When John walks through the doors of the kitchen, eyes light up, and he is greeted with hellos and high fives.
He’s no stranger to the Mission. Since retiring from his work as a veterinarian almost a year ago, John has been a faithful volunteer in the kitchen at the Men’s Campus serving at least twice a week.
While the issue of homelessness wasn’t always on John’s radar, his heart for giving back and serving others has permeated his life. A three-year stint in the Peace Corps in West Africa gave John a unique perspective on interacting with individuals who have so little.
“I retired in April and started looking for a place to serve, a place where I could give back,” shared John. “Someone mentioned Nashville Rescue Mission to me, so I visited the website, then signed up to volunteer. I try to go twice a week. I usually sign up for lunch, but if all the lunch spots are full, I’ll sign up to serve dinner. Volunteering at the Mission has been a deeply rewarding experience for me.”
“There’s something special about handing someone a tray of food and hearing them say ‘thank you,’” said John. “Seeing someone’s needs being met first-hand is meaningful. You can tell by the looks on their faces that these men are extremely grateful for the meal they are receiving. I also have the opportunity to interact with men in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program who are working in the kitchen. Over time, it’s been a joy to watch them grow and change. In many cases, I’ve seen men go from being sad and quiet to smiling, joking, and being happy. The transformation is amazing.”
When asked what keeps him coming back each week, John replied, “I’ve had a good life, and I want to give back out of my abundance. I encourage others who are looking for something to do with their time to get involved at the Mission. It’s a great place to serve.”
Learn more about how to get involved by visiting us online at: https://nashvillerescuemission.org/get-involved/