It all Started with a Speeding Ticket

September 18, 2019
Volunteer Spotlight

Pearl Satawhite has been in the service business all her life. Growing up just down the street from the Mission in Chavis Heights, Pearl moved away to live with an aunt when she was just 17, then later married and lived in Georgia for over 40 years. During that time, she raised two daughters and a grandson, and held down 3 jobs to support them. Her various jobs have ranged from fast food worker to wooden casket assembler. Now back in Raleigh for the last 25 years, Pearl continues to take care of family and friends, and serve in her church.

Ms. Pearl, as she is called at the Mission, started volunteering when she received a speeding ticket and was required to perform 15 hours of community service. “I chose Raleigh Rescue Mission because it was close to where I lived. The staff and clients made me feel right at home, and I enjoyed it so much I just kept coming back.”

Ms. Pearl has been coming back at least one day every week for the last seven years.

You can find Ms. Pearl working in the dining hall on Wednesdays, preparing, serving and cleaning up at lunchtime. She’s seen some big changes at the Mission in the last few years. “Clients are busy – they’re working hard and getting a chance to learn and better their lives. The kitchen is run well, and we have some new equipment. The most rewarding thing is that I’m seeing the people who live here get help, get jobs, and move on.”

Over the years, Pearl has learned, “Being here is no different than being somewhere else – we’re all just figuring out life, getting along together. I’ll continue be here until I can’t do it.”

We have lots of opportunities to volunteer in our Dining Hall. Right now the biggest need is at dinner and on the weekends. If you or your group would like to help, you can register here. For more information, contact Geia at

Ms Pearl