COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - At the Harvest Hope Food Bank, each volunteer has a reason to serve, including Kassy Alia. Tuesday afternoon, Alia was dubbed the "Fun Food Lady" as she sorted cart-loads of cakes, pies, and pizzas.
"Something that's brought me a lot of peace over the past few days is I know I told my husband everyday how much I loved him, and he did the same for me. I'm confident, and I know that he would be so proud of me," she said.
Kassy's late husband, Forest Acres police officer Greg Alia, was shot and killed in the line of duty last week while responding to a suspicious vehicle call at Richland Mall. He was a new father, just 32 years old, and a star at the small department. Alia was laid to rest on Saturday as the rain rolled in.
"Over the past few days, the community has enveloped my family with love. Once I realized that my family was safe, my son and I were safe, my sister and her boyfriend who had been staying with us were safe, I felt driven to come out and give back to the community who has given us so much," Kassy said.
On Tuesday, Kassy did give back beside other volunteers who didn't know who she was. She wasn't seeking attention – just a way to help the community that's helped her.
"I packed up food from the house and came over. When I pulled up, I asked if I could lend a hand, and I've been bagging bread. So, I've been bagging three loaves per bag. I don't know that I'm that good at it yet," she said.
Regardless, Kassy said she'll keep it up too help her community that's suffered a painful week and to continue her husband's legacy of service.
"South Carolina can sometimes be portrayed as lower on many rankings and can be displayed in not the best light, but when you look at not only Forest Acres but broader South Carolina, I am so proud that I call this state now my home," she said.
She wanted to let people know that Harvest Hope needs more canned meats, canned fruits and vegetables, and baby products, At last check, they were pretty good on water.