Cancer fighter, multitasker and community helper

By SASHA JOHNS / Community Columnist

As the proprietor of the Corner Shoppes of Columbiana, football and baseball coach at Shelby County High School, foster family advocate and cancer fighter, Shannon Jones wears a lot of hats in the community.

The Corner Shoppes, formerly Miss Tiffany’s on Main, opened as a way to offer local entrepreneurs a way to make it through the financial losses of the pandemic. This was a natural evolution that grew from the Columbiana Cares Facebook page that popped up just after the first big quarantine last March.

Jones first became involved when Tiffany Anderson offered to let him use some of the back offices of her shop as a safe place for foster children to have visitation time with biological parents. The timing was perfect as the lease for his previous space was ending. In a matter of months, Jones took over the shop and thus changed the name, but not the main focus of the shop.

The Corner Shoppes of Columbiana still houses some of the best locally made and owned merchandise, but it also operates in big ways far beyond the point of sale. Through their Columbiana Cares Facebook page, people in need are being helped at the community level whether it be helping people in need pay rent, to collecting food for the local backpack buddies program.

Jones is known by the local high school kids as coach. Working with football and baseball athletes, Jones has been a living example of what it means to press forward when the going gets rough. Jones has been fighting stage four colon cancer for three years, and his students have witnessed him coach through chemo, as well as an alternative Mistletoe therapy that has sustained his immune system and reduced cancer in his liver, giving him hope for recovery, and a desire to share his experience with it to others who are fighting cancer.

Jones’s lifelong calling however has been to support those in the foster care system. Having been raised in a family that served in this area, and more specifically a mom who was the first therapeutic foster parent in the state, took on his mother’s foundation, Jones Family Services in 2012.

With the rise of COVID-19, the needs within the foster community have exploded.

“There is nothing I can say to explain who big the need is right now. It’s that big,” Jones said. “If you can’t foster yourself, there are many ways you can support those who are and we hope folks will take an interest in meeting some of those needs for the sake of these kids.”

Volunteers are needed for driving kids to visits, for babysitting for foster parents, mentoring and many other support roles.

“Everyone has a way to help. We can help you find a way that works into your life,” said Jones.

If you would like to donate financially to Jones Family Services or any of the Columbiana Cares needs, or if you are interested in volunteering to support foster families, you can stop by the Columbiana Corner Shoppes on Main Street in Columbiana or call (205) 461-8019.