Vickie Jones is known by most as a giver and a woman who cares. Regardless of the situation, no matter if it’s day or night, whether it be shoes for your feet, lights in your home, or Christmas presents for your children, Jones desires to do the right thing, and not because she wants to be a hero, but because she loves God.
Through Michael’s Missions and Michael’s Christmas, she hopes to take care of, and make Scott County a better place for everyone, especially the children.
A parent never dreams they will see the day they lose their child, but that day came for Vickie Jones in 2001 when she lost her youngest son, Michael Jones. Although her son was gone, Vickie carried on. She continued to help others, and smile through her tears. The year was difficult and Jones found herself angry at times, but she never stopped giving.
In 2002 a woman from Dixson, TN gave Jones a special packet. Little did she know this packet would better the lives of so many in the community, and most of all, the packet would restore her joy.
The information found inside described a thrift store that took care of its community. Jones went right to work, praying, organizing, and consulting others on how to get a place like this going in Scott County. Financial issues were an obvious aversion, but a friend reminded Jones that donations from Michaels’s death had been stored in an account. The money would be used to get this thrift store assail.
After praying with her mother over a building for the store, her mother reminded her of an important detail. This was Michael’s Mission.
Before his passing Michael had lost his job due to the closing of Wabash. Jones remembered her son’s caring heart, and how he never worried for the well-being of himself, but only for others. He had expressed his concern with her on several occasions about his worry for the people losing their jobs and mainly for their children.
She remembers reassuring him that they would be taken care of. From that moment on, Jones knew this was, in fact, her son’s mission, and the store received its name as Michael’s Mission.
The store opened in 2003, and since then the mission of the store has been to make Scott County better and allow people to purchase clothing and other items easier. The proceeds from purchases go towards paying bills in emergency situations and helps with The Michaels Christmas program.
In the beginning, Jones admits it wasn’t easy, it was painful. Through her pain, the mission has grown into something she never dreamed it would.
“Little did I know that losing our little boy would do all the things it has,” Jones said. “It helps to pay people’s bills, help buy back-to-school clothes for kids, buy Christmas presents, and just make life a little easier, especially for the children.”
Through the store, Jones had always purchased Christmas presents for families, however, in 2006 the giving went to another level with the official creation of Michael’s Christmas.
It began with applications from deserving families who were unable to give their child presents under the tree. On average 100 families per year are part of the program. Each child gets a full Christmas with toys and clothes straight from their wish list. A critical component of the program is the parents give the presents to their children, and none of the gifts are wrapped. Jones’s husband, John Jones, was adamant about not wrapping the presents, but instead allowing the parents to be a part of their child’s Christmas by wrapping them, and placing them under the tree.
“When we started this, I was so excited about wrapping the presents,” Jones said. “John was adamant that we not wrap the presents, and give the parents that opportunity. After he said that, I thought, that’s a great idea.”
In 2014, the organization paired with the Angel Tree Foundation to help provide for more families. The children on the Angel Tree are provided for by whoever choses them, and the siblings of that child are provided for by the organization. Now not only is there an Angel Tree in Wal-Mart, the employees of Tennier also put one up. With 100 families to provide for, community involvement is a must, and although it’s called Michael’s Christmas, Jones believes it’s the people who help that make it such a success.
“This is a community project, it’s the people who donate, who buy items from the store, and those who need the items,” Jones said. “I am not a hero for doing this. I’m just so thankful God has allowed us to do it.”
When Jones isn’t paying bills to help people in the community, organizing gifts for Michael’s Christmas, or working with the Youth Service Learning Program through stand, she spends time with her two grandchildren, Cordell and Violet, which she admits they are the joy of her life. Although they are the joy of her life, Jones doesn’t put them before others in need. When an event is planned and the need arises, the need is attended to first. Jones educates her grandchildren all the way through the process.
“They wanted to go to Kentucky Splash, but we had to pay a bill first,” Jones said. “They weren’t happy at first, but I just explained to them that We have to do what’s right first, and paying someone’s rent is a priority. I also let them know that we aren’t heroes for doing it. We are only doing what’s right, because that’s how it should be.”
Jones doesn’t consider herself a hero for helping the people of Scott County. She only wants to make it a better place, so that there are no families left suffering, regardless of the need. Her son Michael worried for the less fortunate of the community, and now the store named after him, has made life a little easier for the people of Scott County.
“I will carry the pain of losing my baby until the day I get to Heaven, but through this God has allowed me to find my joy,” Jones stated. “I am so grateful for the opportunity Scott County has given me to serve. I really feel like this has saved my life. I am so blessed.”