This year marks my 22nd year living in Nashville, having moved my family here from Northern California to work in Christian radio in 1998.
One of the first things I sought out specifically when we arrived was an organization that helped those in need; I quickly found out about Nashville Rescue Mission. Ever since then, I have been a financial supporter and truly believe in their work.
Fast forward to 2013, the year we moved my mother, Michelle, from Northern California to a house down the street from us. We very much enjoyed our time with her, although we didn’t realize it was going to be so short. My mother suffered from MS and later from depression. On July 25, 2016, she decided to end her life.
Suicide is devastating and yet tragically so prevalent in today’s society. It creates a bevy of emotions for everyone involved. Someone told me one of the hardest parts of processing suicide is it’s unique in that both the victim and the perpetrator are the same person.
So, as we processed the loss, our family was searching for any beauty in those ashes and knew that one thing we could do is share our story, to shine a light on this dark topic, and also never to forget my mom, Michelle Griffin.
About four months after mom went to be with Jesus, I was on the radio with our annual 94FM The Fish “Meal Challenge,” raising support for the Mission.
During that fundraiser, I felt led to provide a “mom matching meal challenge” —basically, donating money in memory of my mom, and then asking listeners to join in and match the amount. This resonated with so many people, as they also saw the opportunity to remember and love on those they had lost. Needless to say, the match was met and almost doubled.
Now each year, I have a “mom matching meal challenge” as a regular part of our annual fundraiser. Not only does it help the Mission, but it’s also a way of remembering the remarkable woman who raised me.
Nashville Rescue Mission is a much-needed beacon in the darkness, and by going beyond “a hot and a cot,” the Mission truly gives men, women, and children second chances. My mom and I both believed in supporting the Mission, and I know I make her proud each time I do.
On the radio since 1986, beginning in the San Francisco Bay Area, Doug has spent the last 22 years in Nashville as a nationally syndicated radio host. You can currently hear Doug from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. as the afternoon host on 94FM The Fish.