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Woman organizes church program aimed at empowering women in need

Edwina Messer is the organizer of the annual Queen for a Day Banquet at First Baptist Church of Swannanoa. It's a program intended to empower woman from local shelters. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Our Person of the Week helps make women feel special at vulnerable times in their lives.

Edwina Messer is the organizer of the annual Queen for a Day Banquet at First Baptist Church of Swannanoa. It's a program intended to empower woman from local shelters.

The church gives them clothes, accessories, dinner and, at least for a day, something deeper.

"It lets them know we care about them," Messer said.

This is the eighth year First Baptist of Swannanoa has held the Queen for a Day event. It started out with just a small group of women, but has grown to more than 80 this year.

"A lot of them are very appreciative, a lot of them come from rough backgrounds, and just show them a bit of love," volunteer Harvey Hart said of the event. "Show them Jesus loves them."

Harvey is just one of 100 volunteers that help pull off the Queen for a Day Banquet. One woman who attended said she was taken aback by the kindness this group showed her.

"The community reaching out to someone like me -- I didn't expect it," Tammy Anderson said. "I feel I should be giving because I've taken so much, but this community keeps giving to me."

Tammy said she served 10 years in prison after her fifth DWI left two people injured. After serving her sentence, the recovering alcoholic appreciates First Baptist and a second chance.

"It's given me an even deeper appreciation for this community and this church," she said. "It feels uncomfortable if you're not used to it, being treated so nice, but it makes me want to be a better person."

"Oh, I think everyone deserves a second chance, regardless of what you've done," Edwina said.

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