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Doug’s Volunteer Story

When Doug Bailey’s mother passed away shortly before Christmas, he knew he would have a tough time facing the holidays without her.

He saw in a local newspaper that Mel Trotter Ministries needed help serving Christmas lunch and thought that would be a good way to take his mind off his loss and to honor her memory. Four years later, Doug is one of our most faithful volunteers, serving every Thursday, as well as holidays.

“It inspired me to know that maybe I was making someone else’s day happier just by being here,” Doug told us.

From hosting an impromptu “balloon day” and bringing fruit snacks for the kids to sharing a joke and a smile with our other guests, Doug has brightened many days since that first Christmas lunch.

Since Doug made Mel Trotter a regular part of his life, his co-volunteers and our guests have become friends that he looks forward to seeing every Thursday. “I’ve seen people graduate from here, get jobs and homes and happy families. I like to see that and be part of it in my own little serving-food way.”

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Like many of our volunteers, Doug had misconceptions about homelessness that were shattered when he started serving at the Mission. “Homelessness can affect people from all walks of life,” he learned. “It’s not necessarily people who live under bridges.”

Doug plans to keep his Thursdays free for Mel Trotter for as long as he’s needed. “My experience has been that God played a role in people helping me when I needed it, and if I can thank God by returning the favor, I’d like the opportunity to do it. The ultimate way for us to thank God for all He’s done for us is to help others, to be there for someone, just like we’ve all had someone be there for us.”

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