When Priscilla Wilson met Mary Dailey Brown at a church in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), she never imaged that one day she would live right down the street from the SowHope office in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I was working as the children’s director at a church in Abu Dhabi in 2012 when a woman named Mary came to our church to talk about SowHope. We went out to lunch together and she told me all about the organization. My husband Andy and I loved the work and began supporting it from there.” Priscilla liked SowHope from the start because she could tell that Mary cared for women and their shared faith in Christ centered around a common goal. Eight years and a short stop in Bath, England later, Priscilla’s husband Andy became a professor at a local university in Grand Rapids.
A former third grade schoolteacher and mother of three, Priscilla and her husband of 47 years have lived overseas in Qatar, UAE, and England, spending nearly half of their married life (23 years) outside of the United States. “I disliked being so far away from home, but I loved the adventure of it all. We lived in a completely different culture than we could have ever imagined, and we learned to adapt and make lifelong friends with people who were not like us. I loved that our children attended an American School that included children from about 40 different nations. It was fascinating!” Originally from Minneapolis, Priscilla had never lived in the Greater Grand Rapids area, but when she moved in 2020, she immediately thought of Mary and called her to explain they would soon live close by. Mary knew how high-capacity Priscilla was and snagged her as a volunteer as soon as she could.
Over the last few years, Priscilla has become one of SowHope’s most dedicated and hardworking volunteers. Priscilla has taken the reigns to run the volunteer mailings that SowHope does every month or so. She finds volunteers for the day and helps facilitate the process so that every piece of mail gets exactly where it needs to go. She also helps grab the mail and regularly volunteers at SowHope events. Really, if there is any help that SowHope needs, Priscilla is ready to give it a shot. “I especially like the mailings,” she explains, “because we have a room full of men and women who help; and it has been fascinating to get to know them. They are a wonderful bunch!” She is inspired to keep volunteering because she has seen the fruit in the lives of many women through the work of SowHope.
When she is not giving her time to SowHope, Priscilla is a savvy eBay seller. She also plays the flute and makes a mean Michigan blueberry coffee cake (just ask the mailing volunteers!). Family is incredibly important to her, and she loves to help others. As a former teacher, the education part of SowHope’s mission really hits home. “I believe if you teach someone to do something, it becomes a lifelong benefit to them. It’s the old saying, ‘if you give a man a fish…’except in this case, it’s a woman! If I could say one thing to any woman around the world, it would be a quote from one of my favorite characters, Winne the Pooh: ‘Promise me you’ll remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you’ll ever know.’”
Thank you, Priscilla, for giving your time and talents to SowHope. Your contributions are worth more than you’ll ever know!