By Caleb Hennington
Digital Content Editor
- How long have you been involved with the Ozark Mission Project and what roles have you held in the organization? I’ve been involved since 1995 as a camper parent, I then volunteered at the North Little Rock camp for several years by helping to provide a meal during camp week. I had a temporary admin job in the OMP office for a month in early 2017. I was then hired as Project Coordinator in April of 2017. It has been my job to reach out to agencies, churches, civic organizations, and local governments each year to obtain enough applications for our 12 or 13 camps around the state. We received over 600 applications for the 2019 camp season. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were not able to hold our usual in-person camps this year, but plans are already underway for a successful 2021 camp season.
- How did you first get involved with the organization? Because my home church of Lakewood UMC in North Little Rock is where OMP started in 1986, I have always known about it. OMP has been part of our church’s culture ever since. I became a camper parent in 1995, then went on to volunteer and eventually work for the organization.
Liza Godwin poses with a shovel during the wheelchair ramp build. Godwin said a smooth landing for the end of the ramp was needed, so she was put on mud detail that day.
- What has been your favorite memory or experience while working with OMP? In January 2020, I was given the opportunity to plan and execute a wheelchair ramp project from start to finish. This was a dire need where a rather large 29-year-old Muscular Dystrophy patient required assistance from his local EMS to carry him and his wheelchair up and down the porch steps each time he needed to leave. His social worker said that we were her last hope to get this for him. She and I were able to procure funding from the Muscular Dystrophy Association to offset some of the costs. A volunteer construction team consisting of an OMP College Staffer, the social worker and her family, and my husband, Hank (who designed the ramp), was then assembled. Upon ordering the lumber and supplies from the local Lowe’s store, we learned that the Lowe’s employee had been a part of a previous OMP camp in that community and was able to get all of the framing lumber donated for our project. After a frustrating delivery mistake, we finally received the building supplies and spent most of one Saturday afternoon building this ramp. The broad smile on the young man’s face (and that of his mother’s) as they topped the ramp and began to slowly and safely descend was priceless.
- What do you plan on doing now that you’ve retired? I have lots of home and yard projects planned! Retirement will also allow me to spend more time with my husband, family, and friends. I also fully intend to remain with OMP as a volunteer whenever they need me.
- Who is someone that inspires you in your daily life and why? I am inspired by my late parents whose values and life skills were instilled in my brothers and me. They were so different from each other, but both were faithful to God and devoted to our family.