"Angel" and her team helping locals who've fallen on hard times

"Angel" and her team helping locals who've fallen on hard times

Santa Rosa County residents who are facing some challenging times may find themselves in a small storefront office on Elva Street in Milton.

That's where one angel and her team are waiting to help them.

"I do this because I like it," said Joann Smith with Santa Rosa Family Resource Program. "I like to work with the public. It gives me a purpose to get out of bed in the morning."

For Joann that purpose every Tuesday and Thursday morning for the past 11 years has been to make her way to the Santa Rosa Family Resource Center to help somebody.

"I do the financial part, that's mine," she said.

Joann and her dedicated team of volunteers provide financial assistance, food and clothing to people who are struggling or have fallen on hard times.

Their goal is to keep families together by lifting some of the burden.

With limited resources, she's a good steward of their donations.

"Right now we only up to a hundred. We help with electric and water and we have a certain criteria," Joann explained.

Where paperwork maybe lacking, compassion is in good supply.

Joann especially has a heart when children are involved. To help all of the needs, she's surrounded by like-minded angels who share the mission and her vision.

"I've been in the position, when I was younger with the kids, wondering where the next meal would come from," said volunteer Sandy Fogg. "So, to me, this at the heart."

No matter what brings someone through their doors they say Joann finds a way to help. She does it first and foremost by treating everyone with dignity and respect.

"She brings her heart," said Sandy. "She loves people. She relates real well to people. She can handle most any situation with finesse."

This is the reward that keeps her here.

"It makes your heart lift up," Joann said. "You feel better, you feel good. I done something, I made a difference today."

Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by the Studer Family Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart.

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