Local News

Raleigh Hero Lends a Helping Hand to People In Need

Posted June 18, 2000

— Five local heroes were honored in downtown Raleigh Monday. As part of the ceremony, their portraits were unveiled on the back wall of City Market. Every night this week, WRAL will introduce you to one of them.

Sylvia Wiggins works with the Helping Hand Mission in downtown Raleigh. In fact, she came up with the name "Helping Hand."

A good-hearted, hands-on soul, Wiggins is willing to wrap her arms around the world.

She tells young children that whatever they become, "the goal is to help somebody else and do better. I don't care how far you go in life, that's the main goal," she says.

More than an adviser, Wiggins is a happy, huggable, lovable bundle of life.

And the Mission seems like such a happy place, in spite of the need that fills it.

People sift through old clothes, scrounging for a better life. And the Mission always struggles for money and donations.

But as Wiggins sees it, the glass is half full.

"There's so many giving people that come in," she says, "and there's a purpose for everybody, a lot of people have different needs."

"This has just been a melting pot of a lot of good things," she says.

For 27 years, Wiggins has been stirring that pot.

"If I can make it," Wiggins says, "anyone can."

Wiggins' mother died when she was just two days old. She never knew her father and was raised by an aunt.

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