ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There's a woman in East Albany who devotes her time to feeding the hungry.
Johnnie Pearl Hammond has received awards and even visited the White House. We think she's one of the People Who Make a Difference. She has always loved helping people. After the flood of 94, she got even more involved. And now, at the age of 80, she cooks for families in need.
The awards along these walls are recognition of Johnnie Pearl Hammond's years of dedicated service to those in need.
"I think everybody's gotta have a calling, and I do believe that this is my calling. And I try to carry it out," said Hammond.
She organizes food drives for her neighborhood and takes soup to her hungry neighbors. She works with the Boys and Girls clubs and admits helping others holds a special reward for her.
"I feel good. I feel better than they. I think I feel better than the one's I'm doing something for, 'cause this is what I enjoy," she said.
She said the need for help has increased since the economic down turn, especially on the east side of town.
"I guess with the economy like it is, there's so many without jobs. I hear people say that they need to get a job, but they hadn't been in their shoes. They don't know how hard it is to find a job. And if they need to get a job, then tell them where they can get a job."
She said she hopes the city will become more focused on helping the East side of town, and she has some simple advice for those looking to help.
"And whatever you can do, you know? It don't have to be doin', it can be saying or smiling at someone to change their day. You can just say good morning. You know, if somebody's feeling down and out and you just say good morning and how are you today…make conversation," she said.
In the meantime she'll continue each day with a smile and a helping hand.
Hammond's 81st birthday is approaching, but just last Saturday she walked one and-a-half miles in a Lupus March in Atlanta. And after all the walking, she still made time to pass out food before heading back to Albany.
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