Gloria Griffith thought no one noticed her quietly preparing food baskets for homeless people living in hotels, giving socks to seniors at Christmastime or gathering after-school snacks for children.

She thought no one noticed when she taught youths how to read.

Someone did notice.

"Her story is a great example of someone who has lived a life of service," said Dr. Valerie Radu, a National Association of Social Workers member who attended the 2014 Social Work Day on the Hill in Nashville when Griffith, a 66-year-old grandmother, was named Public Citizen of the Year by the Tennessee chapter of National Association of Social Workers.

Two other Chattanoogans received statewide recognition at the event. James McKissic, the city's director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, was named Public Official of the Year, and Mari Alyce Benson, clinical director of the Chattanooga Autism Center, earned the Social Worker of the Year honor. The three are among the state-level winners who will be considered for recognition at the national social workers conference in Washington, D.C., in May.

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