“We first learned of Nashville Rescue Mission at our church,” shared Hillary. “There was an announcement about a turkey fry at the Mission. It sounded fun, so we signed up for the 5:00 a.m. morning shift. We loved it. In fact, the more we learned about the Mission, the more we wanted to get involved. It was January 2014 when we started serving regularly.”
Caring for those in need is something that comes naturally to Martin and Hillary. Hillary recently retired from a career with Samaritan’s Purse and is still actively involved in Operation Christmas Child. They are both actively involved in their church, often taking on roles in leadership and serving.
“Seeing the appreciation from those being served is so rewarding,” shared Hillary. “I especially enjoy hearing stories from the men who are in the program. Watching them grow and graduate—it’s so encouraging.” According to Martin, the best part for him is the fellowship and connection they’ve made with other volunteers, staff, and men from the program who are working alongside them.
“The more we learned about the Mission, the more we wanted to get involved.”
“It’s a joy to see how the program participants’ leadership skills change and mature over time,” shared Martin. “I’m so glad the Mission gives them this opportunity. As someone who has managed people in my professional career, this is a valuable skill.”
Despite the challenges of COVID, Martin and Hillary did not let that dissuade them from volunteering. “As soon as volunteers were allowed back in, we were excited to return,” shared Hillary. “I was impressed with how the Mission communicated what steps they were taking regarding the new safety protocols.”
Teaching others the value of serving is also extremely important to Martin and Hillary. It was something they instilled in their three (now grown) children. And it wasn’t that long ago that when Martin’s parents were in town, they joined them for a time of serving at the Mission.
“I especially love it when younger children join us,” said Hillary. “Seeing a child serve for the very first time is a beautiful thing. As the Bible talks about training a child up in the way they should go, this is a remarkable experience to watch. I’m so grateful the Mission makes this possible. It’s very safe. And I’m encouraged when I see parents bringing their kids, something we value, and did with our children many years ago.”