Union Mission recognized Selina Johnson for her 25 years of service to the community of Savannah.


Article by Emily Bressler



Union Mission was invited to participate in honoring 92-year old Selina Johnson during a retirement celebration in October for her tireless efforts in providing over 117,000 meals to the community of Savannah for 25 years.

The volunteer group at St. Thomas Episcopal Church known as the “Unseen Guest,” was founded and led by Johnson. Their mission is to prepare healthy meals for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.

Johnson originally started working with patients during the peak of the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the early 1990’s when she was drawn to the misunderstanding and mistreatment that individuals were receiving from others. “I first started working with HIV
individuals while I was in industrial nursing,” said Johnson. “We had five men in our department that were HIV positive and I
remember everyone being so nasty to them because they didn’t understand the dangers of the disease at that time.”

When Johnson retired from nursing in 1992 after 45 years of service, she knew that she couldn’t stop helping people. She had
seen first-hand how important proper diets were to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The idea of the “Unseen Guest” was born with 6 volunteers providing ten meals a month. Today, this group has grown to 26 volunteers who now prepare 350 meals a month for the Phoenix Project at Union Mission, a housing and supportive services program for persons living with HIV/AIDS.

After a quarter of a century of providing her services, Johnson retired, passing the  leadership torch to fellow volunteer, Angie Nichuals. “It’s going to be tough filling her shoes but we are all very enthusiastic about serving the community of people that need us,” said Nichuals. “It’s an exciting feeling to embark on this next chapter.”

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