Angels In Our Midst

Angels In Our Midst

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Angels In Our Midst

Updated: Wednesday, June 18 2014, 03:43 PM CDT
Organizations are always thrilled when they get volunteers who just seem to be a perfect fit.
That's exactly what happened when the Waterfront Rescue Mission found Shirley Bell.
She brought to the mission the heart of an Angel In Our Midst.

“Good morning, Waterfront Rescue Mission, this is Shirley.”

Tyrone Dobson, Waterfront Rescue Mission client; “she's just a blessing.  I'm going to start right there.  She's a blessing.”

That's a perfect place to start a conversation about Shirley Bell.  She had been a casual supporter of the Waterfront Rescue Mission for many years; dropping off donations and stopping in for brief visits at their downtown main street location.  When they moved to their new facility, she became a permanent volunteer manning the reception area.

Shirley Bell, Waterfront Rescue Mission Angel;  “I have a compassion for people that are troubled like that.  And I hope that by being here I can help change some of them.”

Tyrone Dobson, Waterfront Rescue Mission client; “every morning, I always try to greet her when comes through, when she parks her car and she comes through, I try to greet her there because it's like an uplifting you get from her.”

Many of the men seeking refuge at the mission are at the depths of despair when they come here.  Often times, their first contact is with miss Shirley.

Ryan Mailhot, Waterfront Rescue mission client;;  “I have seen guys come in that are really troubled.  They don't know what to do; what their plan is.  I've seen miss Shirley sit down for an hour, hour and a half; however long it takes, and counsel with them.”

Tyrone Dobson, Waterfront Rescue Mission client;  “I'm from Boston, Massachusetts, and for a little while I was struggling with not having no family here or anything like that.  She sat me down and talked with me.  And just give you that comfort, you know, it's going to be okay.”

Shirley Bell, Waterfront Rescue Mission Angel; “I let them talk to me; tell me what's going on in their lives.  And a lot of times, actually what they need is prayer. And I'll pray with them.”
She prays, she counsels, answers the phones, does paperwork, arranges transportation; and there are other needs she meets but doesn't talk about.

Ryan Mailhot, Waterfront Rescue Mission client;  take money out of her own pocket and go buy men clothes or shoes or even hygiene items; soap and shampoo and stuff.  She's just a really awesome woman of god.”

Not everyone is comfortable in a setting with the homeless and the troubled, but miss Shirley says she's right at home here following a commandment to do unto the very least of these. 

Tyrone Dobson, Waterfront Rescue Mission client;  “she's definitely got a big heart.  And she's definitely heaven-sent.”

Shirley Bell, Waterfront Rescue Mission Angel; “I feel a lot of joy and peace because I feel like maybe I might have helped somebody change their lives that day.”

Angels In Our Midst is brought to you by the children's hospital at Sacred Heart.

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Washington Times