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- by Emmy McKirgan
Angels in Action has been doing outreach for the past three years. Randy Cotterhill is the founder of the organization, and his right-hand man is Darrin Bresselaar. Both are recovering addicts who live at the Dream Center. In his first year, Randy spent over $20,000 of his own money to provide the necessities for the homeless in Calgary. They have numerous volunteers, some of whom are recovering addicts and even currently homeless. Contact the organization to see how you can help.
Check out the rest of the posts in this 3 part series, be sure to like and follow Angels in Action!
Part 2: Compassion In Action
While we were chatting, a lady who was just dropping off bottles at the depot came up and asked if she could get some blueberries. Without hesitation, Darrin gave her the berries from the donations in the van and asked what else she would like. She said nothing – that she didn’t want to take from the homeless, that they had a home, but were just finding it hard to pay the rent. There was no money for “extras” like fruit. Darrin gave her more fresh fruit, while Randy ran off( which he had done on several occasions during our interview – each time to help someone and give them more supplies). We all realized he had gone to the donation table where they had cereal, granola bars, and other items to get her a food box. He was distracted by need! This was love in action! This warmed my heart and restored my faith in humanity!
Randy says, “This is what I appreciate – compassion. To “show compassion, give compassion, and inspire compassion.”
I asked Randy who the helpers or the volunteers were who encapsulate Angels in Action. He replied, “I call them love feathers because, without the feathers, we couldn’t fly. So 590 feathers are part of Angels in Action.” He referred to the volunteers at the location that Sunday: “We got ten feathers here.” He continued to say that so many people are involved, including those who volunteer their time, the donors, the people who help go through the donations, and many others.
Recovery & Moccasins
Randy spoke of what an integral part of Angels in Action, the Dream Center, is. How due to his recovery, he has been able to help others. The starting point of that was getting himself clean at the Dream Center.
He goes on to tell me a story about Liz. His dad had shot a deer and had made moccasins from it. He treasured these moccasins. They served as a memory of his dad, who had passed away. He had sensed an urgency to look for them one week. When he finally found them, he proceeded to put them in his car, not thinking anything more about them.
He had gone to 7-Eleven, where he saw a girl without shoes in the dead of winter. He remembered the moccasins and gave them to her. While handing her the moccasins, he tells her, “I’d like these back.” he continues, “ I’m saying that, but I’m thinking the chances are you’re not getting them back. Two days later, she’s knocking on my door, bringing my moccasins back. She was actually a good push to do this. She doesn’t realize what she started. After that, I kind of knew that this was what I wanted to do. To help.”
The Bigger Dream
Randy and Darrin would love to have a bus that the friends can get on, get or change clothes, get food, shower, and get off at the end of the bus.
“I want more for them than they have right now. I have everything. It’s just not fair. Right? That we live in a rich country. And it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if they have an addiction. We all have something hiding in a closet. Some (addictions) are just more open than others.”
Randy continues that he would like to own his own home so that he could bring in people like Angel and work with them. “To get them off the streets So each person can have a safe place to sleep in the wintertime would be awesome.”
He asked why companies continue to build fences to keep their friends out. They’ll hire security to keep you away from a building. He suggests converting a downtown building and providing protection to keep everyone safe. Darrin and Randy brainstormed about different ways this can be accomplished.
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“Consequently, faith comes from hearing
the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.”
~ Romans 10:17