18. DeeDee Stille


DeeDee grew up without ever “volunteering” — just helping. ⁣

“I never saw it as volunteering. I just helped out anybody who needed help. My mom instilled in us that if there’s someone in need, you help.”⁣

Today, she “volunteers” at the Marcellus Community Food Pantry, a pantry directed by her mother, and at Mobile Food Pantries they host for the community. She’s joined by her 16-year-old daughter as well — three generations of hunger warriors serving neighbors in need!⁣

DeeDee just moved to Marcellus, a small town in Cass County, from North Carolina last fall, but already knows her neighbors well. She’s quickly made friends with some of the regulars who receive food — for her, this is easy. She sees her own experience in theirs.⁣

“There’s no judgment when people come. Everybody needs help at some point in their life. We did.”⁣

A few years ago, DeeDee’s husband was in a horrible accident, but her community quickly stepped up to help the family and their three daughters.⁣

“Our community came together, paid our rent, brought us groceries, let us use a car. I want people to feel the way we felt when our community came together with us,” she said.⁣

After an illness put DeeDee’s life on hold last year, she moved to Marcellus to be closer to her mom. She had planned for the trip to be short-term, but now her family is here to stay. Staying there felt right, and she loves the tight-knit community.⁣

“It’s a small town and everybody is in everybody’s business, but we’re also here to help,” she said. “We come together as a family.”⁣

Whatever your need, DeeDee believes you shouldn’t be ashamed to ask for help.⁣
“Everyone needs help at some point, and that’s what we’re here for.”