Teens found organization for those in need

Tides of Love gives aid to the homeless and the hungry

July 24, 2010|By HEATHER LOWERY
  • Ashley Jeter, left, and Beth Smith, right, creators of the organization "Tides of Love," serve food to people in need one Saturday each month with the help of other volunteers including Valerie Mongan, center, at the LifeHouse Church Bethel in Hagerstown.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer,

While other high school seniors worried about final exams and graduation, Ashley Jeter of Smithsburg High School, and Beth Smith of Williamsport High School, served Hagerstown's homeless dinner.

Ashley and Beth, members at LifeHouse Church Bethel, volunteer their time once a month to serve dinner to those in need.

In late May, Ashley and Beth founded the organization, Tides of Love, as a way to help people who are homeless and hungry.

"It went really well," Ashley said about the first Tides of Love.

But because of a miscommunication, the homeless men didn't know about the meal until they picked them up.

"This time, we had people volunteer," Beth said.

The menu for the first meal was meat loaf, macaroni and cheese, green bean dinner and dessert. Beth said they asked their church for donations as well as local businesses.

"Some people from our church made food and brought it," Beth said, "or bought it and brought it."


Helping the homeless is nothing strange for Ashley and Beth. For both, it is something close to their hearts.

"It's really hard sometimes and I feel like I need to do something. It's a passion I have and have always had. I don't understand why more people don't volunteer," Ashley said.

"It's such a blessing that we are blessed enough to give to them, and to be able to serve them in that one small way," Beth said. "If we can meet that one need - it's awesome. It's an opportunity that I'm thankful for."

Ashley said she and Beth came up with the idea to serve the homeless."We wanted to do something good," Ashley said.

Nearly four years ago, Ashley and Beth served at the REACH shelter.

"Ever since then, Ashley and I have been passionate about starting something someday that can reach out to homeless people or to anyone who's hungry," Beth said.

Ashley said she believes that Tides of Love will lead her to accomplish more of her future ambitions.

"One of my life goals is to open a homeless shelter, so I guess this is a good start," she said.

Ashley and Beth were busy with tests and plans for graduation, but they pulled through and accomplished what they set out to do.

"It was overwhelming," Beth said. "Ashley had half a day so she had more time, but it's something that needed done and it all fell into place at the church. And I loved watching it fall into place."

"It was a lot to put together with graduation and finals, but we were able to do it successfully," Ashley said.

The ladies held their last dinner on July 17. The next dinner will be held at LifeHouse Church Bethel on Aug. 14.

"It's held in the church gymnasium," Ashley said. "It's open to anyone who wants to come. It's open to women and children as well."

Ashley and Beth plan to continue Tides of Love through the summer, but what happens when college begins? According to Beth, Ashley plans to attend Hagerstown Community College in the fall.

"I think (Ashley's) going to maintain it," Beth said. "After school starts I will be away, but if she needs me I'll be there for her."

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