• 68°

My Turn, Anne Corriher: A volunteer who found his place


Anne Corriher

wish I could remember when I met Frank Mano. It’s been at least eight years. I’ve been executive director of Main Street Mission in China Grove for 11 years.

He came in one day and wanted to volunteer. It was at Christmastime. We had so many canned food donations from the schools that they were stacked shoulder-high. We had a maze to walk through.

Back then, we only had one full-time staff member — which was me. We had volunteers who came on the days we were open, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, but I didn’t have anyone to help me make decisions. The mission was growing and I was answering all the questions.

One morning, people were calling my name and I was spread a little thin. He walked in, saw the chaos, and said, “Would you need me to come volunteer?”

I said, sure, and that I would call him. Frank was recovering from a major stroke and had gone on disability. He needed something to occupy his mind. He had worked full-time and did not want to stay at home.

The first day he came, he went home and told his wife, Jackie, “That girl needs some help.”

Jackie encouraged him to come back, and the next time, he came and he stayed every day after that. He was my right arm. We had wonderful volunteers, but nobody who could make decisions. He was there when I didn’t have a lot of volunteers or many layers of leadership. He was with me every day. He saw our need, but he had a need and a void to fill in his life. Volunteerism became his job and his purpose.

Frank was a natural leader. He organized the volunteers and the food pantry. His wife was so grateful for Main Street Mission because she said it gave his life meaning again. We received a lot from him, but it helped him heal from his stroke. The math skills he lost after the stroke eventually came back to him, and he’d add up food weight totals in his head.

I was so proud of the elementary Spanish I’d learned. Frank never said anything about it, but one day I heard him talking to someone, and I realized he was speaking conversational Spanish, just rattling it off. I said, “How did you know Spanish?” He said he’d learned it from former co-workers.

Frank also had so much discernment and wisdom in decision making. We made a good team. We really did.

Our volunteer appreciation lunch was Thursday, and Frank was supposed to be there. But he had a massive heart attack on Wednesday and passed to heaven. We decided to make our gathering a celebration of his life. Our sweet friend, Paul Fisher, came with food and tidings of great joy, and monetary gifts from F&M. Janet Haynes and Rob Miller, who secured our loan, were with him. This was the second year they’ve provided food for us. Paul got on board with us last year after visiting the mission one morning and seeing everything that was going on. He was amazed.

There were tears and laughter as we remembered Frank. He would have been very happy. His fingerprints are all over that place, and they always will be. Frank lost a leg last year. He didn’t want to come to work in a wheelchair, but he did. He found his place again. He was such an inspiration to all of us.

Frank found a place at Main Street Mission. That’s what the mission gave to Frank and all of our volunteers and the neighbors we serve: It gave him community.

Anne Corriher is executive director of Main Street Mission. 



Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies


With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions


Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration


Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline


Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance


Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list


Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May


Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards


Cheerleading team competes at Disney


Salisbury High to celebrate football, swimming champions with parade

High School

High school girls soccer: Isley, Webb lead all-county team


Spencer awarded $10,000 to develop trails at Stanback Forest


‘Tails and Tales’ coming to library this summer


Public Records: March Deeds


Salisbury Symphony’s ‘Return to the Concert Hall’ available May 24-31


Salisbury teen becomes one of first in age group to receive COVID-19 vaccine


Down Goat: Local farm and creamery poised to add goat yoga, artisan goat cheese to offerings


Pandemic’s impact, uncertainty of transit funding prompt request to eliminate Rowan Express service


New Waterworks’ exhibit opens June 1

High School

High school football: Walsh accepts the South football challenge


Price of Freedom Museum gets donated landscape project


Rowan Museum will have Upscale Yard Sale Saturday


Seventh dragon boat festival set for July 24; deadline for sponsorships is May 28


‘Shocking and horrifying’: Israel destroys AP office in Gaza