N.C. Department of Correction--Correction News--February 1998

Polk's good Samaritan

Raleigh - When Jesus fed the multitudes with two fish and five loaves of bread, he showed us that a lot of love can make a little go a long way.

Phillip Brickle, a second shift correctional officer at Polk Youth Institution, embraced this philosophy; and what began with a pot of chili and nine people feeding a few homeless, has become a coalition of churches and concerned individuals feeding and clothing hundreds of homeless.

"We made a pot of chili and with nine other people, fed as many as we could," Brickle said. "That was last October. Things really took off after that; so much so that we began to feed bi-monthly. There are 59 people from my church alone who help."

Brickle, who is a member of Elevation Baptist Church in Raleigh, is now advisor to a group of approximately five churches, collectively called A Ray of Hope Ministry. Through this ministry, Brickle said they are able to feed and clothe hundreds of homeless people.

Through his church, Correctional Officer Phillip Brickle
offers comfort and care to those in need.

"October 25, 1997, was the first Ray of Hope feeding. We served over 150 people in the homeless community," Brickle said. At a recent Ray of Hope feeding held Dec. 6, the ministry came together again at a community park on Blount Street in Raleigh. They provided clothes, food, more than 200 wrapped Christmas presents and words of comfort for the area homeless.

Brickle stated that anyone can participate in this cause to help the homeless. According to Brickle, the next event will take place on Feb. 28.

In addition to park feedings, Brickle is also actively involved in providing transportation for the homeless to church services and Bible study. He even participated in a sleep-in at one of the local shelters in Raleigh to see how the homeless live.

When asked why he was so actively involved with the homeless, Brickle said, "My love for God says we should serve the poor. There's a fragile line between where they are and where we are. We may need such help one day."

Learning from the lesson of the two fish and the five loaves, Brickle has touched the lives of many who are less fortunate and has provided a very meaningful service to his fellow man. Brickle carries this concern for others wherever he goes. It is nice to know that such a civic- minded and caring individual is part of the Department of Correction team.

NC DOC Correction News- February 1998
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