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THE JEFFERSON AWARDS: Our June winner helps people in need

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) – Every month FOX 47 features someone in our community who is making a difference and we honor them with a Jefferson Award.

Our winner for the month of June is involved in a wide variety of volunteer efforts.

As long as she’s helping someone, she’s happy.

When she’s not a work, chances are you’ll find Barb Schuh volunteering somewhere in Rochester.

“I just a few years ago decided I’m at a point in my life, my kids are gone, that I needed to become more serious about volunteering,” she said. “So I said to God, ‘wherever you want me to be, let me be your hands and feet here on earth.'”

So Barb planted herself not just in one place, but in many.

She helps prepare and serve food at the Community Food Response food shelf.

She leads a prayer service at the Adult Detention Center.

She helps those in need through St. Vincent de Paul.

She volunteers with Birthright, which helps new mothers and their children.

And she’s involved with a variety of other initiatives through her church, Pax Christi Catholic Church.

“It’s just an amazing thing when you volunteer the number of people you reach and the number of people you help,” she said.

Barb credits being able to give so much of her time to her husband, Jim, who takes care of things at home so she can focus her time on others.

“She’s a great lady, she works hard at what she does and she does love her charity work,” Jim said.

Barb’s friend, Diane O’Mara, nominated her for the Jefferson Award, not only for the sheer number of organizations she helps, but for her enthusiasm no matter where she’s serving.

“She gives her whole heart and spirit to all the people that she helps,” said O’Mara. “They kind of flock to her, like at Birthright she gets hugs from all the kids. She’s just nice, she’s just very nice all the time. She’s giving of her time. Anyone that needs anything she says, ‘Sure, I can do it.'”

No matter where Barb is or how she’s helping, she says she has one goal.

“I always say on my gravestone I want it to say ‘she cared,'” Barb said. “So I care about everybody.”

Barb hopes that she’s leading by example and inspiring others to volunteer in their community.

Erin O'Brien

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