9Who Care: Filling hearts and grocery bags in Five Points

DENVER - With compassion and a simple sack of food, Ruby Parks has helped thousands of families go home with hearts just as full as the grocery bags they carry.

Known as Sister Ruby, and she's a part of the Zion Baptist Church family.

Together, they take care of a diamond inside one of Denver's roughest neighborhoods, Five Points.

The steps that lead up to the church's resource center are worn, but not because they're forgotten or neglected.

Instead, the paint is chipped because thousands of feet have walked those stairs.

"Whatever we can help them with, that's what we do. We don't turn nobody away," Ruby said.

Nearly every day for twenty years, Ruby has climbed these worn-out stairs herself to volunteer.

"I feel like I'm able to give back and that's why I do it," Ruby said.

A half century ago, Ruby was in the same place as those she serves today: Poverty.

"I was a single mother and I had four kids," Ruby explained, "When I first came to Denver I got a job at First Cafeteria making thirty-eight dollars a week. That wasn't enough. I could either pay child support or buy food."

Ruby didn't choose one or the other, though.

It wasn't easy putting herself through school, but with a helping hand and hard work, she did it. She graduated from Emily Griffith Technical College and took a job with Wonder Bread that she kept for 33 years.

That same spirit of faith and hard work is why Ruby spends more than forty-five hours a week at the resource center, folding clothes, organizing food donations, and packing emergency bags of food to take to families in need.

"There is a way for them to do what they want to do in life. They just have to work at it and they have to believe they can do it," Ruby said, "I just try to touch the people that come in here with love."


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