Gr8 Acts of Kindness winner constantly working for others

Published: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:12 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 27, 2022 at 11:33 PM CST
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MANILA, Ark. (KAIT) - “It’s right there,” Chief Meteorologist Ryan Vaughan pointed to the radar, showing the beginnings of a tornado.

Friday, December 10th was far from a typical evening in Region 8. Many of us will never forget it.

“If you are in the Monette area, you need to shelter in place,” Chris Carter said in a file video from the night.

Monette Manor took a direct hit from a tornado. The building, with residents inside, lay in ruins.

“It was very tragic,” Angie Master said.

“When all that was going on, we were actually in a storm cellar at her brother-in-law’s house and that came across the radio and she and her husband left and went to the nursing home,” Michael Thorpe, owner of Delta Behavioral Health, said.

Master is a nurse practitioner working in Manila, Lake City, and Jonesboro.

She didn’t hesitate one bit when an urgent plea for medical personnel went out that night.

“So I told my husband... I said, “Let’s go!”

There were definite challenges.

“We have a possible tornado coming at 8:40 near Jonesboro. At 9:30, we could have this tornado in a possible area that’s already been hit,” Vaughan warned.

Angie said she will never forget it.

“Hope we never have to go through that again around here,” Angie said.

Stepping up in a time of crisis is what Angie is known for.

“She is that giving,” Kim Miles, who nominated Angie Master for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness, said. “If someone has a flat tire, she’s like...I’m on my way.”

And willing to help feed needs wherever that might be: on a mission trip to Nicaragua, or right here at home.

“I was on ballgame duty at the gym and got a text that we had a family that needed groceries and so when I looked at my watch that night--I noticed that the store was already closed, or would close before I could get there,” Dr. LeAnn Helms, Manila High School Principal said. “So I sent a text to Miss Angie and I said, ‘Is there any food up at the pantry?’ You know... something like that. She said, ‘Yes.’ She said, ‘If you want to finish duty, I’ll meet you are the front of the high school and I’ll have it packaged and ready to go.’”

Thanks to Angie and her mother motivating an entire community to help, there is now food readily available whenever it’s needed.

“It’s been about 10 years and we started out with about eight deliveries that Thanksgiving,” Angie said.

Many families and individuals struggle to make ends meet here in the town of about 3,600. Manila, like so many rural Arkansas towns, has seen people leave for opportunities in bigger cities. Many here are living at or below the poverty line.

“I had read in the paper about this family that had been helped in the Memphis area and then just visiting with my patients. They had to decide each month: Am I gonna have groceries or medicine?” Angie said.

The mother-daughter pair, along with a faithful group of volunteers set out to work. A local resident loaned them a building to house it. They secured grants.

“The University of Arkansas, they gave us the freezer and they did some shelving,” Angie said. “We serve about 200 families each month.”

“We have canned goods. We have spaghetti. We also have mac and cheese,” Nancy Davidson, a food pantry volunteer said. “We have cereal and canned green beans.”

As the need has grown, so has support from the community. That’s because Angie believes in what can happen when everyone pulls together--from students at Manila High School working the pantry--all the way to a cereal drive ending with the boxes falling like dominos on the gym floor. There’s even a Turkey Day pageant.

“At the time and given the need in the community, (Angie) could provide everything in the Thanksgiving baskets--except for the turkeys,” Dr. Helms said. “So she kind of said how do we get the kids involved in getting these turkeys and so I can always call with a crazy idea.”

Angie’s friends nominated her for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness and we couldn’t wait to yell, “Surprise!”

“You are the heart and soul of this community,” I told Angie. “And that’s why all of these people are here today.”

“We just thank you from the bottom of our heart,” David Daniel, Business Development Officer with First Community Bank, said.

“One hundred, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred, five six, seven eight. Four-hundred eight dollars,” I counted Angie’s winning into her hand.

If you know someone like Angie Master, nominate them for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.

Just go to our website and click on Gr8 Acts of Kindness sponsored by First Community Bank and KAIT.

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