When Jenny Kate McMullan comes to the Mission to serve, she’s never alone. In addition to her husband and their six children: Molly, Katherine, Pallie, Tucy, Duncan, and Charlotte, there’s almost always a second family in tow to serve alongside them.
“The first time we volunteered at the Mission, it was through a school activity where my quadruplets attended elementary school. We signed up our family of eight and had such a great time we decided to sign up again and invite others to join us,” shared Jenny Kate.
With a husband who frequently travels on business and six children, juggling everyone’s schedules can be quite the challenge. Jenny Kate recalls one Saturday they had signed up to volunteer, and her oldest daughter didn’t want to go. “She was giving me so much grief about going to the Mission to serve. There was a youth group activity going on at the same time. She was disappointed about missing it. But halfway through our time volunteering in the kitchen, she asked me if we could do this more often.”
Even with a crazy, chaotic schedule, this family of eight finds time to serve at the Mission every six to eight weeks.
“Each time we come we try to coordinate it with another family. I think in the past year we’ve invited nine different families to join us. We’ve not repeated anyone. Our kids love serving alongside their friends. And every family that’s joined us has expressed an interest in serving again.”
“Volunteering at the Mission has been an incredible experience for our family,” shared Jenny Kate. “The first time it was a bit of a culture shock for my kids. They’d never personally encountered someone experiencing homelessness. But now, they look forward to it and are excited about inviting others to take part. In fact, they’ve started taking ownership of the volunteering experience— telling the other kids how to wash their hands, where to get their gloves and aprons, and all those details. It’s been so much fun.”
Jenny Kate loves how, after each time they volunteer, on the drive home they can talk about it as a family and discuss what they saw, the people they met, and what they learned.
“My children have gained a new perspective on how blessed they are. It’s also allowed them to experience joy in serving others.”
The Mission is so thankful for families like the McMullan’s who take time out of their busy schedules to serve those in need. It’s such a blessing to see families serving together. If you’d like to learn more about how you and your family can do good together, visit nashvillerescuemission.org/volunteer.
*Note that until further notice, volunteering has been suspended due to COVID-19.