2021 Walton Award Recipients | Phil & Marsha Jones
The George & Dorothy Walton Award is presented annually to an Augusta-area couple who exemplify the legacy and values of George and Dorothy Walton. The award recognizes a lifestyle of community service, selflessness, hospitality, courage, and devotion.
Phil & Marsha Jones were nominated for the 2020 Walton Award by community member Shep Gallagher who knew the Joneses from time together at Trinity on the Hill UMC. Since then, the Jones have served with St. Luke’s UMC in the Harrisburg neighborhood of Augusta, GA for the past 13 years. The Jones not only work with the church, but they also work with seemingly every other organization within the Harrisburg community to help the neighbors find homes, work, education, food, and safety. Whenever they see a need, they try to find a way to help. Their dedication and creative solutions are truly making a difference in the Harrisburg neighborhood.
Together, Marsha and Phil Jones have demonstrated selfless, Christian compassion for the people of Harrisburg.”
– Russell Joel Brown, Good Neighbor Ministries & Boys With a Future
Health & Food
The Joneses were part of the team that started the Harrisburg Family Healthcare Clinic. They also worked with Augusta Locally Grown to bring the weekly Veggie Truck to Harrisburg as well as initiate a raised garden bed project to help the residents access affordable, healthy, and fresh food.
Recently, when the schools began their quarantining in March of this year, the Jones recognized the immediate need of the children who would not be receiving their free meals from school. Marsha reached out to her contacts at the Richmond County school board and worked closely with them and many volunteers to organize a group who would pack boxes with breakfast and lunch provided by the school. Then she became a contact for the families of the children in need and she organized delivery of the meals throughout the 30904 zip code.
Their ministry to persons in need, regardless of their circumstance, is truly a gift to everyone they encounter.”
– Luther B. Felder, II, Senior Minister of St. Luke’s UMC, Augusta, GA
Education & Children
The Jones also work with the children of Harrisburg in initiatives called Kids With a Future and Boys With a Future to help children in the Harrisburg community in times of crisis and to get the extra tutoring they need to finish high school. They also teach community classes that help educate families and support their growth and thriving.
Phil Jones invests his digital marketing, photography, and videography skills to support their efforts over the years to gain outside support and awareness of how the greater Augusta community can support the Harrisburg neighborhood.
The Jones are very involved in St. Luke’s UMC in Harrisburg and have been instrumental in the ministries that have emerged, caring for the needs of local children including Church School, nursery, daycare, etc. During St. Luke’s displacement from their building due to a fire in the sanctuary, the Jones played a key role in keeping the congregation together, setting up for worship in a remote site, and helping to orchestrate periodic meetings of the congregational family.
Marsha and Phil each have their strengths when it comes to helping others, but they both make sure you know they love you and think you are important.
The Joneses don’t lose sight of the individual while working for the community, nor do they lose sight of the community while working for the individual. They have an amazing ability to impact so many by helping to provide security, safety and love.”
– Shep Gallagher, Nominator
Marsha and Phil give passionately and without hesitation – not only to do good, but to minimize harm. St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, the Harrisburg neighborhood -children in particular – and the citizens of Augusta-Richmond county have been, and continue to be, blessed by the commitment and service of the Joneses.”
– Rev. Gregory K.Hatfield, Trinity on the Hill UMC
The Jones are actively involved in the following ministries in Harrisburg:
- Good Neighbor Ministries – founding member, board vice-chairman
- Augusta Locally Grown – supporters and volunteers
- Icebox Urban Farm – supporters and volunteers
- Harrisburg Family Healthcare – founding members, chairman of the board, active supporters
- Fruit and Veggie Rx – assisted in bringing this federal program to Harrisburg.
- Veggie Park Market – founding members, volunteers
- Kids With a Future – founding member
- Boys With a Future – founding member, executive director