Woman's mission to raise money for homeless kitchen is personal

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Almost 14 years ago, a group of women banded together and decided they'd spend one day a month helping to feed Charlotte's homeless and hungry population.

The women, bound in faith, decided to call themselves "Kairos" after a word in the Bible.

The women cook for hundreds of women at a time at the Salvation Army's Center of Hope. The kitchen dates back to 1991. With ovens that work intermittently and appliances that have long outlived their service, sometimes preparing meals for so many is difficult.

"It's happened many times we've had to really makeshift something to get our meats cooked," said Sheila Tuttle, a volunteer with Kairos.

Several months ago, the women from the group decided to try and raise enough money for a total makeover of the kitchen. The tab for the job is $150,000. It might sound like a lofty fundraising goal, but already, generous donors have given more than $100,000 to the cause.

Tuttle is determined to help raise the rest, and her mission is especially personal. In May, doctors told Tuttle she had stage 4 breast cancer that had metastasized to her bones. In the same breath, doctors told Tuttle her condition isn't curable. While she's taking medicine to help slow the progression of the disease, she knows it might one day take her life.

But still, the selfless woman is working to raise money for others in need.

"I'm going to enjoy every day of my life that I can. And this is the joy of my life," Tuttle said of her work in the kitchen.

Tuttle says God called her to this mission, and she has full faith the full amount will be donated. Until then, she's committed to staying the course, and seeing to it the kitchen will see a facelift.

"When the Lord said, 'I want you to do this,' He has not changed that assignment. So I'm going to do it as long as I am able," Tuttle said.

If you're interested in helping the group meet their goal, click here for the Salvation Army's donation site.

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