Asheboro, North Carolina, resident Antionette Marley is 97 years old. But she has never let her age stop her from doing her part in her community.
Ms. Toni, as she is known in her community, goes to Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen every Tuesday at 11 a.m., according to WGHP.
But Ms. Toni doesn’t go to the soup kitchen for a warm meal. She’s been volunteering there since 2001.
“It’s just been what I wanted to do, what I felt a need to do,” Ms. Toni said.
Since Ms. Toni does not drive anymore, her son has dedicated himself to taking her to the soup kitchen for as long as she wants to go.
Marley refuses to let her age or the fact she no longer drives stop her from being a bright spot in someone else’s day. She felt a calling to serve, so she found a way to answer it.
Ms. Toni was proud to tell reporters that she is first in the line of servers on Tuesdays, usually serving meat.
Her presence at Our Daily Bread Soup Kitchen continuously brings joy to the people she encounters.
“She’s been a blessing to me every time I see her walk through the doors,” the soup kitchen’s executive director said.
“I’m just thankful I can still get up and do something for somebody else. That’s just been part of my life,” Ms. Toni said.
Marley’s generosity also goes beyond the soup kitchen; she has been widely recognized and appreciated for her service to her community.
According to The Courier-Tribune, she received the N.C. Governor’s Volunteer Service award in 2015.
Prior to that, Marley received the 2014 Service Above Self Award from the Randolph Rotary Club, namely for her nearly 8,000 hours dedicated to helping patients and families at Hospice of Randolph County.
Over the years, she has raised over $20,000 for Hospice by baking sweet treats for its annual auction barbecue event. Randolph county is deeply grateful to Marley for her servant’s heart.
Her dedication to serving others throughout her community, despite her old age, is a true inspiration.
“Toni’s character is exemplified by her warm, caring spirit. She gives so freely of her time and resources in such an unselfish way,” Hospice officials said. “Other volunteers aspire to be ‘Toni Marley’ in making a difference in the lives of others.”
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