Volunteer of the Week: Powe dedicated to helping

Published 10:20 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2018

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

Marsha Powe loves to cook and garden, but her love for children has always outweighed those things. A teacher and speech therapist for more than 39 years, she has dedicated her life to educating and taking care of children.

Now a volunteer at SABRA Sanctuary, a domestic violence abuse shelter, she is helping children in another way.

“I love people, and I love children,” Powe said. “I have always had a special place in my heart for domestic violence [victims], and I wanted to give something back to the community.”

Volunteering at a place like SABRA Sanctuary makes her appreciate the little things that people often take for granted.

“It opens the community’s eyes to what is needed and what we can do,” she said.

Powe has had some of her own personal obstacles that she is grateful to have overcome.

After being diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, she was ordered to stay away from large crowds because of her low antibodies and subsequently had to be quarantined to her home. She said she sees it as a blessing that she is still here.

“God spared me,” she said.

When at home, the things that kept her going were reading and illustrating Bible scriptures as a gift for her two grandsons.

However, being the social butterfly she is, Powe could not wait to get back to being active in her community and her church.

Powe volunteers twice a week for SABRA, and during those days she organizes clothing donations and assists with the upkeep of the office area.

SABRA Sanctuary executive director Renee Callen said Powe is one of the most selfless people she knows. She said Powe didn’t allow having cancer stop her from being eager to help others.

“As soon as she was released from her home she was calling me asking me what she could do for us,” Callen said. “She is the sweetest, kindest spirit I’ve ever met.”

Callen said if Powe knows someone is having a hard time or has recently been having a hard time she sends them a handwritten note to express her well wishes.

“She’s the greatest encourager I’ve ever met,” Callen said.

Callen said not only does Powe bring her sweet and loving personality to SABRA, she helps the organization to be able to focus on clients by assisting with the day to day operation side of the business.

“We are able to be more client centered,” Callen said.