Sometimes the simple things in life can brighten a person’s day.
In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that approximately 41 million Americans are handicapped in some way.
“Six percent of all children, 12 percent of all adults between 16-64 years of age and 41 percent of all people 65 or older are disabled,” according to the bureau.
Just because a person is disabled does not mean he or she cannot make significant contributions to society, whether in the family, workplace, church or community.
Sometimes a handicapped person is overlooked simply because we think they cannot do certain things.
During the Jan. 22 celebration of the historical Midway Congregational United Church of Christ’s 140th anniversary, Felix Laverne Hicks was afforded the opportunity to light the candles. The church is under the leadership of Dr. Larry Evans, who also is a certified and licensed therapist. While this assignment may be seen as insignificant by some, it was one of the highlights of Felix’s week and a very memorable event for him.
“I was elated when my brother, Felix, was asked to light the candles for our church’s 140th anniversary,” said Sandra Hicks-Sheffield, who is Felix’s sister and primary caretaker. Felix has been handicapped since birth, but that did not hinder him from participating in church and other community activities.
“I want our community — the citizens of Liberty County and thereabouts — to be reminded of the feelings, effect and the impact of remembering the disadvantaged and homebound individuals, as was especially done during the church anniversary for Felix Laverne Hicks,” Hicks-Sheffield said.
“All who know Felix know that he was a public figure until his health put him in the bed 24 hours a day,” she said. Felix’s mother, the late Mattie Hick, was a longtime educator and served on the Liberty County Board of Education for many years.
“Honestly, I am so appreciative of my church’s leadership for not forgetting Felix. So often that ol’ statement becomes true ‘Out of sight, out of mind.’ My prayer and desire is that others will be inspired and ‘make the day’ of one of their home-confined members,” Hicks-Sheffield said. “What a blessing this has been for Felix.
“Felix speaks daily of this church involvement situation. Everyone he has encountered is aware of his revisited task — something he enjoyed doing when he could stand and walk. He has told everyone — all of his personal home aides from Coastal Home, he has told all of the T F & S Transportation workers who have crossed his path and finally he has told all of the workers at the Wound Care Clinic in Pooler, Ga.,” Hicks-Sheffield said.
“Last week was not just the church’s 140th anniversary, but our church, as the song goes, ‘Brightened the corner where (we were),’” Hicks-Sheffield said.