AKRON, Ohio — In Northeast Ohio, one out of seven people struggles to put food on table and faces hunger concerns. Food banks rely on thousands of volunteers to get food to hundreds of pantries, shelters and and after school programs.
One of those volunteers is an inspiring woman named Katie Noe of Wadsworth. Noe, 28, has Down syndrome and has volunteered at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank for several years.
Once a week, she helps inspect, sort and pack food with the assistance of her service provider, Patty DeArment.
When asked why she volunteers so often, Noe said, "I love helping people."
DeArment said Noe's vibrant personality is contagious.
"She's got that innocent, pure heart," DeArment said. "She sees the good in everything. It's really wonderful. She just makes everybody smile."
Noe has put in more than 1,000 hours at Akron-Canton Regional Food Bank and gives back to the community in many other ways by volunteering at a pregnancy care center, clothing shops and church events.
Noe's disability doesn't keep her down. In fact, DeArment said Noe inspires people.
"I wasn't a volunteer anywhere, and now, I do that and I tell other people the benefits of volunteering."
Noe said volunteering makes her feel good and many others who come in contact with her believe we could all learn a little something from her.
"Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!" she said near the end of a recent visit with News 5.
2020 will certainly be brighter thanks to the generosity of Noe.