Odette Boyce-Galvez is a lifelong Caroline County resident driven by her passion for service and fostering community. She has dedicated more than two and half decades connecting vulnerable members of the community to needed resources, with a focus on fighting and dismantling the hunger epidemic.
“It is important work due to our food insecurity in Caroline County,” says Odette. “No one should go to bed hungry.”
Odette was born in Ridgley, Md. and graduated from North Caroline County High School before attending Fleet Business School in Annapolis. Her service career began as an Interviewer for Caroline County Energy Assistance at the Department of Social Services, where she worked with applicants for the Maryland Energy Assistance Program and performed extensive outreach to migrant workers applying for food stamps.
Odette then transitioned to the Caroline County Family Support Center, where she was a Family Advocate from 1996 to 2006. She spent this time providing direct service and assistance to families in need of early childhood resources, guaranteeing that children received enriching early childhood education experiences. Sister Patricia hired Odette in 2006 to be the Manager of Saint Martin’s Barn Food Pantry and Thrift Store.
As Barn Manager, she oversees all daily operations, which is no small feat. Odette manages all food donations, storage, and distribution to ensure Martin’s House & Barn’s client needs are being met with compassion, consistency, and ease.
Odette also coordinates volunteer logistics and guides employees in completing their daily tasks, while also managing the Thrift Store. Odette helps to secure resources needed by local families who are working to survive with very low incomes.
She finds joy in helping people and making sure the community knows Martin’s House & Barn is here to help. Her commitment to this work is driven by the small moments of connection and support she is able to provide for others.
For Odette, these connections are made when providing free diapers to a single mom struggling to make ends meet; taking the time to have a conversation with a senior who lives alone and needs someone to talk to; giving a free coat to a child who walks into the Thrift Store without one already on their back; and, of course, distributing food to families in need.
“The smile on their face when they receive their food cart is priceless,” she says.
In addition to her work as Manager, Odette has volunteered at Samaritan House as their Volunteer Manager. She enjoys reading in her spare time.