A Project for Students and Citizens

Selma Citizen Profile: Judge Miller Childers

By Andrew Odom

For Judge Miller Childers, 85,  doing what he does best – serving his community – comes natural.  After serving his country during World War II as a sailor in the U.S. Navy, Childers returned to continue his education at the University of Alabama. He received his law degree in 1951 and came home to Selma. “I was born and raised here in Selma and have always had the desire to live and work here. It was just natural for me to return here after law school,” he explains.

His work in the community did not end when he retired from his 18-year career serving as a District Judge of Dallas County. He then devoted his energy to the Old Town Food Bank and Community Garden that he established around 1999-2000.“There were a lot of local churches, which all had individual food banks with different systems. It made it difficult many times for those in need to just show up and get their needed aid.”

Judge Childers said he sought to create a unified feeding system for Selma that would better serve the citizens in need. Today, the streamlined system Judge Childers developed keeps track of all attendees of the food program which feeds over 400 people every Thursday. The system keeps a running record of who attends and how many times they visit per month, making sure that the most people are reached as possible with the available aid and that there are no daily “repeat” visitors.

The judge also places an emphasis on a quick and friendly “interview” with each client before they receive their food aid to ask them if anything has changed since their last visit and to encourage them to continue to apply for jobs and other aid at the center pictured to the right. “Everyone goes through hard times.  We just need to encourage each other and lift one another up during those times. That is what being a community is all about.”

Even at 85, Miller Childers is definitely one of the most active citizens in Selma. Judge Childers says he stays around people and keeps busy because it gives him a great sense of purpose in life.

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