(WJW) – Throughout Women’s History Month, FOX 8 News highlighted women in our area making a difference as part of a nationwide Nexstar Media initiative.
We sought out and found four “Remarkable Women” here in Northeast Ohio to recognize all of the ways they make an impact in their communities.
On Wednesday, we announced Dorothy Somerville, of Barberton, as the winner of $1,000 to go toward the charity of her choice.
Somerville is a woman of many hats, but her prime focus is addressing food insecurity as the executive director of Barberton Area Community Ministries.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, the food pantry is open at the community ministry, and she is always ready to help in any way that she can.
“We serve about 260 families each week. Last year we did 12,299 households,” she said.
In the video player below learn even more about Somerville and her next step in the Remarkable Women series.
She and her team are working to address one of the top issues in Barberton: food insecurity. It’s a problem that was exacerbated by the pandemic.
“Sometimes I start off a meeting at 6:30 in the morning and I don’t get home until 10 o’clock at night,” she said.
In addition to being the executive director of the Barberton Area Community Ministries, she’s also the president of the Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Rotary Club of Barberton, Norton Kiwanis, and a board member at Safe Harbor, a drug and alcohol program.
“I think it’s genuine from Dorothy. Dorothy just has a natural desire to be an angel to the community,” said BACM Board President Dave Stephens.
She’s also a grandmother of eight, who also volunteers at BACM.
“They always like to say they’re “voluntold,'” she said. “They come along with the package.”
Her daughter, Rhonda Robinson, is also a volunteer. She said no one is more deserving of recognition than her mom.
“She is the most empathetic person I’ve ever met. She honesty is a guardian angel to anyone and everyone,” said Robinson.
Somerville is a retired nurse of 40 years, who reads Mother Teresa’s teachings every day for inspiration.
“They used to laugh at me at the nursing home and call me Mother Teresa, because I would take in everybody and do things,” she said. “Our family, we’ve taken in people. It’s just the way I was raised.”
She says her next plan is to turn BACM into a resource center to include wrap-around services for children experiencing child abuse and veteran support.
Her office walls are covered with awards from over the years but she isn’t in this for recognition. She only hopes more people will become inspired to help others.
“Stop and volunteer and help somebody. Try and help others. You’re supposed to do that, the Golden Rule — do onto others.”
You can meet other “Remarkable Women” highlighted in our series, here.