LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - If you live in Laurel, you know of or have come across Phyllis Snowden.
“I’m the usher president at Christian Valley Missionary Baptist Church; Citywide Usher Ministry, I’m the youth director there; International Arts Mentor, I have become the co-chair of that,” Snowden said. “I just do stuff from my heart, you know. They say I do a lot, but I just do what God tells me to do.”
Snowden devotes her time to serving her community, helping children, and assisting the elderly.
“I don’t know how she does all that she does, because there are not that many hours in the day,” Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee said. “She is always doing something. She’s either at the school with the children, she’s at her church, she’s with the Girl Scouts, she’s with music programs, she just does so much. She is a community person, and she is doing so much to make Laurel so much better.”
Both Magee and Laurel Police Chief Tommy Cox say Snowden has created a positive impact in the community.
“Mrs. Snowden has always volunteered her time, whether it’s with the ushers, or the Laurel Magnet Schools,” Cox said. “She approaches us and gives us opportunities on how to serve in the community and help out. She’s just been a blessing for the Laurel Police Department.”
In addition to all her volunteer work throughout the years, Snowden also became a foster parent in 2010. A few years later, in 2014, she and her husband became foster parents to three siblings and in 2017, they decided to adopt them.
“I didn’t want them split up,” Snowden said. “People split them up and then they show you a book where people want to adopt. They put them in a book, and I couldn’t see them being put in no book, all they needed was us.”
Today, Snowden says she focuses on being a role model and mentor to her children. She says helping an elderly woman every week is one way she is showing her children that they too can help their community.
“We get up, we take her to dialysis three days a week,” Snowden said. “She has to be there at 6, and some mornings you don’t want to get up, but then that’s when I tell them, ‘That’s a sacrifice, God’s going to bless you for that.’”
She says there’s two things she wants people to take from her story.
“Put God first and you got this spirit on the inside that tells you not to, follow that spirit,” Snowden said. “If you follow that spirit, you’re going to do the right thing and whatever you do in front of your kids, they’re going to do it. So, you have to set an example for your kids.”
In addition to her community work, Snowden says she also takes care of her sister, who suffered a stroke and is paralyzed on one side.