The Dart: Irving spends time helping others

Published 12:19 am Monday, July 23, 2007

NATCHEZ — Delores Irving fully believes in the phrase, “it is better to give than receive.”

Irving and her husband, the Rev. Maurice Irving, run a small clothing shelter out of their house. Delores is a member of the Greater St. Mark Church’s Missionary society in which she has been a member of for about 12 years.

“I am not sure how it really got started, I have three daughters and we had much more than we needed, so I started giving their clothes and things away and it just grew from there,” Irving said.

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Irving takes donations of shirts, shoes, pants, bottle caps and toys almost daily. Once she gets them, she sorts them into stacks and takes them to the local shelters.

“We aren’t on a search, people know what I do, so they bring things by,” Irving said.

In the past, Irving has been able to reach out farther than her community.

When Hurricane Katrina and the asiana tsunami of 2004 hit, Irving went to local churches and shelters delivering canned goods and clothes.

“Where ever there is a need, we will try to fulfill it no matter where it is,” Irving said.

Irving is also sensitive to the needs of others.

“You have to give in a way that is comfortable with the other person, you don’t want to embarrass them,” Irving said. “There is a level of dignity that has to be maintained.”

And Irving and her husband are not the only ones to help with clothing donations. Irving’s daughters, scattered across the South, frequently call in order to receive clothes for a needy person they know.

“It is a catalyst, the people you help turn around and help others no matter the situation,” Irving said.

Irving, who is also legally blind, considers it a blessing.

“Since I was declared legally blind, I have been able to pursue the things I love,” Irving said. “Before I had a 9 to 5 job and I was not able to spend the time donating clothes, and now I am able to do more meaningful things.”

Irving has no idea where her small business may end up.

“I love doing this out of my home, but if it snowballs I will consider moving it to a building,” Irving said.

There is one definite thing — she will never stop.

“I am not an accident, no one is, everyone has a purpose and I will continue doing what I can,” Irving said.