Citizen of the Week: Gemma Cretella

When Gov. Brian Kemp issued a public health emergency because of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) back in March, the impact was felt by almost every organization in the state, including charitable organizations.

"We couldn't allow people into our food pantry anymore," said City of Refuge Executive Director Pamela Cudd.

City of Refuge provides services to low-income families, including transitional housing, a food pantry, a clothing store, education programs for both children and adults, and hot meals.

If those in need couldn't come to the food pantry, City of Refuge officials decided to take the food to them by creating mobile distribution teams. Cudd said members of Rock Bridge Community Church stepped up to help organize and deliver food boxes. And she said Gemma Cretella, one of the Rock Bridge volunteers, went "above and beyond."

"She was one of the very first to volunteer," Cudd said. "She comes in early to help sanitize everything for the other volunteers."

Cretella also handles record keeping for the meal distribution program.

"We have delivered 19,757 meals," said Cudd. "We have to keep records of all of that, and she jumped right in, staying late to get that done. And of course, she also helps deliver meals."

For her efforts to help City of Refuge feed some of the Dalton area's most vulnerable, the Daily Citizen-News names Gemma Cretella Citizen of the Week.

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