Norma Cosey answers a call each day to serve, touch and meet needs in the community. It’s not something she feels deserves accolades, but if it encourages others to walk the road of service, she will gladly plant that seed in the heart of others.
Cosey, the manager of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry, was honored at the 2021 Baker Citizen of the Year Saturday at a Mass and reception at St. Isidore Catholic Church.
Cosey feels uncomfortable in the limelight, but boldly pursues her mission and work. “There are a lot of people are in need and you have to find a way to reach them,” she said.
Finding ways to meet needs adds up to countless hours weekly screening applicants and making home visits to families in need. Her nominating letter explained that she has a gift for recognizing needs and matching them to resources and outreach services. “Many of the needs other than food are met only because of her compassion for citizens of Baker — not because the families asked for extra help,” the nominators said. “For example, she called to let us know a family was sleeping on air mattresses on the floor and facilitated getting them beds.”
The Rev. Frank Bass, pastor at St. Isidore, praised Cosey’s heart, but also her administration and office skills explaining that Cosey has streamlined the office methods allowing staff member to focus on their primary tasks within the church and outreach. “Norma, I’m nominating you to be the next pastor,” Bass said. “This woman runs a tight ship and it’s really good. It’s a blessing to know exactly what the standard is and what is needed.”
The kind words and honor were overwhelming to Cosey, who said she only does what she feels called to do. “If people are aware of someone that is in need, it might take a little bit of money, but that’s what we’re there for,” she said. “In this country, people should not be starving or having to look for food and never knowing where the next meal is coming from.”
In addition to the Food Pantry, the social ministry of St. Isidore includes Christmas toy drive and food baskets, nursing home birthday parties, nursing home Masses and communion services, homebound communion, prison ministry, the prayer line and more.
The Baker Citizen of the Year process is a function of the Inter-Club Council of Baker, a long-standing organization committed to community service. The council is an alliance of clubs and organization in the Baker community and has been honoring worthy residents since 1960.
The Knights of Columbus Council 4085 and Mother of Perpetual Help Ladies Auxiliary was Cosey’s nominating council member. Cosey is a member of St. Isidore, where she serves as Eucharistic Minister, helps count contributions, and participates in the Parish School of Religion.