“Daffodils come up from nothing. My prayers for Smithville are that these flowers will encourage them to keep moving forward. When we planted the bulbs, I gave everyone who volunteered a cluster to plant at their house so we’ll never forget the people of Smithville. The flowers are a visible manifestation of Christ; with God, all things are possible,” said Susan Brown.
The Houlka resident had never been to Smithville until her church adopted a family following last April’s EF-5 tornado and she was motivated to do more for the community.
Brown’s idea was modeled after a similar bulb planting at several Hancock County schools following Hurricane Katrina. She began initiating her idea in August through email correspondence with Monroe County 4-H Agent Randall Nevins.
Nevins served as the liaison for local volunteers, which included members of the Smithville Beautification Committee, Lowndes County Extension Service and Amory and home school 4-H clubs.
“I was happy to help out and everyone welcomed the opportunity. I didn’t have to beg people to help. I’d asked a few others who would’ve otherwise been there had they not committed to other obligations,” Nevins said.
The funding for the 1,000 daffodil bulbs was provided by a mission grant from Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo, where Brown is a member. Bulbs were planted at locations like the welcome signs on Highway 25 and 23; the intersection of Smithville Road and Highway 25; the Smithville Medical Clinic; and the community center.
While a few of the 4-H volunteers had contributed to efforts just after the tornado, they were eager to help with the daffodil project.
“It’s great how the kids who helped out can bring their friends back to these sites years from now and show them what they helped do for the community. It’s amazing how it all came together after contacting a complete stranger with an idea that turned into such a successful group effort,” Brown said.