Hometown Hero: Irene Myers

Published: Aug. 29, 2022 at 12:20 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 29, 2022 at 7:39 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - For more than 25 years, Irene Myers has been inviting people into her home to help them in theirs.

“I never wanted nobody being without because I grew up without a lot and I went through a lot,” Myers said.

She started by collecting clothing and furniture that she would give to families in need and by providing meals and gifts for children near her Hinesville home.

But she has moved on to a different cause and more immediate needs.

“When COVID-19 started, my daughter in-law came to me and said ‘mom, can we do non-perishables?’ I said yes and we’ve been doing it ever since,” Myers said.

And the food pantry at Mama Irene’s Outreach is still going strong, providing food packages for families twice a month.

“We usually have 10 families to come and they average out to about seven. So, each month, we have 70 to 90 members of the community that we are feeding ... these are families from as far away as Ludowici, Jesup. We actually have some come from Savannah and Pooler to get food,” Nerkia Hudson said.

There are always new families and often military families from Fort Stewart coming to see Myers.

“She has such a kind heart. She’s a big help to my family. A couple of days ago, I was struggling with money and my daughter needed diapers and I saw her post on Facebook and I was like, it was meant to be. She comes and she’s just an amazing person for doing this for the whole community,” Julisa Gonzales said.

Myers buys the food she gives away for free herself, using money from $1 yard sales of clothing items her daughter in-law buys in bulk online.

“We don’t question them about their income. We ask how many in the family,” she said. “I buy the clothing and if people need them, I give them away. But what’s left over goes into our $1 yard sales.”

And they’ll keep giving.

“This lady has been doing it for years. As long as I’ve known her, Ms. Irene has been helping everyone. If you need it, you call her, and she is there. She’s a beautiful person,” Delores Ford said. “There’s a lot of people out there who really do need our help. I want to make sure they have what they need. And it’s something I don’t want to stop,” Myers said.