Outreach in the Park set for Saturday in Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

Outreach in the Park set for Saturday in Grass Valley

Beverly Aiken with one version of the crosses she has been carrying to highlight her message of hope for those recovering from addiction.
Photo coyrtesy Beverly Aiken

Know & Go

What: Outreach in the Park

Where: Condon Park, 544 Butler St., Grass Valley

When: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday

To help: Call Beverly Aiken at 530-210-4651

Beverly Aiken is not afraid to put herself out there.

Five years ago, she dragged a giant wooden cross through the streets of Grass Valley as a life-sized symbol of hope to those suffering from the effects of substance abuse in this community.

These days, as part of her Helping Hands street ministry, Aiken doesn’t hesitate to come to a screeching stop in the middle of the street to reach out to someone in need. She did just that on Broad Street in Nevada City, inviting a couple she saw to Word-A-Live Family Church’s Outreach in the Park in Grass Valley, which is taking place Saturday.

“I handed them a flyer and she said to him, ‘See, I told you God was looking out for us today,” Aiken said. “These people just lift me up.”

Aiken has been clean and sober for nearly 10 years and says ministering to the homeless has become her calling.

“It’s what has been on my heart for a long time,” she said, adding she would love to steer those who need it into addiction treatment. “I’m telling you, I know for a fact this is what I was called to do. Everywhere I go, I run into them — and they come to me.”

Saturday’s Outreach in the Park will feature free food and brand-new backpacks filled with toiletries to be handed out, as well as blankets, socks and gloves and flashlights, Aiken said.

“I have several sleeping bags and a tremendous amount of clothes,” she said. “I haven’t got any tents, so if anybody wants to drop things off at the event, they can contact me.”

Wendy Webb, who has been clean for 18 months, will speak at the event.

“I will share my story about how I’ve been on the streets, and (how) I finally decided to get involved in (Narcotics Anonymous) and going to church, and how my life has changed,” she said.

Webb said she realizes now she was self-medicating during the time she was homeless and addicted.

“For me it got to a point where I was tired of living that lifestyle, never having any money, feeling down on life,” she said.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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