A woman killed in a hit-and-run on Capital Blvd. last week is being remembered as a ‘servant leader’ at a ministry for people struggling with homelessness – where she both volunteered and gained assistance from the services.

Close friends of Diane Bass say although she was homeless and had very little, she still found ways to give back to the community.

Bass lived at a campsite in the woods off Capital Blvd. and accessed services from a program at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, where they help people with lower incomes and who suffer from food insecurity. Bass also volunteered for the program, wanting to help others who found themselves with similar struggles.

“Diane, she is a servant leader,” said Barbara Smalley-McMahan, who met Bass at the Roundtable Ministry at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.

When Jan Crouch, the volunteer coordinator, first began working for the program, Bass was already here working in the kitchen and taking charge in the community.

“She was a meticulous person. She always enjoyed being with our community of volunteers and guests,” says Crouch.

She says Bass loved being part of the community and had a passion for helping others.

“She was always smiling and happy to be here,” recalls Crouch. “She took charge. She didn’t leave until everything was done.”

When Smalley-McMahan heard Bass had been killed in a hit-and-run, she was devastated. Bass had been standing on the side of Capital Blvd. when a car drifted off the roadway and struck her.

“I cried for nights,” says Smalley-McMahan. “I cried for nights.”

'Servant leader:' Woman killed in hit-and-run was homeless, but spent her life giving to others

Photographs of Bass’ humble campsite showed how she lived with what little she had. Many who didn’t know Bass may ask, “Although she had very few belongings, she still found a way to give back. How did she do that?”

Smalley-McMahan would answer: Because she knew her people needed to know they were loved.

'Servant leader:' Woman killed in hit-and-run was homeless, but spent her life giving to others

Bass was looking forward to her birthday on Sept. 15. The night before she died, she called Smalley-McMahan and asked her to remember that her birthday was coming soon. While Bass may not have lived to celebrate this year, her loved ones hope the community will celebrate her legacy by helping the population of homeless people and those in need.

Donations can be given in Bass’ honor on the Pullen Memorial website.

You can also learn more about volunteering with the program here.

“We all want to live so that when we’re gone, it would have made a difference,” says Crouch. “And we want to know that Diane made a difference.”

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By Richard

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