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Maxine Watkins knows how to dish it...


Maxine Watkins knows how to dish it up

Note to God:

Maxine Watkins apologizes for not making it to church lately.

Her Sundays, though, have been pretty busy. For two years, she has been feeding the homeless at Guilford Avenue and Baltimore Street on the Lord's day.

"I've always said, 'I'm not going to have anything, so I might as well share what I have,' " says the 62-year-old West Baltimore resident.

With help from 12 volunteers, she prepares as many as 400 meals in the kitchen of Howard Park United Methodist Church. Ms. Watkins then spends her afternoons serving them, regardless of the weather.

"I've gotten wet all the way to my drawers and never caught a cold. God is watching over me," she says.

And while her work has brought letters of praise from the mayor, her greatest joy has been watching several former homeless men become her volunteers.

"That makes me feel good," she says. "Then I know I've done something."

Life on the farm is anything but predictable for Katie Peddy.

On any given day, she has llamas to feed, a peacock named Picasso to watch and visitors from Peru dropping by.

But that hasn't stopped her from organizing a benefit for the International Visitors Center of Maryland -- a non-profit institution linking foreign professionals with their Maryland counterparts. "A Tasting at the Station," a wine festival at Green Spring Station, takes place from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. today.

Ms. Peddy became a volunteer 20 years ago as a way of introducing her two young sons to other cultures. The center has continued to be an outlet for her, especially since the demands of running a farm and an interior design business often make travel impossible.

"It's given me a sense of mission in life," says Ms. Peddy, 47, of Phoenix.

"I'm not feeding the homeless. I'm not housing abused children. I wish I could. But our cause -- global understanding -- in the long-term is as important."

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