Volunteers Take Pope Francis' Message to Heart - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Volunteers Take Pope Francis' Message to Heart

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER,  Del. - Volunteers with Habitat for Humanity in Dover are giving back their time to help their community.

"Our mission seeks to put Gods love into action by building affordable homes, communities and hope," said Jocelyn McBride, executive director with Habitat for Humanity.

McBride says the organization helps low-income individuals get back on their feet through the help of volunteers.

Linda Baldwin of Dover is one recipient. She was chosen by the organization and moved into her new home in 2008.

She says she was overwhelmed at the gesture and says she can't thank volunteer enough for what they do to help those in need.

"Being poor is not easy and it's not because you were born that way but sometimes circumstances get in the way," said Baldwin.

Baldwin said, "If you have an opportunity to lift someone up from that, then we have served our fellow man."

It's a message that newly-elected Pope Francis is encouraging everyone to do.

During his inaugural ceremony Tuesday at the Vatican, the pope asked everyone to help the environment, the weakest and the poorest.

Organizations like the United Way of Delaware are also helping to make the community a better place through volunteerism.

"Whether it be just rolling up the sleeves and putting some mulch in some flower beds. You really get a strong connection to that group that your supporting," said Debbie Armstrong, assistant director of the United Way of Delaware for Kent County.

"It just creates awareness for the community. You may live in the community but you really don't understand the issues that are in your community. With an organization like United Way, we're trying to bridge those gaps and we're trying to create awareness," said Crystal Timmons, with United Way of Delaware for Sussex County.

Armstrong and Timmons say they are gearing up for events this summer encouraging volunteers to give back through several campaigns.

United Way volunteers also help some of the local Boys and Girls Clubs with cleanup and rejuvenation projects.

McBride says volunteers love what they do, especially when it comes to building homes and giving back to their community.

"You get to walk away and say I helped build that house. You can see the change that you're making and the impact that you're making in someone's home," said McBride.

Baldwin's home is one she'll always cherish.

"To me it was God choosing me to do something and for a purpose," said Baldwin.

A purpose heard not only through the Pope's message, but in local communities around the world.

Anyone wishing to volunteer with the Central Delaware Habitat for Humanity can log onto www.centraldelawarehabitat.org.

Anyone wishing to volunteer with the United Way of Delaware can log onto www.uwde.org.

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