora. The sisters join a group of other volunteers to help pack grocery bags for area school students. Hilda Dutton, Myra Sellers, Sheila Carden, and Linda Westbrook consider it a blessing to help feed needy school children each week.

Sellers saw a post on Facebook, and she felt led to help. It was a call for volunteers to help on Thursday mornings. Sellers first enlisted her husband Mike to help out, and about a month later, she reached out to Carden and her husband Donnie to join in. “We weren’t sure what it was all about at first, but we love children,” Sellers said.

During their conversation, Sellers told Carden, that packing the bags was not the blessing, but the feeling that volunteers get in their heart when they keep a child from going hungry over the weekend is the true blessing.

They started volunteering about a year ago. Then, early this year, the two drafted two more of their sisters to stuff groceries in bags for the children.

After the sisters help with packing duties, they stick around to help clean up the Backyard Blessing warehouse and stage the non-perishable food items for the following week.

All four sisters say the fellowship, and the fact that they are helping children is why they enjoy volunteering for this cause.

The sisters are originally from Empire. Their parents, Katie B. and Julius (Pool) Westbrook, had ten children. Five girls and five boys, and they all graduated from Dora High School.

They are all retired now. Dutton was a principal at Farmstead, Sellers retired from Alabama Power, Carden was a counselor at Dora High School, and Westbrook retired from BellSouth. 

Leneda Jones is the director of Backyard Blessings, which is a nonprofit organization that serves 843 children at nine local schools.