Person of the Week: Ann Johnson

December 11, 2009 12:50:39 PM PST
A free meal and a helping hand - that's what Ann Johnson offers at the Women's Center of Wake County.

The women have had a tough time and often have no job, no money, and sometimes no home. Johnson empowers them to make it better.

"I'm just a helper and if I can make a fundamental difference in one person's life then it's worth it," she said.

Johnson is Transitional Services Director at the Women's Center. She didn't apply for the job. It was offered out of the blue when she came in to help a neighbor.

"She said she just felt like in my spirit that I was the right person. So they offered me the position and I accepted."

For Johnson, the women at the Center are like family. She's caretaker - a roll that spills over from her home life. Along with one biological child, she's had 17 foster children.

"I'm actually thinking about doing it again. I have what they call the empty nest syndrome."

Gail Watson volunteers at the Women's Center and sees Johnson's compassion.

"Her heart, her caring, her spirit - she is always down to earth. She's no nonsense and that's the way she lives her life and it comes through in her actions with everyone," Watson explained.

Johnson says she can't stand by and do nothing when so many are in need. And she says she gets as much as she gives.

"The work at the women's center helps me cope with a lot of things in my life, a lot of emptiness, a lot of loneliness. It really helps me to feel needed," she said.

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