Homeless give thanks to volunteers - WRBL

Homeless give thanks to volunteers

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COLUMBUS, Ga. -

A number of organizations provide services for the more than 700 homeless people in the Chattahoochee Valley, but two people got special recognition for their daily commitment to helping the less fortunate.

Billy Bob Henderson and Ann Johns were surprised when they arrived at the Water Works park to feed their normal group of hungry mouths. They were greeted by nearly 100 area homeless whose lives have been touched by the two selfless volunteers.

"It was overwhelming," says Johns. "We always come out here, and we always have our friends meet us out here and help us. These people are what God sent out here for us to help, so we thank God for them."

With the help of Johns and Henderson's friends, the displaced locals signed cards, made signs and hung balloons to say thanks.

"I lost my job in November," says Nathaniel Williams who was there with his son Nicholas. "They've been a blessing to not only me, but a lot of these guys out here because sometimes you feel like you're alone in a lot of things in life, but these people really do care."

Pastor Mike Roughton says, "I've seen times when Billy and Ann didn't even have gas money, didn't even know where their next dollar was coming from, and God's brought it in. And every time God blesses them, they in turn give it back to the homeless."

Deborah Whitaker, who has struggled to find a home for herself and her husband Rodney DePriester, adds, "They're really nice at helping out as much as they can, and we just appreciate them."

Henderson and Johns agree that they don't volunteer for the recognition, but it does feel good to know that they're appreciated. "If we are fortunate enough to help them and we can, let's do it. I wish more people would," says Johns.

The two volunteer nearly every day, bringing food and donations to the needy. Most of their donations come from the Feed the Valley Organization. Henderson also runs an outreach center.

The volunteers said the reason they are so dedicated is that anyone could be one paycheck away from being homeless.

Jessi Mitchell

Jessi joined the WRBL news team in October 2012 after working as a freelance production assistant for MTV Networks in Los Angeles.
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