By Betsy Finklea
A love for cooking and a love for people have combined to create a special mission for a local woman.
“Cooking With Love” is nothing new for Detrice McCollum-Dawkins who is using her culinary talent to benefit senior citizens in the area. Dawkins is no stranger to public service as she currently serves as the vice-chairwoman of the Dillon County Council, a bondswoman, and the head of the non-profit, the Logistics of Hustling.
Dawkins began cooking around the age of 11 years old, and it wasn’t long before she was cooking four-course meals. Her mother worked at a factory, and she took care of her brothers and cooked and cleaned while her mother was at work. She learned to cook by watching her grandmother on her old wood stove, and she learned to bake from her aunt.
While her love of cooking came from her grandmother, her love of people came from her grandfather who used to kill a hog and feed the community.
Dawkins has taken these two loves—cooking and people—to begin her own ministry of serving meals to senior citizens; however, when she drops off a meal, she is not only physically feeding someone, she is also feeding their spirit. For many of these senior citizens, a visit from Dawkins may be the only conversation they have all week so they look forward to her visits and of course, the fantastic food.
Dawkins has 11 seniors that she regularly serves on Sundays, but sometimes she feeds as many as 20-30 extra people who come from requests. It can take several hours to cook and deliver the plates, and sometimes a visit can be as long as 15-20 minutes. Many times she is the only one making deliveries, and she pays for everything out of her own pocket except for the occasional donation.
While Dawkins feeds her core group of 11 seniors plus her family every Sunday, she recently decided that she would feed extra seniors on the third Sunday of every month.
She serves her seniors the same thing she serves her own family. If the family is eating steak, then the seniors are eating steak. The meals vary from week to week and could be anything such as stew beef, oxtails, fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, collards, etc.
Dawkins said she enjoys cooking, and one can tell the difference in the dish when one cooks with love, which she always strives to do. Cooking with love and serving others with love makes all the difference.
If you know a senior citizen who would like to be considered for a meal on an upcoming third Sunday or if you would like to volunteer to deliver or would like to make a donation, please call Dawkins’ office at 843-627-3090.
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