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Longtime Wytheville volunteer recognized by governor for years of service

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:24 PM EST
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WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - There’s a volunteer named Mrs. Betty working tirelessly to make sure no one goes hungry.

Every meal she serves is mixed with a little bit of love and faith. For the last decade, she’s poured it all into Open Door Café.

“The Lord spoke my heart about that. And I guess my whole life-- I was a nurse. And I’ve always been interested in helping people and that was just to get the Lord gave me,” said longtime volunteer Betty Robinette.

The café is a donate-what-you-can restaurant serving meals to those experiencing food insecurity.

“When it all started, I would’ve -- I just never dreamed that it would turn into as big a deal as it has,” said Robinette.

“Before Open Door Café we had a community food kitchen. And we did that two days a week. And we did that for about eight years before we came to the Cafe, Betty was one of the first two people that originated that, that cafe, so she’s been doing this for 10 or 12 years, just feeding the hungry,” said Mike Pugh with Open Door Café.

What makes this story special is Governor Northam recognized Mrs. Betty as a recipient of this year’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award.

She’s served at least six hours a week and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“And for years and years and years, she just gives more to others in what she does for herself. She has a smile on her face. She cares. She works forward she advocates,” said Pugh.

“It’s very honoring and very humbling to think, you know because it takes all of us to do this. And so it’s really I feel like it’s fall of us because, you know, the Lord has truly blessed me in that is a staple and this has been a wonderful thing to be able to do. I look forward to it every time that I’ve come,” said Robinette.

The café averages 91 meals per day, with 85% of those meals going to food-insecure individuals.

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