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Published May 6, 2013

Day 6: Homelessness, Rain, and Villains

The rain pounded like cold fists on Blue Beacon’s hood as she strode towards her next mission: The Raleigh Rescue Mission.

Her steps took her through Moore Square, where a woman sat in a curled, pink blanket on a park bench. They shared a smile as Blue Beacon passed. The rain was cold, but for the superhero, it was nothing more than a temporary reminder that she, at least, was fortunate enough to have a warm place of refuge ahead. Not everyone was so lucky. And those people needed a helping hand.

Seriously, it was a really cold, stormy day, and I had to park like two blocks from the Raleigh Rescue Mission and skip lunch because of my hurry.

raleighrescueChilly and hungry, I tried to use the sensations as fuel for my empathy. Sometimes, when life briefly sucks, you just have to look at it that way.

Moore Square is a gathering spot for our local homeless population. On weekends, church groups rotate a soup kitchen at the park. Nearby sits Salvation Army and Raleigh Rescue Mission, two groups that assist people who live in poverty. I walked through and smiled at the people I passed. Who knows? Maybe next week they’ll recognize me, and we’ll become acquaintances.

As I settle into my first day volunteering in the kitchen at the RRM, I look around at all the unfamiliar faces and feel the loneliness creeping in. Thankfully, another volunteer named Kristen introduced herself as a newbie who would be there every Monday, and I felt the comforting awash of knowing we can discover friends where ever we are. As a second-week helper, she oriented me a bit. Kirby, the cook, also introduced me to a few other workers, who reside at the RRM and assist in the kitchen as part of their chores and employee-training. Everybody was cheerful and full of smiles. Really. It was like a little haven.

I’ve always been heavily impressed by the Raleigh Rescue Mission. They’re a group I’ve worked with in the past.

RRM is not merely a shelter, but an all-inclusive life-preparation center. They do job-training, emotional and psychological counseling, addiction recovery, and social skills. They have a clinic with a volunteer doctor to help provide much-needed medical care. RRM also boasts a five star preschool for the youngest residents, and help find education grants for the college-bound. They. Are. Ah. Maze. Ing.

As I dished out rice and beans, chicken and hamburger steak, living the soup kitchen-dream, I realized this is what a lot of people think about when they imagine “Volunteer Work.” Helping the hungry, the sick, the weak, the poor. But these residents aren’t poor or sick or weak. They are the friendliest, most grateful group I’ve met. Many residents came back to thank Kristen and I personally, and as a first time volunteer, the group waiting for food actually applauded me.

The “homeless” people who live in the shelter made me feel honored and humbled to serve.

The Blue Beacon emerged from the mission, filled with hope for the future of her own cause — and all causes. However, when she arrived home to write of her day’s adventure, she came across a curious message from a rising Super Villain. Mr. Saturday Night sent Blue Beacon, Captain Hoodie, and the citizens of the Triangle this taunt.

Riled by Mr. Saturday Night’s slander, Ms. Moyles, local high school student and founder of non-profit Ewe to You, stood up against him, vowing, “Mr.Saturday Night I take on your challenge too! I am no Slacktivist and I too will change the world- just check out what I’ve been doing!!! More power to the Blue Beacon and Captain Hoodie!”

super-hero-blue-beacon-full-donate-button
Click on the Blue Beacon to Donate!

I think it’s time for a call to action, citizens.

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  • heather

    Heather

  • I sincerely believe that through the power of storytelling, I can make social issues become more than a set of statistics. My expertise is in community leadership, non-profit work, event coordinating, networking, and storytelling. My resume. All my articles.

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