Founder and Executive Director, HoH Share Inc.
SUPERPOWER: Seeing the value in others
Kate Marshall believes in the innate power of West Virginians. When passing through with her grandmother as a child, Marshall fell in love with the state and resolved to move back here when she grew up. Years later, in her mid-20s, she made good on her dream and moved to Wheeling, where she found a community she is proud to be part of.
“When I moved here, I noticed that West Virginians were very strong and resilient people in many ways, but in the area where I live, there was also a need to build family for people who were aging out of foster care or experiencing homelessness.” Seeing this need, Marshall developed a place to gather, share meals, create art, and learn what other needs the people of her community had.
While she is an essential part of that community, she credits those around her for helping her get the nonprofit’s impressive initiatives up and running. “You know the story about stone soup, how everybody brings something and together it makes a soup? Well, I bring the rock,” she says, laughing. “Everybody else brings what they have, and we find a way to creatively and uniquely address community challenges in novel ways.”
Marshall and her team have found ways to bring beauty and joy to communities of West Virginia that might otherwise be without. Some projects focus on children who lack outdoor facilities and bring play back into their lives. Some focus on the incarcerated, helping them to find purpose and community through art.
“I think that, if there’s an opportunity in your community to look at the hard places or hard things, sometimes human nature tends to want to shy away or not address it, thinking it will go away. Typically, that doesn’t work. However, bringing the voices to the table of people who are unheard or unseen or experiencing that hard thing—that can work.”
Written by Tara Wine-Queen
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Since 2014 WV Living magazine has been honoring West Virginia Wonder Women, amazing women who are raising the bar in their communities, serving as beacons of light in their industries, and forcing change for the greater good. WV Living is proud to celebrate these Appalachian mothers, millennials, and mavens proving that in a time full of uncertainty, divisiveness, and hate, love for one another is all we really need. No need for bulletproof bracelets or a golden lasso of truth—these women are creating a better West Virginia with their can-do attitudes and Mountain State spirit.