Don’s journey of compassion for the homeless began during the COVID-19 shutdown. He felt a strong urge to make a difference and decided to volunteer for The Bay Church’s Shower Trailer Compassion Program, where he still dedicates his time every Friday. This initial involvement led Don to become a volunteer at “Camp Hope.” During the pandemic, Camp Hope served as a sanctioned emergency homeless encampment in Martinez, overseen by Noralea Gippner’s “Homeless Action Coalition.”
At Camp Hope, Don took on the responsibility of ensuring the fridge remained stocked with essentials like eggs, cereal, and lunch supplies for making sandwiches. His caring nature earned him the affectionate nickname “God Guy.” Don would often deliver inspirational “God talks” during the weekly business camp meetings and host breakfast and Bible study sessions on Sunday mornings.
Through his service at Camp Hope, Don witnessed the strong sense of community among its residents and the positive impact of the programs orchestrated by Noralea. This experience ignited his passion for compassion and community service.