At 9, Eula Mae Jett Showed She Had a Heart For Others
‘I knew Christmas wasn’t going to happen... I lied and signed my mother’s name’
Before Eula Mae Jett was 10, she entrusted The Salvation Army in Brownwood with a mission vitally important to her – providing Christmas for her younger brother and sister.
“My father had been very ill, hospitalized about three months,” Eula Mae said. “We had moved in with my grandmother while my mother went to Houston to be with him.”
“I knew Christmas wasn’t going to happen for my little brother and sister. I couldn’t stand the thought of them not having something,” Eula Mae said. She saw an article about The Salvation Army helping families and applied for help. “I lied and signed my mother’s name and then I took it to my neighbor and asked her to mail it.”
A few weeks later, Eula Mae’s grandmother got a phone call and sent Eula Mae with her red wagon on the two and a half-mile trip to pick up the items.
She finally arrived and saw a huge Christmas tree, several sacks of groceries and other packages with ribbons and wrapping paper. “There were more things than I’d ever seen in my life. I took a deep breath and said a prayer. ‘Lord, someday let me be able to give like this.’”
But more than the food and gifts, “They made me feel worthwhile, like my life mattered. That’s what I have taken away from all this, that every life matters,” Eula Mae said. “There was a shame associated with being poor that I just could not overcome. But I did that day.”
Eula Mae later moved to Temple as an adult and was invited to become involved with the then-proposed Center of Hope by members of The Salvation Army Advisory Board. Eula Mae asked if it was necessary to join The Salvation Army church (and leave her own church) to serve on the board.
“They told me, ‘No, you just have to have hands willing to serve and a heart full of love,’” Eula Mae said. “The Lord heard the prayer of a child and at the right time in my adulthood, He answered that prayer and gifted me the ability to fulfill it in my heart. That’s why I’m here today. I’m here to give and do all I can.”
Eula Mae today and in the late ‘50s with her siblings, Juanell and Tom Ed.