As a child, she can remember carrying groceries for elderly neighbors and as a teenager helping a woman in her store after her husband died. In 1969 at the age of 19 while living in West Germany as a military dependent she assisted a soldier who was being court-martialed to find an American attorney to defend him, and he prevailed in the case.
For several years in the early 80’s she invited the entire Second Police District to her home for dinner because she thought it was a good way to show appreciation for the people entrusted with the community’s collective safety and a way to become acquainted with them in a non-emergency situation. She also collected winter coats and hats for people in need in her neighborhood and became a voice against the opening of a halfway house for non-supervised mentally challenged adults. (She had concerns for the safety of the children in the area as well as for the residents themselves.)
In 1986 while working as the Lead Instructor in a Joint Training Partnership Act program for senior citizens 65 and over, she provided transportation for those who didn’t have a way to get to class and fed them breakfast from her personal budget. In late 1986 she welcomed a son to add to her six children. Then in late 1989 she adopted two more children, a little girl and her brother. Less than two years later she adopted another sibling group, this time two brothers.
Since 1989 she has been a relationship coach and anger management specialist providing individuals and couples realistic tools to have successful relationships, deal with domestic violence issues and manage anger including bullying. By using a sliding fee scale she has been able to provide her services to virtually anyone needing assistance.
In 1990 she began a campaign, “Socks for Soldiers”, with the goal of collecting as many pairs of socks possible to ship to the troops fighting in the first Persian Gulf War.
In 1991 she created an inter-hospital mini-Olympic event, where security officers from area hospitals competed in the event with the goal of raising money for the hospital Auxiliary. Later that year, a fellow employee of the hospital didn’t report to work one Monday and Marsha became concerned for her welfare. Accompanied by a Security Officer from the hospital, she drove to the woman’s apartment complex. After being let into the apartment by the superintendent, she discovered the woman struggling to breathe. Apparently, the woman had been trying to commit suicide, so Marsha called emergency services. After a few weeks in the ICU, the woman was well enough to go home and eventually returned to work.
In 2000 while working as the Site Administrator for a local day care program, she arranged for free tickets for the children and adults to see a live professional production of The Nutcracker.
In 2006 she received a phone call from a woman who had decided to end her life over a relationship gone wrong. Some 72 hours later, Marsha managed to talk her down. That same year, she received a call from police officers that a man was sitting on the wall of a bridge and wanted to talk to Marsha about things that were bothering him. A few hours later he allowed himself to be taken down from the bridge.
Marsha’s educational accomplishments include: an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Law Enforcement Administration-cum laude and an Associate of Arts (AA)-cum laude (both from Cuyahoga Community College); a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Technical Education-cum laude from University of Akron; and a Masters in Human Services (MSHS)-cum laude from Post University.
If you ask Marsha why she helps so many people, she’d say “I can’t ever remember wanting anything for myself that would not benefit others.” Right now, Marsha is attempting to raise money so she can provide safe transportation to school for these six grandchildren: Cheayvonte Moore (DOB: 6-30-98), Nylan Bailey (DOB: 1-26-02), Caesarra Walker (DOB: 3-19-02), Jason Rivera (DOB: 1-07-04), Te’Quan Bailey (DOB: 4-18-06) and Joshua Lynch (DOB: 9-18-08).
Marsha, always a lady, tells me “At this point in my life, it is very difficult for me to be so transparent in disclosing my transportation needs, but education is a priority and the springboard to future success. I truly believe that the lack of transportation should not result in any child being left behind, including my own grandchildren.”