88-year-old Petersburg woman works daily to help the homeless

88-year-old woman works daily to help the homeless
Updated: Aug. 14, 2018 at 6:51 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - If angels could live on Earth, Lucy Dorr would be one of them.

The 88-year-old leads her life by a strong faith that has compelled her to dedicate her life to the homeless.

Dorr is the outreach minister at First Baptist Church of Petersburg, and has been helping the homeless in her community for more than a decade.

"There is so much need in this community," Dorr said. "There are over 100 homeless people in the City of Petersburg, and they are all ages."

Dorr is addressing that need by opening the church doors to the homeless.

Many of those homeless people go to Dorr's church four to five days a week to get meals from her. Meals consisting of pudding, peanut butter crackers, canned sausage and applesauce are packaged on a daily basis. All of the food is donated.

The meals also include a prayer.

Dorr and her volunteers have it down to a science. Their packaging process looks like an assembly line.

"I think it's because God puts it on my heart," Dorr said.

In June, Dorr gave out 750 meals. She says she feeds from 40 to 70 homeless people each day.

But that's not all she does.

"I help people get jobs," Dorr said. "I've taken people to the doctor. I've taken people to get surgery. I take people to the food pantry in Colonial Heights because I have some people come from all the way over there."

Dorr even opened her church to dozens of homeless people after the Salvation Army men's shelter closed in 2017.

"I had to clean out all the furniture, everything, the equipment out of those rooms so we could have the shelter," Dorr said.

Dorr hasn't just helped the homeless in Petersburg. She's served them in every city where she's lived and has traveled abroad to places like South Africa and Thailand to help the homeless there too. She's been at it for a long time, but doesn't any plans to stop.

"I've retired five times and every time someone offers me a job," Dorr said.

The most recent U.S. census shows Petersburg has a poverty rate of nearly 30 percent, significantly higher than the state average.

If you want to donate to help Lucy's mission or volunteer, you can reach out to the First Baptist Church of Petersburg at (804) 733-7484.

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