Community Gem: Grace Mannix helps people who’ve fallen on hard times

CENTERVILLE — Grace Mannix, 78, has been helping people pay their utility bills and get food through her church’s St. Vincent de Paul conference for so long she cannot recall exactly when she started, but guesses its been at least 20 years.

Mannix, former president of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference at St. Henry Catholic Church in Miami Twp. stepped down as president but continues to volunteer. Parishioners contribute money to help those in need.

“I help people with utilities, food. They call our church, which is St. Henry Catholic Church, and I get the information there,” said Mannix of Centerville. “It’s just the fact that there are people out there who need those services and we are able to provide those.”

She was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by Connie Dvorak of Miami Twp., who is active in the conference as well.

“Grace Mannix is a woman of faith who has been a lifelong volunteer,” Dvorak said. “Grace has served as a St. Vincent de Paul Vincentian all of her adult life, while raising her children and now into her elder years.”

“For many years she was the face of assistance and service to the poor for our parish almost singled-handedly,” Dvorak said.

Mannix said she likes doing the volunteer work because she sees such need in the area and she enjoys talking to people. She said helping with bills, food and bus passes is just part of what she does.

“I ask them what their needs are and if we are able to help them with their needs,” Mannix said. “I try to give them a listening ear and just let them talk. A lot of them just need to talk.”

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