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A Helping Hand

“I first learned of Nashville Rescue Mission through some of my patients. I worked at the UT Medical Clinic handling ER admissions. Unfortunately, a number of our patients were homeless.”

Since moving to Nashville in 1985, Dr. Doering has shared her passion for volunteering with her friends and coworkers. “I have also brought my God-daughter to the Mission to serve alongside me,” said Dr. Doering. “It has been wonderful to share this experience with her.”

“My first time volunteering was during the Thanksgiving holiday,” recalls Dr. Doering. From there, she added serving meals during the Christmas holiday, then Sunday lunch, volunteering as often as she can. “I enjoy serving. I’m inspired by the stories I hear, especially from those who were once homeless and are now employees of the Mission. I’ve had the opportunity to serve meals at both the Men’s and Women’s Campus and wish I could go more often.”

Two years ago, Dr. Doering brought a group of medical residents to the Mission. “I wanted them to experience the environment first hand, as they too will encounter homeless men and women in their medical careers. I felt it was important they learn that these are real people, with real stories, with real problems. This has now become a regular part of their curriculum.”

According to Dr. Doering, the best part about volunteering during the Thanksgiving season, is the opportunity to carry each guest’s meal as she escorts them to their table. “Carrying their tray and walking with them really does make it extra special, not just for them, but for me, too. I enjoy chatting with them and learning a little bit about them.”

“As I encounter people who are struggling, whether it’s homelessness or addiction, I am quick to point them to Nashville Rescue Mission,” said Dr. Doering. “I know if they truly want to turn their life around, the opportunity is available to them at the Mission.”

While Dr. Doering isn’t able to volunteer as frequently as she would like, she is still committed to giving back through financial donations, dropping off food and clothing, bringing her medical residents to the Mission to take a tour, and serving meals.

“I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about the Mission and how homelessness impacts our community to sign up for the ‘I Had No Idea’ tour,” said Dr. Doering. “It will truly give you a better understanding of those in need. When I bring residents for tours, they are amazed when they learn about the Mission’s programs and classes that are available to those in need… all for free. Whether you invest in the Mission through your finances or time, it is an excellent investment with a great return. I’m glad to be a part of the Mission’s volunteer family.”

If you’d like to offer a helping hand to the homeless, visit

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