Niagara Gazette


November 22, 2013

HAMILTON: Nellie Ashford, Chapel and the fostering of Thanksgiving

Niagara Gazette — Not long ago, the Chapel at Crosspoint began its collaboration with other churches and organizations in an effort to clear the waiting lists of children who are in need of adoption or loving foster care homes. But many years before then, there was once a nurse named Nellie Ashford. You won’t believe what she has similarly done for so very many, even before there was a Chapel at Crosspoint.

On the Chapel’s Every Child website,, it says that if all of the world’s orphans were lined up in a single file, then the line would wrap around the world twice.

But if the children that Mrs. Ashford took into her Town of Niagara Tuscarora Road home were to have lined up, hand in hand, then that line would likely have stretched from one end of her long block to the other.

The Niagara Gazette printed that there were over 100 such souls that Ashford fostered. The sad thing was that it was printed in her obituary. For you see, the ninety-one-year-old Nellie Ashford quietly passed away Nov. 10 at Our Lady of Peace Health Care Faculty in Lewiston NY. The love, caring and health that Nellie gave to others in her life will echo as greatly and as loudly as Niagara itself for generations to come.

The Chapel at Crosspoint is a giant Western New York church, and the mission that they lead is even more massive. However, that mission is less daunting because of giants like Nellie Ashford and others.

It makes me feel good to know what Nellie did; but it is never enough to know that we only see as far as we do because we stand on the shoulders of these great giants. It is also not enough that there are giant organizations like the Chapel at Crosspoint that also stand upon such shoulders as hers. But having stood upon the shoulders of those who are no longer with us, what then is our fair measure of service?

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