Linda D. Gadson Honored with the Order of the Palmetto

Posted by on Dec 4, 2010 in Rural Mission News | Comments Off on Linda D. Gadson Honored with the Order of the Palmetto

On Thursday, November 11, the prestigious Order of the Palmetto was presented to longtime Rural Mission Executive Director Linda Dingle Gadson by Governor Mark Sanford. The Order of the Palmetto is the highest honor for humanitarian service to the people of South Carolina and beyond given by the State of South Carolina and the Governor.

Linda D. Gadson has served as executive director of the Rural Mission for 38 years. She is a native and lifelong resident of the coastal Sea Islands of Charleston County, the region and people served by the Rural Mission. Mrs. Gadson has given her life to helping impoverished residents, the elderly and migrant families achieve a better life. She also ministers to the spiritual needs and hurts of anyone in need earning her the title of “Mother Teresa of the Sea Islands”. Thousands have been helped by her dedication and persistence in encouraging others to reach out to those in need. Governor Sanford especially recognized her service to missions and faith indicating how her leadership has brought thousands of volunteers to the impoverished Sea Islands to help others in dire need and hardship. The Rural Mission is now serving in its 41st year and Mrs. Gadson has been the guiding figure in it ecumenical outreach across all racial, cultural and economic divisions. Under her the lines of difference and separation have been overcome in making a true difference in the lives of both the giver and the recipient.

The award was presented in a ceremony and special gathering at the Rural Mission celebrated by many friends and supporters as well as many appreciative island residents. Rev. McKinley Washington, a lifelong friend and former State Senator, presented the award to Mrs. Gadson in a joyous and emotional evening. Rev. Washington had served on the original Board of Directors of the Rural Mission and he has shared the vision for its success and growth. He joined with Sen. Chip Campsen in nominating Mrs. Gadson for this well deserved and prestigious recognition by the State of South Carolina.

The Rural Mission was founded in an effort to improve the lives of migrant families and their children in the 1960’s when the Sea Islands were more rural and largely agricultural. The Mission quickly grew to take on the task of improving the living conditions of island residents. Housing conditions for many impoverished families were extremely poor and incredibly inadequate. The Housing Workcamp program grew from this early recognition and thousands of very low income homes have been improved in the past 40 years. Today the Mission works tirelessly to help all in need and hardship. Volunteers come from across the Nation each year to help make this possible, and they leave with rededicated faith and a new purpose in life.

Linda D. Gadson Honored with the Order of the Palmetto
The Order of the Palmetto was presented to Mrs. Linda Dingle Gadson by former State Senator, Rev. McKinley Washington on behalf of Gov. Mark Sanford. Rev. Washington and Mrs. Gadson are lifelong friends from the Sea Islands. From left to right are Rev. Washington, grandaughter Quati Woodberry Gadson, Mrs. Linda D. Gadson and grandaughter Qynn Woodberry Gadson in front.

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