Raleigh man has drive to help others - WSPA.com

WNCN Top 10

Raleigh man has drive to help others

Posted: Updated:
RALEIGH, N.C. -

Bob Starkes spends most Wednesdays on the road and on a mission. He picks up as many as 16 meals at Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church in Raleigh to distribute to people on his Meals on Wheels route.

"By the time I get these things to the last house, it's still a hot meal," he said on a recent pick-up.

In April, he will have been volunteering with the agency 13 years.

"He spends more time with the people than any of my other carriers, and you can tell they love him. That's part of the business. The people need to know that somebody cares about them," said Gary Ingalls, the Meals on Wheels site coordinator at Saint Andrews Presbyterian.

Starkes spent 30 years as an engineer, so even his approach to volunteering was methodical.

He took an early retirement in 1999.

"I knew what I wanted to do," he said.

Starkes wanted to get into human services, which led him to the United Way of the Greater Triangle, where he worked for a decade.

As director of campaign operations, he was exposed to community needs.

"On a day-to-day basis, there are so many needs right here locally and people just don't even know it," he said.

Starkes did some soul-searching and developed a personal mission statement, which continues to drive him to this day. He focuses on three things – work in an area that benefits society, take care of family members and support the church.

He retired from the United Way three years ago and continues his volunteer work, delivering food to the homes of those in need.

"I feel great going in. I feel better going out, but sometimes the situations that people are in are just bad situations," he said.

Ada Braswell is on his route and is in a good situation, having a nurse tech by her side. She said she appreciates Starkes' visits.

"It's a treasure to have someone bring you food that's done and all, especially when you get so that you can't do very much cooking," she said.

Starkes knows he's delivering much more than a meal.

"There are some people I see and I am the only person they see in the run of the day. Imagine that. I'm it. I'm the highlight of somebody's day?" he said.

Starkes also takes seniors from his church out to lunch once a month.

On Thursdays, he drives for the Interfaith Food Shuttle. His wife used to do the route with him before injuring herself in a fall several years ago. She still helps, though, by baking cakes for her husband to take the Meals on Wheels recipients on their birthdays.

When he's not volunteering, the couple spends as much time as possible with their grandkids.

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • 77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    77-year-old questioned, defended as true Marine after NFL player takes his photo

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-22 17:58:35 GMT
    (WMC) - It was a story that made its rounds on social media. On a recent flight DeAngelo Williams, Mid-Southerner and running back for the Carolina Panthers, gave his first-class plane seat to a 77-year-old
    Family members are upset and hurt that their relative, James Wesley Bolden, is being called a liar and "a fake."
  • Durham police release video of 3 teens who left homemade bomb on bus

    Durham police release video of 3 teens who left homemade bomb on bus

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 8:03 PM EDT2014-07-24 00:03:17 GMT
    Police tape surrounds a Bull City Connector bus after a homemade chemical bomb exploded on board.Police tape surrounds a Bull City Connector bus after a homemade chemical bomb exploded on board.
    Durham police said Wednesday that three teens getting off a Bull City Connector bus left a drink bottle that exploded around 9:35 p.m. Tuesday.
    Durham police said Wednesday that three teens getting off a Bull City Connector bus left a drink bottle that exploded around 9:35 p.m. Tuesday.
  • Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Largest companies by revenue in each state

    Thursday, July 10 2014 8:01 PM EDT2014-07-11 00:01:10 GMT
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
    Broadview Networks recently decided to find out the biggest -- by revenue -- company in each state in the US.The company used the Fortune 500 list to start with, but needed data by state, so it turned to Hoover's.With data from that company, they were able to search through each state's list of companies and then find the largest -- by revenue.Just flip through the list above and see who is the biggest in each state, what town they are based and their revenue.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.