FAIRBORN, Ohio (WDTN) — Our 2023 Remarkable Women series begins with our first finalist: Jane Doorley.
She is the Executive Director of “Fairborn FISH,” a food pantry that serves neighbors — including military families — in Fairborn.
“Being able to do community service is one of the best gifts you can have in life,” Jane told 2 News Today anchor Lauren Wood.
Jane’s life of service began long before she ever heard of Fairborn FISH.
“I started out as a critical care nurse and you see people at a point in life where there’s a lot of tragedy,” Jane said. “A lot of crisis. A lot of sorrow.”
It was then that she realized just how far-reaching the problems of poverty and homelessness really were.
“We’d do an intake interview and ask them their address and the answer would be under some bridge downtown Dayton or something,” Jane said.
Always tender-hearted, caring for those in their time of greatest need inspired Jane to do even more to help.
With their young daughters in tow, the Doorley family began delivering food to the hungry several nights a week.
“Being saddened and having a heart for those people and deciding we wanted to do something,” Doorley said. “So we did that throughout all our working years.”
Eventually, Jane and her husband retired and began bringing produce to FISH.
She quickly became an integral part of what they do here, helping with their transition to computers and more.
“From that point on they said, ‘Will you please be a volunteer?'” Jane recalled. “‘Will you never be absent?’ So it was a little bit serendipitous.”
That was 12 years ago.
Now, Jane is in charge of the organization that last year fed 10 thousand local families half a million meals.
Garry Abfelter, a master gardener who donates produce to fish, sees the impact Jane has.
“She’s very adept at organizing things and getting things recognized — the needs of people,” Abfelter said. “I know she has a great interest in the community and serving the community.”
Jane says she doesn’t feel like a Remarkable Woman. In fact, she’s a bit uncomfortable with the title. According to Jane, she’s just someone who saw a need and decided to help.
“I just like to do this because it’s the right thing to do and it needs to be done,” Jane said. “I don’t need recognition. There are 60 volunteers that we have and they all contribute so much. And the community makes this possible.”
Jane says FISH can always use donations and volunteers.
But the most important message she wants to send is that if you need help, come see the volunteers at Fairborn FISH on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Those in need can come to their distributions at 480 W. Funderberg Rd. in Fairborn, stay in the comfort of their car, and select what items they need.
Click here for details on upcoming events, how to volunteer and current needs.