Allen Tignor Reported By: Allen Tignor Staff Poster
Mother Irving (109 years old) waits to volunteer at the The Convoy Mid-South. Mother Irving (109 years old) waits to volunteer at the The Convoy Mid-South.

A crowd of  2,301 volunteers show up on a Saturday to give their day in service to their neighbors and the community of Memphis, Tenn., at The Convoy Mid-South.

Young boys serve with their parents to speedily bag 10,000 bags of groceries, a young mother with infant in sling kindly passes groceries to guests of honor, kids serve their fellow classmates in the kids zone and one full-hearted 109-year-old “Mother Irving” encourages families in the Connections area. That’s the sight confronting my eyes at the second Convoy of Hope community outreach I’ve been able to attend in my 27 years.

109 years and still volunteering.

Mother Irving may not have been able to carry groceries to cars, jump with smiling kids in bounce houses or guide families from one free service to the next. Yet, by her mere attendance as a volunteer, Mother Irving inspires me and likely everyone who experiences her service to simply never stop caring. Can you imagine what her list of excuses for not volunteering could look like?

We can’t avoid aging, there are many limiting conditions and situations that we simply cannot overcome, certain talents that will never be ours but we can always have heart.

Mother Iriving and 2,300 other Tennessean volunteers exercised their hearts and sent Memphis a unanimous message with their presence, “We care.”


  • cherylbone

    “Mama” and her evangelist daughter, Ms. Betty, were such a blessing to us. I have known them since she was “younger” when they worked in Angel Food Ministries with us. She was a delight at the Rally and all day Saturday. Wish you had the picture of her smiling in delight watching a young child in kids zone. She even sorted groceries for awhile! Has had a wonderful history of serving, being a cook, going to the inaugration of President Obama. Looking forward to her working again in 2014 after her 110th birthday. No more excuses for the rest of us. Thank you for spotlighting a wonderful woman and an inspiration.

  • Albertha Bragg

    I was there and this was truly one of Gods handmaids. She participated in the volunteer rally Friday night and got up early Saturday morning to serve. Mother Irving is another example of the word made flesh. “I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

  • Emanuel

    Old and amazing! The heart of serving the world never cease, Long live Mother Irving.

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