“I was homeless, I had a friend pull me in, and I was an alcoholic.”
That’s how Mark Freeman describes his life about 8 years ago, until he decided to get sober and change his life.
Now, he drives buses for the Rockford Mass Transit District.
“I used to drive semi trucks, and I believe god placed me here to humble me, and see his people that are less fortunate, so I can appreciate the small things I have.”
However, he doesn’t just drive the routes he’s assigned each day, and stare straight ahead, he interacts with every one who gets on his bus. Some days, that’s well over a hundred people.
Sometimes, he goes even farther to help his riders out.
“She don’t know, but I have a TV for her as well, for Christmas.”
Mark says it’s because he knows what it’s like to be in their shoes.
“If people can see that I turned around and how I’ve been blessed abundantly, they can come out of that same hole they’re in. Never give up.”
For that specific rider, Whitney, the extra mile Mark goes for her, goes a long way.
“It’s nice to have somebody outside the family that doesn’t know everything. I’m able to confide in, and if I need anything just talk to him. And it’s great to have that support, because I don’t have that much support.” said Whitney Sorensen.
His generosity is something she is extremely grateful for.
“It makes me feel good, it gives me hope. Cause there’s not a lot of good people in the world anymore, and Mark’s definitely a good person. He makes me want to be a better person.” said Whitney.
Mark Freeman, inspiring 815, one bus ride at a time.
“If you stand there and watch, you’re apart of the problem. If you help, you’re a part of the solution.” said Mark.