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JustServe is a web platform created as a community service and supported by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It functions as a nonsectarian clearinghouse both for organizations seeking volunteers and those who want to help. Organizations post their volunteer needs at justserve.org. Volunteers log on, learn what’s available, and choose a way to serve the community.
One organization posting on the JustServe site is Project Annie, a Tallahassee group whose mission is to serve members of the greater Frenchtown community who are considered “food insufficient.”
Tallahassee native Annie Johnson is a small dynamo who has run Project Annie for over 20 years. After retiring from the workforce two decades ago, Johnson felt God calling her to do something other than relax, so she prayed for guidance. Thinking she might open a daycare center; she was led to a Frenchtown property that housed a fish market. Johnson bought the building, making plans to provide a childcare center for the neighborhood. But direction from heaven, she said, indicated otherwise.
“God said, ‘Feed my people,’” she recalled, adding that she was not quite sure what that meant. She said she pondered the message for a while and finally thought, “I’ll cook a Thanksgiving dinner for needy people in the neighborhood.”
She did that, cooking and serving from her new property. The next month she cooked Christmas dinner, and Project Annie was born. Every year since then, she has prepared her holiday meals … and a lot more.
“It just grew and grew,” she said. “Things are going nicely.”
A humble understatement. Working with her son, daughter, other family, and volunteers, “Ms. Annie,” as she’s known to friends and neighbors, still cooks for Thanksgiving and Christmas, feeding close to 1,000 each time.
Through association with Farm Share and Second Harvest of the Big Bend, Project Annie holds two pantry days per month (on the second and fourth Thursdays), providing groceries to 30-40 families; and prepares a hot meal for 75-125 people on the second, third, and fourth Fridays.
In addition, the charity keeps a constant supply of fresh food items on a large table in front of the building for those in immediate need.
According to Volunteer Coordinator Wendy Wheeless, volunteers are often needed and always welcome.
For volunteer opportunities, go to Project Annie’s listings at these websites:
Alternately, you may contact Volunteer Coordinator Wendy Wheeless at 850.508.9890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.