Even in death, Saginaw's Mustard Seed House benefits from the late Tom Tripp

Published: Jan. 31, 2018 at 6:09 PM EST
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(1/31/2018) - Three weeks ago, Saginaw County tow truck driver Thomas Tripp was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver as he was working along the road.

The generosity he showed months before his death is being paid forward.

Tripp went to a Saginaw women's homeless shelter in June to help put together a crib for a family there. His help then has lead to someone else volunteering their time.

"Our women come to us at the lowest point in their life," said Amy Bartels Roe of Mustard Seed House. "They come from living on the streets, living in their cars, living from shelter to shelter."

The shelter on Cherry Street on Saginaw's east side houses 15 women and children on any given night. Mustard Seed House been around for 23 years and operates mainly on donations.

The owner of Mike's Wrecker Service, Bill Giorgis, donated a crib and other items for a family this past summer. Two of his employees -- Tripp and Mark Pribila -- went to the shelter to assemble the crib.

"He talked about how touched he was about his service here," Bartels Roe said of Tripp.

After his death, friends and family spoke of the fondness he had for his visit to the shelter. Hairstylist Misti Ostrander then stopped by the Mustard Seed.

"When she came to volunteer for her first day, she said, 'I'm here because of Tom Tripp,'" Bartels Roe said.

Ostrander had heard about Tripp helping at the Mustard Seed and she wanted to help as well.

"We cried, and just shared tears because it was through Tom's life that this woman came and now will give of herself to help the homeless in our community," Bartels Roe said.

Ostrander plans on using her profession to help the women and children at the shelter by styling their hair.

"I am a hairdresser and I know how good it could make someone feel perhaps who has not had a haircut in a long time," Bartels Roe said.

She also received a check of $50 from a man who wanted to donate in Tripp's name.

"From that his life, would live on, and it has, and I hope it that it will continue to, I know it will," Bartels Roe said.