Goodness Comes In a Variety of Ways
I know a lot of people … but not all of them know me. I had breakfast with Bill Clinton with about 2,000 other people at the National Prayer Breakfast; however, Bill Clinton does not know me. I know Roger Sawyer and he knows me. Do you know Roger Sawyer (probably not)? Roger comes to Union Gospel Mission to pour coffee for homeless guest about every weekday. In addition, Roger pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates before many of you could crawl. The famous Branch Rickey, who signed the more famous Jackie Robinson (watch the movie, “42”), also signed Roger.
About a week and a half ago, the New York Daily News quoted Roger. They sought after him following the former three-term New York Governor’s, Mario Cuomo, passing. I know Roger as the only person who knows me whose quote has appeared in a New York daily this year. In addition, he struck out Stan Musial, had Roberto Clemente as a friend, and roomed with Bill Mazeroski (the only player ever to hit a walk-off home run to end a World Series in 1960).
Years ago, Michael Ledner came to work here at Union Gospel Mission after writing his well known song “You Are My Hiding Place.” Working with him brought joy. We have had award-winning chefs come to cook, and legendary trial lawyers helped provide pro-bono litigation. Every day, amazing people give their time and treasure at a great place!
Sometimes, the people who come to the mission for help can be surprising. In other instances, a world record holder in the 10,000 meter-run came in need of a meal. We have housed former successful lawyers who lost everything because of mental illness. We have housed former registered nurses who fell to the bottom because of drugs. We even had an amazing pastor live with us after an addiction took hold. God and addiction does not respect a person’s job or status.
I am so thrilled to come here day-after-day to see who will volunteer, who will walk in for a free meal, and I get to talk to Roger again tomorrow!
Executive Director at Union Gospel Mission, Bill Russell, wrote this story. Bill has been a leader at Union Gospel Mission for 25 years. He is the co-founder of Union Gospel Mission’s LifeChange recovery program. LifeChange helps men, women and children escape abuse, addiction and homelessness to transform their lives.
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