MINOT, N.D. (KXNET) — Melissa Maasjo is a wife, mother, foster parent, teacher, and business owner — and as if that weren’t enough, she’s also a philanthropist.

This Remarkable Woman nominee has been called to help those in need all throughout her life. From a very young age, she’s felt overwhelming promptings and has always followed them blindly — starting with her degree in education of the deaf at Minot State.

“I was walking through Old Main one day when I was 20,” explains Melissa Maasjo, “and kind of wondering what to do with my life. And I saw the education of the deaf on a door and I walked through. That was it.”

The type of prompting she felt to educate those in need continued to come to her throughout her life. It’s what led her to foster 20 children in 5 years, and ultimately led her to adopt her youngest daughter.

“There was a period in our life, a couple of years before we started, where I would see foster care on TV shows,” Maasjo continued. “The things I was reading like devotions, and the times we would meet people who were fostering were bombarding us from all sides. And I kept it to myself for a long time, because I didn’t want to do it. Finally, it was just so much that I mentioned it to my husband — and he said it was happening to him too.”

This was the start of creating the Matthew 25 project. It’s an organization that’s been built on Maasjo’s love and kindness for others. From clothing for all ages and sizes to appliances and household needs of every kind, anyone and everyone can take what they need with the price of no more than a smile. But her end goal means so much more than just providing ‘things’.

“It’s really hard for people to ask for help,” Masjo states. “So when they come through the door, our primary goal is just to love on them. Even more so than giving them things.”

Melissa’s generosity radiates throughout the store, so much so, that the people she helped are inspired to do the same.

“When my daughter was three, she ended up going to foster care,” explains friend of Maasjo and Volunteer at the Matthew 25 Project Tymerie Crawford, “and Melissa ended up being her foster parent. It was probably the roughest time in my life. The bright side of it is that I get to come back and bless other people now, because her family has been such a blessing to ours.”

Maasjo says she has been called to serve, and she answers that call, without hesitation every time.

“It’s easy to ignore a call to do something because it’s uncomfortable,” she says. “It’s time-consuming, it might cost money, it’s not safe — there’s a multitude of reasons. But we are all called to do something, and I think over the past few years I’ve learned not to ignore that.”

To Maasjo, she simply does what she’s called to do. But to others, she’s simply remarkable.