A Lifetime of Dedicated Service
For 50 years Anne Voyles and her husband Jim owned and managed Voyles Appliance Store on 23rd Avenue in Gainesville. They became known throughout the community for their excellent customer service and genuine caring for the people they served. As business began to wind down and the Voyles neared retirement in 2000, Anne began serving as Director for Bread of the Mighty Food Bank where she had volunteered for many years.
Anne could have easily retired when the appliance store closed, but instead, she re-fired and put her years of experience and wisdom into rebuilding the food bank from the ground up.
Bread of the Mighty (BOTM) serves five counties in Florida, covering 3,700 square miles. The food bank acquires and distributes 2 million pounds of food annually, reaching the lives of nearly 1.5 million people. Not an easy undertaking for anyone to manage. But Anne not only managed, she excelled, bringing BOTM back from the brink of bankruptcy and restoring service to the community.
“[Anne] picked up the challenge with joy, determination, faith and expectancy,” stated a letter from employees, the Board of Directors and volunteers at the food bank. “Anne’s desire to improve the lives of our local and extended community will never fade away.”
Anne grew up in Gainesville and Cedar Key, and was a pioneer student at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research school, so her ties to this community are long and strong and she had a passion to get BOTM back on its feet. Anne continues to work as Director Emeritus for BOTM to this day.
According to Jan McDonald who nominated Anne, “Even more impressive than her mission of feeding the hungry, Mrs. Voyles, through her actions and dedication, inspires other to be involved and serve.”
Anne has helped many people over the years, providing financial, spiritual and emotional support to those in need. Many more than her three own children looked to her as a mother. She continues today to be a role model, giving tirelessly and always willing to serve in any way she can.