LEAVITTSBURG - Lisa Booze always finds a way to help people. She was five months pregnant in Warren in 1985 when she opened the front door to find a man standing there, bleeding.
"I saw the blood. I didn't know who he was. He told me, 'My wife shot me,'" she recalled. She didn't hesitate. She did what she could to help him: She called the police, applying pressure to the wound until the paramedics arrived.
Booze said she was just following her gut instinct when she saw blood and a person who needed her help. She later discovered he was one of her neighbors. To this day, the two remain friends.
Now as the founder of Project Be Somebody, she operates a food pantry in Leavittsburg and holds numerous fundraisers for people and groups in need.
A 2014 Tribune Chronicle Community Star, Booze is one of 10 individuals chosen from more than 60 nominees for their impact on Trumbull County, be it through random acts of kindness, a devotion to community service or a single moment of courage.
Booze was nominated by Lisa Chapman of Newton Falls, and Theresa Barbe, formerly of Leavittsburg, who both will attest to the fact that Booze doesn't give up - she always finds a way to help those in need.
"She has her whole family involved in giving back to the community. She'll do anything. Anybody that needs help, she's there to help you," Barbe said.
Project Be Somebody operates with the view that everybody can go out there and be somebody, no matter what, even if they suffer from a disability.
Booze herself has a speech impediment, but it doesn't slow her down.
"Do not let your disability stop you," she affirms.
In addition to running a daycare in her home, Booze also operates a food pantry at 4828 W. Market St., Leavittsburg. She also holds fundraisers, such as spaghetti dinners and other events, to raise money for people in need.
Chapman is no stranger to Booze's generous spirit. Her brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago, and Booze helped to raise "a substantial" amount of money to help defray some of his ongoing medical costs. Not only that, but she got the whole family involved.
"She didn't want him to have to help us. She put us to work," Chapman recalled.
"She was motivational. It means a lot to my family. She showed us how to work together and it made my family closer because of it."
Booze said with the help of more than 100 volunteers, Project Be Somebody has provided people with food, money, furniture and clothing, and benefits for all sorts of causes. She won't turn anyone away.
"Our group will take care of anybody," she said. "I won't stop."
Barbe said Booze's helpful nature is not something you see every day.
"I don't think there's a lot of people who take time out of their busy work schedule to look around and see someone that does need your help," she said.
"It's her motivation. She is determined to make it work," Chapman said. "You say 'Project Be Somebody' and people know. People don't turn her down."