Woman uses bounty of buttercups to support church missions
by Jennifer Cohron
Mar 04, 2012 | 1217 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The buttercups are in bloom around Allie Hudson’s house on 18th Street NW in Jasper. Hudson has been selling the flowers for more than 50 years to raise money for Baptist church missions. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
The buttercups are in bloom around Allie Hudson’s house on 18th Street NW in Jasper. Hudson has been selling the flowers for more than 50 years to raise money for Baptist church missions. Photo by: Jennifer Cohron
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Allie Hudson looks forward to seeing the buttercups bloom in her yard each spring. They are not only beautiful but also allow her to make a sizeable annual donation to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering through her church, New Prospect Baptist.

Hudson, 94, has been selling the buttercups for more than 50 years.

Though times have changed, the simplicity of her fundraiser hasn’t. A handmade sign sits at the edge of the road announcing that the flowers are for sale. A bucket is attached to accept donations from any passers-by who stop and pick a bouquet.

“It has been a blessing, and it’s not just mine. It’s the community’s now. Everybody has helped me with them,” Hudson said.

Hudson calls her buttercups “the old-fashioned kind” because they seem to be hardier than the ones she buys in stores these days.

The original plants came from Hudson’s mother and a neighbor.

Hudson separated them for years to help them multiply. Although she is no longer so active in maintaining them, she estimates that there are currently more than a dozen varieties growing wild around her house.

Hudson began cultivating the flowers shortly after she and her husband built their home on 18th Street NW in 1945.

They were in full bloom when he died in late February 1983. Buttercups adorned his casket and the pallbearers at the funeral.

“It’s a sad time for me when I remember that, but we’ve had so much fun with them all through the years,” Hudson said.

Hudson added that she didn’t plant the flowers with the intention of selling them.

She only wanted to make her home look beautiful but did such a good job that people started asking to buy some of the bulbs.

Hudson wouldn’t accept any money for them at first. Then she realized that she could use what she earned to benefit others.

Last year, the buttercup giveaway brought in more than $200. Hudson elected to donate the money to local tornado victims.

This year, the proceeds will once again go toward home missions.

“I say it’s like going out there and picking up dollar bills. It’s that simple,” Hudson said.