Impactashley uses Twitter to bring awareness to the Mission
Ashley is definitely making an impact in her world. She is quick to describe herself as a former “pew Christian.” When asked to explain, she replies, “I come from a long line of pastors, including my dad. Growing up in church was a part of my life. I hate to say I took it for granted, but it wasn’t something tangible for me until I went on a relief trip in 2008 to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.”
Ashley’s World Changed
“In the middle of all the grief and destruction, I saw how grateful people were for the help,” recalls Ashley. “It showed me how I could be the hands and feet of Jesus. I never felt more connected to Him than I did in the midst of serving others.”
After her experience with relief work, Ashley decided to get involved in the “Impact” ministry at her church. Looking for an organization to help, they chose the Nashville Rescue Mission for their first project. Initially, the group of 10 volunteers would serve breakfast every 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month. One shift and Ashley was hooked. Now she comes every week and is over the “Impact” project, coordinating all the volunteers.
“I knew Twitter was being used by lots of my friends at church, so I created an account with the name ‘impactashley’ to use as a tool to rally the troops whenever we had projects to work on,” says Ashley. “I guess you could say the name is sort of fitting now.”
“Serving others has changed my life,” says Ashley. “The old Ashley would never have gotten up at 3 am to come and volunteer at a homeless shelter. Nor would she have looked forward to talking with a homeless man just because. I love hearing their stories. Not everyone who is homeless is a drug addict or an alcoholic. Sometimes a man is homeless because he lost his house or his job.”
“One of the greatest experiences has been to watch some of the men I’ve met while serving in the kitchen start off very sad and empty, evolve into these enthusiastic, excited, happy men,” shares Ashley. “It’s obvious God is grabbing a hold of these men while they are at the Mission. I see them getting back on track. They start dreaming again. I see hope coming alive in them. It truly fills my heart with joy to serve at the Mission every week.”