There are people who could use a hand all around us. That's a reality Jamie Bates keeps locked in his mind; and has for decades.
Through his work with Gulf Coast Community Ministries and Operation Homeless Hope, Bates believes he's fulfilling his call to action.
"I feel, number one, that Jesus told us to love the Lord, and He told us to love our neighbors. I'm trying to love on our neighbors. And I'm trying to inspire other people to love our neighbors, and that's really the heart of it," said Bates.
According to Bates, inspiring others makes his purpose and mission possible. But, he believes he can't fully care for those in need by himself.
"But as a community, when we work together, we can make things happen," said Bates.
One of the people closest to him in his efforts is Marcio Borguezan. Together, the two collect donations for those living with far less.
"From time to time as needs come up, we respond. We'll put the word out as to what needs are there, and hopefully somebody will step up and provide. Maybe it's a hotel night, a tent, sleeping bag, jackets, food. Those sorts of things," said Bates.
Both of these guys were selected to be a part of our South Mississippi Strong campaign because of their efforts to our community.
While the ultimate goal is to make homelessness vanish, Borguezan says he and Bates know that's really a pipe dream.
"In the meantime, we're going to be working with them. We're going to try to support them," said Borguezon.
He and Bates do not believe they will reach as many people or make as big of a difference if they don't have the numbers with them. That's why they hope their actions will reach and motivate those looking for ways to help.
"Let's say we get 100, 150 volunteers, we could make a huge impact," said Borguezan
Operation Homeless Hope hosts several events a year to help those in need. To find out more, please visit the group's Facebook.