PRINCETON, W. Va. (WVVA) - A short-term arrangement, turned permanent calling... Glenn Mitchell joined Tender Mercies in 2014.
"The director was leaving. And they asked me to train, so I could train a new director," Glenn Mitchell, Tender Mercies Executive Director, said. "Here I am six years later, still here."
Still here, still sitting in the director's chair. His goal: help those who cannot help themselves.
"We hand out boxes of food. We're giving out food more now, than we've ever given out before," he said.
But that wasn't always the case. When Glenn took over in 2014, the food pantry was broke and struggling to serve its community.
"Glenn came here when we really needed someone to take over the operation here," Bonnie Hickman, Tender Mercies Vice President, said. "For years, we had people that were the director... they weren't bringing the food, they weren't getting the food, they weren't getting the word out to the public, the need that's here."
Hickman said before Glenn came...
"We gave everyone a little box of food, and we felt guilty giving them that. But that was all we had."
But she said, since his arrival...
"He makes sure that he gets enough food in, so that we can give people food twice a month now."
Hickman said the pantry was blessed to find a director ready to meet the pantry's challenges head on. And those challenges prepared Glenn for the biggest of them all, a global pandemic.
"When the COVID first started, our numbers just exploded," he said.
Glenn said the pantry went from feeding 1,600-1,800 people per month, to feeding 3,000 people per month.
"He's done a wonderful job. He's a good Christian man. He's here. His heart is in this. He serves the people," Hickman said.
But if you ask Glenn, he will tell you there's still a lot more work to be done and many more mouths to feed.
"We know that we're helping people," Glenn said. "We know also that we're not helping near what we could help, and we would like to see more people come in and get fed."
That's what makes Glenn Mitchell a Hometown Hero.
Glenn said the pantry is currently in need of volunteers. To volunteer, call Tender Mercies at (304) 425-2557.