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People Taking Action: Dedicated Norfolk church food pantry volunteer

Posted at 6:46 PM, Feb 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 18:46:29-05

We're shining our spotlight on a local woman who is a dedicated volunteer at her church food pantry in Norfolk.

We showed up unannounced to surprise Joan Hart, a special volunteer at Holy Trinity Church. We found her hard at work and not quite sure why we were there with cameras. I told her we were hearing good things about her, she responded with a laugh and covered her face with her hands saying, "This is embarrassing."
I told Joan, it was an email from fellow church member Cindy Huffman that got my attention and she read a portion of it. "I'd like to nominate Joan Hart for a People Taking Action Award. Many hungry people have passed through our doors, and Joan Hart has been the heart of this ministry for the past decade.T

The Reverend Dan Beeman says it's a blessing to have the services of someone like Joan,  "The life of a Catholic is to put our faith into action into service. And so it's the hope of any pastor that we just don't worship within the walls of our church that our worship becomes a part of our life."

That's been the case with Joan---she didn't just serve in the church pantry, she coordinated volunteers, would sometimes go and pick-up food.
Now before Joan helped out as a volunteer helping needy families at the food pantry, she was a school teacher at Holy Trinity for 18 years before it closed down. In fact, right next to the food pantry, she used to teach math in a classroom to four different grades."

And even before that, Joan was taking action according to her husband retired Colonel Ed Hart, "Every place we were in the army she volunteered for one organization or another to help other folk who were not having too easy of a time."

So for all those reasons we presented Joan with a NewsChannel 3 People Taking Action award. She was nearly speechless, "I don't know what to say." We also presented her with a $300 Visa gift card from out community partner Southern Bank, "Oh my goodness."

Why is this so important to her? "I've enjoyed doing it. I like helping people. I think I was raised that way; my parents did whatever they could to help others  and it was just ingrained in me.