Ann Davis has always believed in helping people. Having grown up on a farm in Southern Illinois, she was no stranger to meeting people in need. We lived by a railroad track. Lots of times, we’d hear a knock on the door, and it would be … we called them hobos … but they’d come to our door, and my mom would always feed them.
Ann’s heart to help others carried on into her professional career where she was trained as a physical therapist, and it continued to grow while working on the East Side of Chicago, where she frequently encountered homeless men and women.
I’ve met a lot of homeless people, and maybe I identify with them, shared Ann.
“I’ve always had a heart for people … people who are not always organized … but I think it’s their tenacity to figure out how to get the job done. They don’t always have the best tools to do it, but they keep on pushing through. And I really like that.”
When Ann and her husband Don moved to Nashville in 1967, she discovered Nashville Rescue Mission and made it her charity of choice. She served on the Ladies Auxiliary, which was responsible for opening the first shelter for women and children in Nashville. Two years later, Ann joined the Mission’s board of directors—she still serves faithfully today.
Ann has seen the value of her contribution to the Mission over the years. If you look at the men and women who are serving our guests, most of them have come through the Mission’s program. They’ve learned to be successful. They’ve learned to be confident. They’ve learned to trust in God and what better person could we get to work at the organization than someone who’s benefited from it firsthand.
“We all want our lives to count for something, shared Ann. Don and I included in our estate plan what we were going to do … my gift is going to Nashville Rescue Mission. I’ve seen people support the Mission over the years, but when they die, they don’t make any preparation to give anything to it. It’s important to put our money where our life and our mouth is.”
Ann’s looking forward to seeing how her planned gift will help build a new campus for the homeless women and children in our community. “We will help them. We will provide programs that will ready them, help them be self-confident, and go out into the world and really make a difference.”
While Ann cares deeply about meeting a person’s most basic needs, it’s her belief in Jesus she holds most dear. It’s one of the reasons Nashville Rescue Mission means so much to her.
“If I had no home, I would really like to know that there is a place that I could go find a bed. And most of all, find Jesus. You can do that at the Mission. Some people think they have nothing, but they have everything. With Jesus in their life, they have everything.”