Debbie’s mother was Viola Blythe, who was very much a good Samaritan. Viola began giving food and clothing to people in need in 1946. Debbie’s home was the “SHELTER” where people could eat, sleep, shower, and talk to Viola. They would prepare food boxes, clean up used toys, and Viola even went the extra mile to sew clothes and launder them. It was not unusual to come home from school with two to three families that needed a place to sleep. In 1989 Debbie’s father thought it was time to stop having people stay in their home. Viola was so compassionate, and becoming an orphan at age 4, she couldn’t let go. It was at that point that the City of Newark stepped in and provided a building that enabled Viola to continue her work. In the meantime, Debbie has worked at the Viola Blythe Center for 29 years now, and is currently the Executive Director. Viola unfortunately passed away in 2002, but because of her love for others, and the passion she passed on to her daughter Debbie, the Viola Blythe Center continues to help thousands of men, women, and children with Food, Clothing, baby items, new shoes.
Going The Extra Mile