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Head of local charity leads the way to help people get back on their feet

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Posted at 8:29 PM, Apr 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-22 20:29:40-04

NORFOLK, Va. - For the past six years, the Norfolk community has come to rely on the Village Family. It’s a non-profit relief organization run by a dedicated staff and volunteers led by Natisha Wilson.

Angel Barnhill is one of the volunteers at Village Family.

“Knowing that there’s people who are hungry and they need food on the table... and Natisha has been a gem in our community," said Angel. "She’s very quiet and soft-spoken, but her smile is contagious. It speaks to what she does - it’s her passion.”

Natisha’s sense of giving started at home, according to her little sister, Nakeylla Simons.

“She was like my mom and she would always make sure I had food. She’d cook dinner every night and do things like that, but once she got this thing together - the Village Family - it started out small but always had a big heart," Nakeylla told us.

The group holds a food distribution every Sunday at First Calvary Baptist Church in Norfolk, but that’s just a portion of what they do. They also raise funds and food for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore to make sure no one in our community goes to bed hungry.

“We come together with the best businesses, organizations, family and friends, and we just get in and provide the best services and items to those in need.”

Starting out small six years ago, it now reaches beyond just food service. Natisha and her volunteers help seniors who might have been forgotten in the community.

“She just pushed and pushed and said, 'We’re going to help these people and help the underserved,' and and she never gave up.”

Natisha's husband, James, knows full well all the hours that go into making Village Family a success.

"A lot of people don’t see the behind-the-scenes stuff," he said. "I mean, it takes a lot of time to put this together.”

Related: People Taking Action: Local volunteer helps get meals to kids in need!

They do much of the work out of First Calvary Baptist, which is where we caught up with Natisha during one of their volunteer meetings.

A huge greeting when Natisha walked in gave her a clue something was up.

We surprised her with a People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank.

“I love it; I love it," Natisha said. "It's what we do together. I love what we do together.”

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.