CityView Magazine

June 2021

CityView Magazine - Fayetteville, NC

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Page 54 of 69 | 51 S ometimes what we hunger for the most isn't about food. It's about receiving "the humble heart," if you ask restaurant owner Pornjai Smith, the unofficial godmother of Person Street. At her modest PJ ai Cuisine, a convenience store-turned-eatery, she offers encouraging words with no judgment. Some of her customers are without homes, hope or any kind of happiness. But, when she smiles at them, somehow the glow transfers. Like a magic beam of light that travels from one human being to another. And nothing can stop the flow. Her acts of kindness are quiet, from offering clothing in a back office to help with transportation and finding jobs. "Ms. PJ" or "Mom," as she is oen called, knows that she cannot help everyone, but she tries. And, of course, Ms. PJ feeds them, too. "Pay what you can, when you can," she says to those who have fallen on hard times, as she discreetly hands them a carryout container filled with delicious food. Because she too knows what it is like to be hungry. A few have returned and offered to pay full price for their meals. e once displaced, now with shelter and jobs. A recovering addict who recently completed rehab. A former prostitute who was trained as a nurse and returned to that profession. ose closest to Ms. PJ say their turnaround is due to her influence, which gives her great joy, but she takes no credit. Perhaps life itself has given her a greater capacity to nurture and love. Hers has been a journey of pain, loss and survival, from her native ailand to America, from orphan to widow and breast cancer survivor and unimaginable abuse. She rarely shares her personal story, preferring to listen to those in front of her. She credits her faith, her God, for getting her through it all. 'Ms. PJ' brings hope and a humble heart to her eatery that feeds bodies and souls on the edge of downtown Fayetteville by Clayton Britt & Sons 3703 Bragg Blvd., Fayetteville, NC 28303 910.868.8319 | Call Mosquito Squad at (910) 779-2656. The Surgeon & Associates Family of Businesses Family Values • Superior Service • Career Opportunities Our Mantra: Passion. Service. Education. Giving. We offer an all-natural solution as an ideal alternative for mosquito control that meets your needs. Mention code CV2021 10% off any 1 service or 15% off of 2 or more services with S&A Family.

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