American House resident Hattie Manley talks about serving others and living the good life

Hattie Manley PhotoYou don’t have to slow down just because you’ve grown a little older. American House Oakland’s Hattie Manley is the perfect example of living life to its fullest. Born in Nashville, Tenn., it wasn’t soon after Ms. Manley moved to Pontiac, Mich., and became a staple of community service.

For her more than 63 years of service to the community, Pontiac recently recognized Ms. Manley with the Pontiac Women Achiever’s Award. When asked what inspires her, Ms. Manley simply responded, “I like to do things. I’m a doer. I like to be a positive light in the community and help people who need it.”

Her favorite place to volunteer is her church, St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church, where she runs the outreach food programs. In addition to serving food for the community, she also cooks and serves Sunday breakfast every week and handles funeral dinners — with the help of her volunteers.

“Meals are associated with fellowship and community,” Ms. Manley explained. “If I can prepare dinner for someone, that’s one less thing people in need have to worry about.”

Ms. Manley was even dedicated to helping people in her professional career, where she was a licensed practical nurse (LPN) for two years. She also went for additional training and became a registered nurse (RN) for 30 years at Pontiac General (which now goes by Doctors’ Hospital of Michigan).

Ms. Manley is also passionate about the younger generations in the community.

“The young people need to keep advancing,” she said. “You don’t have to stop – you can always do something. You can always make something better.”

In her free time, she still loves to cook and spend time with her family. She has 30 grandchildren, 36 great grandchildren and more than five generations of family.