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>>

  • One Person Dead in Pelham Road Wreck

    One Person Dead in Pelham Road Wreck

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:54 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:54:13 GMT
    The Greenville County Coroner's Office confirms one person is dead after a wreck in the 1700 block of Pelham Road Friday night.The Greenville County Coroner's Office confirms one person is dead after a wreck in the 1700 block of Pelham Road Friday night.
    The Greenville County Coroner's Office confirms one person is dead after a wreck in the 1700 block of Pelham Road Friday night.
    The Greenville County Coroner's Office confirms one person is dead after a wreck in the 1700 block of Pelham Road Friday night.

  • Memorial For Broome Students Held Friday Night

    Memorial For Broome Students Held Friday Night

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:06 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:06:08 GMT
    Principals, students and teachers at Broome High School held a memorial service for three students who have died within the past year.
    Principals, students and teachers at Broome High School held a memorial service for three students who have died within the past year.
  • Trooper Fired After Arrest Of NFL Player In Laurens Co.

    Trooper Fired After Arrest Of NFL Player In Laurens Co.

    Friday, August 22 2014 5:26 PM EDT2014-08-22 21:26:33 GMT
    S.C. Trooper L/Cpl. R.S. Salter who arrested Greenwood Native and now NFL player Sidney "Sam" Montgomery in the Upstate for speedingi in June in Laurens County has been fired.
    S.C. Trooper L/Cpl. R.S. Salter who arrested Greenwood Native and now NFL player Sidney "Sam" Montgomery in the Upstate for speedingi in June in Laurens County has been fired.
  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Missing Fort Bragg private Striped Wolf found in Florida

    Missing Fort Bragg private Striped Wolf found in Florida

    Friday, August 22 2014 3:53 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:53:21 GMT
    Private Juliet Striped Wolf was located in Volusia County, Florida, and is safe and unharmed, the Army said.
    Private Juliet Striped Wolf was located in Volusia County, Florida, and is safe and unharmed, the Army said.
  • NC has stiff penalties for passing stopped school bus

    NC has stiff penalties for passing stopped school bus

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:36 AM EDT2014-08-22 14:36:56 GMT
    Thousands of motorists pass stopped school buses every day, and many of them may not even realize they are breaking the law. It's an issue that has received intense attention in North Carolina, with 13 children being hit, and killed, at bus stops since 1999. One survey on March 26 of this year recorded 429 times where a driver roared past a stopped school bus in Wake County alone. In Durham County, there were 89 violations that same day and Cumberland County had a whopping 210. Johnston Coun...
    Thousands of motorists pass stopped school buses every day, and many of them may not even realize they are breaking the law. It's an issue that has received intense attention in North Carolina, with 13 children being hit, and killed, at bus stops since 1999. One survey on March 26 of this year recorded 429 times where a driver roared past a stopped school bus in Wake County alone. In Durham County, there were 89 violations that same day and Cumberland County had a whopping 210. Johnston Coun...
  • Army investigating disappearance of Fort Bragg soldier

    Army investigating disappearance of Fort Bragg soldier

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:12:52 GMT
    The Army has opened an investigation into the disappearance of a Fort Bragg solider who has been missing since July 1.
    The Army has opened an investigation into the disappearance of a Fort Bragg solider who has been missing since July 1.
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.