Focused on Mississippi: Turning jelly into homes

Focused on Mississippi

NESHOBA COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – A Neshoba County woman is turning jelly into houses. It’s not a magic trick, but it really works. Connie Walters’ jelly sales have built at least a house a year for 16 years in Honduras. It started with her daughter and a fundraiser at her church.

“Well uh, 16 years ago my daughter went to Honduras, and she came back with pictures and a broken heart over the conditions that the people lived there. Especially the, not having homes, just tar paper and just really bad,” said Walters.

Walters attends the Sandtown United Methodist Church in Neshoba County near Philadelphia. And that is important to the story because members of Sandtown UMC started going to Honduras to do what they could for the people who live there.

One thing they wanted to do was to build some substantial housing, which costs money. And that’s where Walters pitched in and did what she could. She’s not a carpenter or a contractor, but she can cook. She cans all kinds of jellies and jams. So that first year 16 years ago, Walters’ jelly raised enough money to build a house. And they’ve built at least one house a year with Connie’s jelly proceeds since then.

“We gave built 20 houses that are jelly houses.”

What brought all of this up now, I noticed on Walters’ Facebook page that she’d really love for people to recycle jars so she use them again so the proceeds will go farther.

“When I first started, it only took about 1,200 jars to build a house. But now it takes 2,000,” she explained.

If you’d like to help instead sending of jars, you can send a donation to her church, Sandtown UMC. It’s on Facebook, and they have a web page.

But even of you don’t, I just wanted you to know there are folks like Walters in the world who do things that mean so much to other people, like getting a house, just to be doing it. And what do they get out of it? Well, they have probably discovered the law of life: The more you put into it the more you get out of it. We can spend out time doing anything or nothing. And we get back what we put in.

Walters has come to mean a lot to the people in Honduras. They have nicked named her “Mama.” And just a reminder, this coming Sunday is Mother’s Day.

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