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>>

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • NC Early Voting Begins For May 6 Primary

    NC Early Voting Begins For May 6 Primary

    Thursday, April 24 2014 3:18 AM EDT2014-04-24 07:18:21 GMT
    Polls are opening in all 100 counties so people can vote in person before the May 6 primary day in North Carolina.Polls are opening in all 100 counties so people can vote in person before the May 6 primary day in North Carolina.
    Polls are opening in all 100 counties so people can vote in person before the May 6 primary day in North Carolina. Early voting starts Thursday.
    Polls are opening in all 100 counties so people can vote in person before the May 6 primary day in North Carolina. Early voting starts Thursday.
  • Williamston Police: Man Arrested After Tuesday Shooting

    Williamston Police: Man Arrested After Tuesday Shooting

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:32:34 GMT
    Williamston police officers are investigating a shooting after a woman was shot in the head on South Hamilton Street.Williamston police officers are investigating a shooting after a woman was shot in the head on South Hamilton Street.
    An accused shooter is being held at the Anderson County Detention Center after authorities say he shot a woman in the head on South Hamilton Street Tuesday night.
    An accused shooter is being held at the Anderson County Detention Center after authorities say he shot a woman in the head on South Hamilton Street Tuesday night.
  • 2014 NFL Schedule Released

    2014 NFL Schedule Released

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:17 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:17:46 GMT
    Seahawks To Open NFL Season vs. PackersSeahawks To Open NFL Season vs. Packers
    As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL's regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4.
    As Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks get to kick off the NFL's regular season by hosting the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 4.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Mom wins lawsuit against TSA after breast milk screening problems

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:40 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:40:54 GMT
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
    A Southern California woman who was held at a Phoenix airport four years ago after refusing to have her breast milk X-rayed has reached a settlement with the Transportation Security Administration. Stacey
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
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.