Volunteer has passion for serving on Thanksgiving

- Navigating his way through a crowd of people, Bob Raphael always has his eyes set on someone.  At 79 years old, making sure others are taken care of has become his passion.

Bob could have other Thanksgiving plans, but his heart remains at the Salvation Army in Sarasota.

"I plan my Thanksgiving around my work here. I'm here because I want to be and because I enjoy it," he said.

Those who are in need aren't viewed any differently by this man.

"They're treated like people should be treated. It's just wonderful," he said.

He makes sure everything runs smoothly as meals are given out and he makes sure every guest is treated with kindness and compassion. 

Bob has spent 11 years volunteering at the Salvation Army, and in a way, he's become an unofficial boss.

"He still comes in and keeps me in line," said kitchen manager Patricia Jaret.

She has watched as Bob befriended and helped those down on their luck.

"He has a very big bond. Even if it is someone new he has never met, you would think that he knew them his whole life. That's the type of guy he is," she said.

Even after being diagnosed with lung cancer three years ago, he hasn't slowed down much.

"I think God has called me to do this," said Bob.

He plans on serving year after year, celebrating Thanksgiving with those he's come to know.

"I can't think of anything else I would rather do on Thanksgiving. I really can't," he said.

 

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