A day off work for many, the third Monday in January (Martin Luther King Jr. Day) has become known as a day of service across the country, endorsed by King’s widow, Coretta Scott King, and President Barack Obama.
While many Nashvillians were enjoying their day off, over 80 volunteers representing Allstate, Mayor Dean’s Office and Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville were joining with Hands on Nashville to celebrate the day by painting inspirational murals on the walls of the Nashville Rescue Mission.
The project—“Art to the Rescue presented by Allstate”—was formed through a partnership between Hands On Nashville and Billups Art to provide artwork for the Nashville Rescue Mission.
“I recently visited the Nashville Rescue Mission and felt that an organization with such a positive message should have the facility to match,” said artist Anthony Billups, owner of Billups Art. “I also have worked on projects with Hands On Nashville before, so I knew that with my artistic touch and their passion for service we would be able to create something inspirational for those who need it most.”
“Art has a way of bringing a community together,” said Dan Wallace, with Hands on Nashville. “I really enjoyed being a part of this project because it’s a great example of people coming together to show the clients of the Mission, they are a part of our community.”
“It gives me a good feeling to say that today, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., I can be a little bit like him by working toward a goal of fairness and equality,” said Grace, a senior at Hunters Lane High School.
“It’s not a day off, but a day on,” said Allison Hatcher, spokesperson for Allstate. “It is great to see so many people volunteering like this. You can’t attach a price tag to an experience like this.”
“The dining hall mural portraying Jesus feeding the hungry is inspirational,” said Lee Ann Dichtel, Special Events Coordinator for the Mission. “If you’ve ever been in the Mission, it can look a bit institutional so we’re trying to lighten up the place, give it some life,” she said. “You think about some of the people and where they came from, and to have these white walls to look at, it’s not really encouraging. This sends a message to them that others care.”
The Nashville Rescue Mission celebrates volunteers like this who give of their time and talents to bless the guests staying at the Mission. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.