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Denver7 Everyday Hero overcomes adversity to serve people experiencing homelessness

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Posted at 12:09 PM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 14:10:05-04

DENVER — At the Lawrence Street Community Center in Denver, each guest is met with the warm smile of Lawrence Kenyon.

"He's just a sweetheart. We love him here," said chef Lottie Harris.

Kenyon has become the resident volunteer around the Denver Rescue Mission, serving breakfast and lunch to people experiencing homelessness four days a week.

"He'll come in around 6:30 a.m., hang out through breakfast, and then he'll come back around 10:30 a.m. and spend the time with us through lunch as well," said Jacob Cain, Denver Food Services assistant manager.

What's more impressive than his dedication, are the challenges he overcomes. Kenyon was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around this neck, and the lack of oxygen left him with cerebral palsy.

"I've been a fighter ever since then. I'm always trying to prove myself to other people and prove to myself that I can do things, and I don't really let anything get in my way," said Kenyon.

His determination is needed more than ever. When the pandemic hit, the need for services at the mission skyrocketed. Volunteers went from serving 1,500 people a day to more than 1,800. Many volunteers stopped coming in during the stay-at-home order, but not Kenyon.

"When they come in to get their food, you can see their eyes light up, and how appreciative they are. It's really heartwarming," Kenyon said.

Overcoming adversity while serving his community, it's why Lawrence Kenyon has all the makings of a Denver7 Everyday Hero.

Molly Hendrickson anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30-7 a.m. She also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Molly on Facebook here and Twitter here. To nominate a hero in your life, click here.