PAY IT FORWARD: Clothing the Homeless

DAVENPORT, Iowa – The need depends on the weather, but the need is always there.

More of the Quad City homeless may be leaving the shelters for the streets because of the warm weather spring provides.  But day in and day out, the Humility of Mary shelter says it’s services are always in demand.

But Davenport’s “Humility of Mary” shelter is more than a place to sleep.  It’s a place to get a second chance.

“They walk in the door they don’t have any clothes, they have nothing,” says Shelly Gilbert of the Humility of Mary shelter.

“They’re soaked, it’s winter time, they need something.”

And in one tiny room there are supplies that are a big help.   It’s a room filled with clothes donated by Quad City families.

Keeping it all organized is a volunteer whose getting a surprise for all he and his wife do for the homeless.

So Shelly wrote to us with a request to pay these volunteers back.

“I have nominated you for the Ascentra Bank and Channel 8 News to ‘Pay It Forward’ and I want to give you this $300 to Pay It Forward.”

Bob Bobtelle is retired and yet drives most every day from his home in Walcott to central Davenpoort to sort through the clothes donations which go to homeless people in the city.

“I am dedicated,” says volunteer Boutelle.  “I’m retired.  I love to do this.  I get emotional.”

“I think he’s just about the most dedicated guy I’ve ever met,” says his wife Nancy, who also volunteers.

“What gives me a good heart is to have a participant come in, pick out a suit, go to a job interview, get the job,” says Bob.

Bob says the reason he’s always at the shelter is because he’s always needed.  New donations come in weekly and if he falls behind, everyone suffers.

“Between the two of you, we couldn’t do it at all,” says Shelly Gilbert.

“We need you guys.”

You can nominate a deserving person for the News 8 Ascentra Credit Union “Pay It Forward” program just by clicking here for details.

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