Congratulations to Janice “Pinky” Whitner, the 107.3 JAMZ Upstate Black History Maker for February 9, 2019!
This is quite unlike any Upstate Black History Maker profile we’ve highlighted in the past. Although we have seen the best of the best of public servants, pastors, leaders, educators, and some very, very (very!) impressive people, we have never seen this level of selflessness.
This woman, who is a hair’s breadth from being homeless herself, spends her own time and what little money she has to cook batches soup and bread and deliver it to people she refers to as “God’s Sheep,” also known as: the homeless population of the Greenville area. Every week, several times a week, she goes out to deliver chili or stew or soup, with rolls or cornbread, all homemade and prepared with love by Pinky herself.
As dedicated and reliable as the post office — if not more so — Pinky has been out making deliveries in snow, in rain, in 109-degree heat, and in frigid, 12-degree weather. In November, she prepared and served a free holiday meal called “Christmas in November,” her third annual event, open to anyone who needed a meal. This woman, who is driven by pure love and devotion and grace, may not ever have a statue erected in her honor or have a medal hung around her neck, but she is doing so much for the people that get overlooked or looked down upon. She prays with – and for – them, she hugs them and tells them she loves them. She truly is a shepherd, and made in His own image.
Today, February 9th, is her birthday. She’s 63 years old. She’s been homeless, she’s lived out of her car, she’s had bills she can’t pay, and worse. She’s even been taken advantage of by unscrupulous — to keep with the metaphor — wolves in sheep’s clothing, including thieves and predatory lenders. About these hardships, she says, “Satan is always trying to stop Pinky, [but] he forgets I’m never alone!”
She said she was “exposed to the love of God, His Son and His Holy Spirit all in one at an early age. We learned to share what we had, to be thankful for all things, and not to judge. No matter how small of a meal [we had], we always found a way to share the love of Jesus.”
And so many are very fortunate that she continues to find a way.
If you feel moved to help Pinky in her endeavors, you can call her at 864-325-4652 or write her at Pink Mailbox Street Ministries, P.O. Box 1405, Greenville SC 29602, and she checks her email at the public library: email@example.com
Please join us in congratulating this 2019 Upstate Black History Maker!