Daily Point of Light # 2379 Mar 18, 2003

The Urban Ministries of Raleigh is a nonprofit, interfaith organization that was founded in 1981 to meet the needs of the poor in Wake County, North Carolina. The organization has made a covenant with the residents of the county to identify and relieve the effects of poverty in the community providing an organized structure for the reallocation of area resources. The goals of the Ministry are to provide basic necessities to those in need, provide services that promote self-sufficiency, build awareness of the issues surrounding poverty within the larger community, provide a challenging, rewarding and supportive environment for staff and volunteers and to remain aware of and leverage area resources to maximize their impact within the community.

The programs provided by the Urban Ministries could not succeed without the aid of dedicated volunteers. Last year alone, they served more than 13,000 families and individuals with the help of an excess of 1,000 volunteers. Linda Wyrick was one of those volunteers, and she is still an integral part of the Wake County community as well as the Urban Ministries of Raleigh.

Wyrick embraces every aspect of the mission of Urban Ministries. She has a multi-faceted approach to reach out to families and individuals in crisis. She has immeasurable desire and fierce determination to help clients achieve the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency. Because of this, her skills and abilities are a focal point of the large volunteer contingent.

Wyrick began her involvement with the Urban Ministries as a member of the Board of Directors in 1997. She continued to function as a member of the Board until 2000. While on the Board, she was able to assist in t he facilitation of the continued growth of the organization and increase Board participation in various programs. However, her involvement with the Board did not satisfy her zeal to have an impact on the lives of those in need.

Wyrick then began to volunteer with the Crisis Intervention Program in the later months of 1997. She understood and almost immediately became an advocate for that particular program and its goal; to help families and individuals maintain their housing. Initially her role was limited to client interviews. She later expanded to working in the emergency food pantry and then to picking up items from corporate sponsors. Her involvement with the organization has evolved into her becoming an integral component to the success of the Crisis Intervention Program.

Wyrick’s impact on the organization and community is enormous yet difficult to measure. During the last five years, she has helped to meet the basic needs and identify additional resources for more than 1,100 Wake County residents. Hundreds of these residents received emergency financial assistance and have been able to maintain stable housing. Her involvement with the different facets of the organization has also resulted in her being a part of the community building; she encourages other to become involved also to help address the needs of citizens in crisis.