GLORIA JOHNSON-RODGERS

Daily Point of Light # 2449 Jun 25, 2003

Dr. Gloria Johnson-Rodgers is a family practice physician, humanitarian, author and coordinator of the Gwendolyn Wilkes Rainbow Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Columbus, Georgia. Since its inception in 1994, the Gwendolyn Wilkes Rainbow Center, a multifaceted Child Care and Adult Day Treatment center, reaches out to the community and is inclusive of the whole family unit. It seeks to empower wholeness in the family unit.

The Rainbow Center has sought a high standard of excellence in all that has been attempted; a free clothing and food pantry, which serviced more than 60,000 locally last year; a Child Care Center that gives honors for educational achievement, working with 90% low-income families, and an Adult Day Treatment Center that provides warm meals, professional staffing, transit shelters, and some assistance with homeless. All of these services are a part of the Center and most efforts are facilitated through volunteer service.

Another humanitarian cause supported by Johnson-Rodgers is the hunger crisis in Nigeria, West Africa. Last year almost one million children in Nigeria died before the age of five due to starvation. In 2002, the hunger situation has heightened to the worst level in history; families are dying on the streets. Dr. Gloria Johnson-Rodgers has begun work to alleviate the suffering of families, especially women and children in Nigeria. The plan is to build feeding stations in three distinct regions of Nigeria, which will give access to the whole country, as most states are within one hour walking distance of each other. The stations will be able to give goods to 10,000 residents at one time, therefore feeding hundreds of thousands daily. Johnson-Rodgers are her team of volunteers are also building several orphanages throughout Nigeria to help solve the problem of homelessness.

Thousands have already been fed in Nigeria, West Africa, since the project was begun in the year 2000. Scholarships have been donated for 1,500 children from very poor areas. These children are very gifted, but have no means for school. Johnson-Rodgers has helped to build two schools and donated medical supplies, along with toiletries, to the women and children in the villages of Nigeria. Nowhere else in the world has anyone attempted to build such feeding stations which will accommodate the masses. Instead of several trucks per month, several million can be fed easily. Physicians, educator, various people from all walks of life and many other volunteers are on standby and willing to join in this project to educate, donate time and service.

Recently, Dr. Johnson-Rodgers was named one of the 100 winners of Charming Shoppes’ VOICES essay contest – 100 remarkable women who raised their VOICES to create positive change in their communities. This award was based on work being done in Columbus, Georgia, and Nigeria, West Africa, through MISSION NIGERIA/Operation Feed Worldwide. This contest was sponsored by Fashion Bug, Lane Bryant, and Catherine’s.

In addition to her work being done locally and abroad, Dr. Johnson-Rodgers is a loving, devoted wife of Dr. Charles Rodgers, mother of four beautiful children. She provides personal counseling to anyone who needs her, regardless of race, nationality, background or religious affiliation. Because of her love for people, she is willing to help anyone who asks. The children in the neighborhood have adopted her as “Mom.” She gives them odd jobs to do throughout the ministry. There are times when she stops her busy workday, whenever the neighborhood children come to visit, to spend time with them, allowing them the opportunity to “express their thoughts.” She always has a “loving smile” and plenty of love for anyone. Because of her compassion for the children, on her next visit to Nigeria on last year, she describes the suffering that the people are experiencing.

Dr. Rodgers is a member of the Homeless Task Force, Columbus, Georgia, and provides transient shelters for the homeless. She was also responsible for setting up a Feeding Program for Senior Citizens in Atlanta, Georgia, whereby she assisted the elderly to ensure they had sufficient food for the entire month. She is also well known for her words of wisdom given during her weekly TV program, Morning Inspiration, which airs on a local television station and reaches 197,000 households.

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