2003 Champions

Champions by Year

Shirley Tross-Jones

Shirley Tross-Jones

“It’s very important to your health and outlook on life to serve other people. You’ve got to get out in the neighborhoods to find people who need help.”


In 2002 at the age of 74, Shirley Tross-Jones fed 700 poor, homebound and elderly people at her second annual “Pre-Thanksgiving Luncheon,” almost double the number she fed at the inaugural event. Her brainchild, Shirley personally developed, organized and managed the luncheon, which drew many of the people she frequently cooked meals for throughout the year.

It seems like every time Shirley helps one person, she discovers the needs of another. And then another. And then another. She’s a whirlwind of activity: delivering meals for organizations that needed a delivery person … tutoring young children at an after-school program … eleven years of caring for an elderly woman with no family … hand sewing lap blankets for nursing home residents (400 and counting). Whew! And you thought you had a busy schedule!

Shirley somehow makes time each week for visiting people who are shut-in, sick or in a nursing home. “We laugh and talk. Everyone needs social interaction – to feel important and connected,” she said.

Committed to her community, Shirley recently worked with a local government agency to build a new civic center and playground in Gretna. “People were traveling elsewhere to get services that we could offer here in Gretna if we only had a place. So I found the land for the civic center and playground. Now we distribute food, have exercise programs and craft classes for people of all ages.”

Her advice to anyone who needs a boost … do something for someone in need. That’s exactly why Mrs. Shirley Tross-Jones is the game six Peoples Health Champion.