JACKSONVILLE, Fla.— Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteer Linda Gregory has been recognized and honored for her dedication to disaster relief ministry by Volunteer Florida as one of the top 30 volunteers in the state.
“Linda has displayed amazing courage and strength in her ongoing battle with cancer,” said Delton Beall, FLDR state director. “Her passion to serve in disaster relief ministry has energized so many to serve the Lord by serving others.
“Her ministry really has been so vital to the ever-growing ministry of disaster relief. She reveals the heart of a volunteer in every way and we are blessed by her ministry,” he added.
For the past seven years Gregory has served as a volunteer disaster relief administrative assistant in the Jacksonville office and as state task-force lead for the FLDR administration, a role that coordinates seven administrative coordinators and countless volunteers.
“I love helping people and when you start, you just keep adding to it,” said Gregory who has always served in some ministry capacity even before she began as a FLDR volunteer.
“The Lord expects us to do some type of ministry and when my husband, who was a police officer, was killed in the line of duty, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands so I began to help with the administrative work in the FLDR office in Jacksonville,” she said.
Gregory said bringing hope to people who have just about lost all the hope has guided her ministry even as she battled cancer for the third time.
“When you see someone, who had no hope and just because of a little bit of help we give them and a prayer we offer to do with them, their hope is re-ignited, it thrills my heart,” she said.
Her dedication to helping people in need has encouraged her sons, one of whom is a former Jacksonville police officer, and grandchildren to serve in the disaster relief ministry as well.
“I have cancer, this is my third go-around. But as long as I can go serve, it is what I will do because this is what the Lord wants me to do,” she said. “Just because a situation is not the best doesn’t mean the Lord can’t bring some good out of it.”
Volunteer Florida is officially recognized as the Florida Commission on Community Service, an agency guided by a bipartisan board of Commissioners, who are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Florida Senate.
“Volunteer Florida is proud to recognize these 30 outstanding volunteers in the State of Florida as a part of our annual volunteer recognition campaign, #VF30in30,” reads a statement on the group’s website. “Thank you to these volunteers and the thousands of others across the state that make Florida a better place to live.”