Hometown Heroes: Woman gets new heart, new purpose

Mavis Shannon-Odem of Farrell is this week's Hometown Hero


FARRELL, Pa. (WYTV) – The Valley Baptist Church Food Pantry in Farrell is where Mavis Shannon-Odem serves 113 families in the Shenango Valley.

She started it almost a year ago, in April of last year, which was just 17 months after undergoing a heart transplant.

“My new heart started beating on Nov. 6, [2012] about 1:30 a.m.,” Shannon-Odem said.

While in recovery and not able to go back to work, she found herself at a loss.

“I have to have something to do. I had a 24/7 daycare and was administrative assistant for my dad’s funeral home. So, I always had something, long hours in things to do. Then to go from that to nothing was driving me crazy,” Shannon-Odem said.

So, she prayed for a new direction in her life.

“Because I believe God has another plan for me. And I asked this pastor about a food pantry cause that is what had come to me,” Shannon-Odem said.

Her pastor agreed and doctors approved. She then called Mimi Prada at the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County for help.

“We clicked and we have been rolling ever since,” Shannon-Odem said.

“Down at the Community Food Warehouse, we call her the Energizer Bunny because she never stops,” Prada said.

Prada said Shannon-Odem is a true example of a volunteer.

“There is so many people that have reasons why they can’t volunteer and here is a lady that has been through so much and is ready to still do so much and continues to give so much,” Prada said.

A new heart to help feed others is why Mavis Shannon-Odem is this week’s Hometown Hero.

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