Kids’ Food Basket volunteer remembered for ornate drawings

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — The passing of a beloved Kids’ Food Basket volunteer is shedding light on the importance of giving back, no matter your age or circumstances.

Beulah Cordle was 92 years old and blind in one eye when she decorated her first paper bag for Kids’ Food Basket in Muskegon.

Cordle’s daughter, Marquita Bazany, introduced her mom to the program.

Beulah Cordle decorated roughly 3,000 bags for Kids’ Food Basket in Muskegon, with “I love you” written on the bottom of each bag. She died in January, hours before her 97th birthday.

“It’s just blossomed from there,” Bazany said. “The more she did the more ornate the bags got.”

The detailed drawings were each on a paper bag to be donated to Kids’ Food Basket in Muskegon. The nonprofit allows students to take home a bagged lunch at the end of the day to ensure they have food at home.

KFB Gifts Director Stephanie Kerr-Cathey said the bags are hand decorated by volunteers.

“They’re words of encouragement, they’re pictures, they can be poems,” Kerr-Cathey said.

Cordle’s whimsical artwork quickly caught the attention of KFB leadership.

“Ms. Beulah’s touch of love was simply just inspiring,” Kerr-Cathey said.

Five hundred decorated bags later, Cordle received a special tribute from the state of Michigan for her dedication to KFB, signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Cordle’s family says she took her work seriously, working around the clock to decorate more bags for the kids.

“She started at 9 o’clock in the morning, she would get up and eat breakfast, get dressed and (then) immediately she started drawing on those bags,” Cordle’s daughter Sandra Bernard said.

At the bottom of each bag, Cordle wrote “I love you.”

“(She’d say) this might be the only meal they get and this might be the only time they’re told that they’re loved,” Bazany said.

The detailed bags Kids’ Food Basket volunteer Beulah Cordle drew became more ornate as time went on. On the bottom of every bag Beulah Cordle decorated, she wrote the words “I love you.”

Cordle’s family says she drew roughly 3,000 bags over four short years.

“It truly was her life and what kept her alive,” Bazany said.

Cordle died earlier this month, seven hours shy of her 97th birthday.

But her legacy lives on.

“The take away for so many can be no matter your age, no matter your ability, there’s always a way you can get inspired and become involved and be a difference maker in our community,” Kerr-Cathey said.

There are ways for everyone to get involved at Kids’ Food Basket. For more information, go to kidsfoodbasket.org.

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