CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Mark Baker got the surprise of a lifetime, Wednesday morning. He won a car from Mi Casa Home Health Agency.
Baker has been riding his bike to work at Timon’s Ministries for years. He hasn’t had a car or license in nearly three decades.
“Yeah, I rode that bike for a long time, but I think it kept me alive," Baker said. "It had to of, that’s exercise.”
Baker got his new driver's license earlier in the week.
His bike isn’t why he won this car. For 13 years he’s been dedicated to serving the homeless and financially unstable at Timon’s Ministries. His coworkers nominated him after watching him go from homeless himself to kitchen manager at the non-profit.
“Well, it’s just because of the changes he’s made both within himeslf and then he tries to live a life that shows example, good example,” said Kae Berry, executive director of Timon’s Ministries
“And I was partying living on the streets, living here, from house to house," said Baker. "So, we needed a kitchen manager and a cook. And I said, man how hard could it be? And I never cooked a day in my life, I'd burn water. And I said well, so I had to get clean.”
Baker said he started off homeless when he first came to Timon's Ministries. Slowly he started getting involved in the kitchen. Eventually worked his way up to kitchen manager and head cook. Now, he gets to feed those that are hungry in the community.
"He's changed a lot," said Berry. "He stopped some of his bad habits and he's a tireless and fearless worker."
Mi Casa Home Health Agency had been looking for a way to repurpose one of their nursing vehicles. They opened up somewhat of a contest for people to write in why they should win the car. Over 1,000 people applied to win the car, but Mi Casa Home Health Agency said Baker showed compassion for people like no other. That embodies what they stand for.
"His story was just full of putting others first being a humble, humble servant to the lord," said Bart Guajardo, marketing associate and chaplain for Mi Casa Home Health Agency. "And so, we just wanted to give back to him for giving so much to the community and just everybody here that comes through Timon’s Ministry."
Now Baker is paying it forward. He said he's giving his bike, that he no longer needs, to a friend in need.