Editor, Times-Union:
The founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, once said, “My best men are women.” No doubt he was referring to someone like Mazie Alexander who has been driven for more than 45 years to make a difference in Kosciusko County.
Mazie was instrumental in establishing the Women’s Auxiliary in 1968 that has supported The Salvation Army through the Angel Tree Program (last year helping more than 850 children) and School Worx (providing school shoes to more than 500 students). The annual fundraisers, most notably the nut sale and soup and pie luncheon, garner funds to support the mission of Army to meet human need in the name of Jesus Christ.
Mazie has been active in the Republican Party of Kosciusko County and is a lively member of Walnut Creek United Methodist Church. She has given to others in many personal ways and doesn’t seek attention to herself. Mazie is now 95 years young (I know you shouldn’t tell a lady’s age!) and every month she is at the auxiliary meeting suggesting new ways to serve others. She brings donations of clothing that she collects from her friends and always makes sure that the pantry has her extra shopping bags and food. Active in giving, she considers the Salvation Army “Friends of the Army” Fund of Kosciusko County one of the special achievements of the Auxiliary.
On a personal note, during one of the darkest moments in my life Mazie and her husband John were there for me and my family. I was going through marital problems, which are an occupational hazard for a pastor. Being the director of The Salvation Army at the time, I had to resign with no job prospect and three children to take care of. The Alexanders loaned me money to get through those tough early months until I was hired at Cardinal Center. They brought over food and candy for my family. It was humbling but God blessed us through them. When I wrote the last check to pay off their loan Mazie told me, “If you ever need help you know where to come.”
Mazie is a part of that “Greatest Generation” that is leaving us at a rapid pace. They grew up in the Depression and have seen our nation go through many wars and crisis. She believes in hard work, being honest and giving to others. I shudder to think what the world will be like when they are all gone. But they have given us a great legacy and example of what it means to be an American and more importantly a Christian. I have seen this woman’s heart and the golden way she quietly serves. It is an honor to nominate Mazie Alexander for the Heart of Gold Award.
Ken Locke
The Salvation Army