CAMDEN, Ark. (KTHV) - A South Arkansas woman has returned from Washington, D.C. after the opportunity of a lifetime.
Judy Brooks, owner of Judy’s Flowers and Gifts in Camden, helped decorate the White House for Christmas.
“I still have to pinch myself and say, ‘did I really do that?’” Brooks said.
Nominated by her daughter, Brooks was one of 7,000 people who applied for the volunteer assignment. In October, she got the news she’d been accepted.
“Arkansas is well known now at the White House,” she said with a laugh.
Brooks and her husband arrived in D.C. on Thanksgiving evening, and she spent the next three days working in “The People’s House.” She was one of about 120 volunteers and the only person from Arkansas.
“I did the Diplomatic [Reception] Room,” she said. “This is the room where we did two 15-foot trees and a mantle.”
She was also among volunteers who helped work on the notorious red Christmas trees.
“You could not have any white Styrofoam showing, so Sunday afternoon [for] 3 hours I colored with red marker,” she said.
“It just looked like a beautiful Christmas cranberry explosion,” she said of the hallway. “It was not.. I never thought politics would enter into it,” she said.
Brooks said the work was hard, but well worth the effort.
“You feel so proud to be an American when you get to help to volunteer at something like this,” she said.
Now back home in Camden, she continues to live out her passion for serving others.
“You can have a profession, but then you’ve got to have a passion. If you have a passion for what you do – it doesn’t matter if you get paid – it is your passion to please others,” she said.