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Kids Helping the Homeless

See how these kids are making a difference in the lives of Nashville’s homeless

Two years ago, 11-year-old Bryson Fox, saw a card they had received in the mail from the Mission asking for $1.92 to feed one homeless person. This inspiration, along with extraordinary determination, has led Bryson to raise over $4,000 for Nashville’s homeless.

“It’s hard to explain the feeling I had when I saw that man’s picture on the card,” Bryson says. “But there was no doubt in my mind God was asking me to do this.”

“Bryson is a little bit shy,” says mom Beth. “But he was so motivated to help, that he went to church that night with the envelope in hand and started asking folks to give. He came home that first night with $23.”

“When the money began to come in… I was like…wow…God is using me!” said Bryson.

This year, Bryson’s 8-year-old sister Brielle wanted to help raise money. Together, they raised over $1,500 by sharing their passion to help the homeless with friends, family, neighbors and church members. On the day they planned to make their donation, they heard on the radio that local businesses were matching donations to the Mission—resulting in a doubling of their donation.

“As a parent, this experience has stretched my faith,” says Beth. “God went way above what we asked for or imagined. In the process, I saw God stretch both Bryson and Brielle’s faith. What a blessing!”

Seems as though Bryson and Brielle are starting a trend in kids helping those in need.

Miles Schellenberger – “Racing for the Mission”

After reading Bryson’s story last year in the Mission’s newsletter, 13-year-old Miles Schellenberger was inspired to find his own unique way of helping the homeless.

Miles, mom Mary and baby sister Lilli decided to take a tour of the Mission to learn more about the needs of Nashville’s homeless. “Being at the Mission,” said Miles, “made me grateful for all God has given me and I wanted to raise money to help their cause.”

Miles, who travels around the country racing motocross, is now using his favorite sport to raise money for the Nashville Rescue Mission.

“I have decided when I ride, I will be ‘Racing for the Mission,’” says Miles. “The money I win from my races will be donated to the Nashville Rescue Mission. It gives me joy to know I am helping feed the homeless with the money I raise.”

Miles also spreads the word about ‘Racing for the Mission’ by sending letters to friends and family, as well as through announcements introducing Miles at the races he participates in. He races in 25 to 30 races a year across the country, providing him with lots of opportunities to spread the message of helping the homeless.  

As a result of his efforts, Miles has raised close to $1,000 for Nashville’s homeless and plans to continue doing so into 2009.

Gracie Bryan Gives Big

Rhett and Amy Bryan adopted Gracie from China in 2003.  Now at the tender age of 6, Gracie is learning what it means to help others. After seeing some homeless people on the streets of Nashville, the Bryan family started talking to Gracie about the homeless—who they were, why they might be homeless and how they could help them.

This was enough to convince Gracie she wanted to help. Rhett recalls finding a small pink plastic container Gracie could use to collect money.

“I had completely forgotten about this little pink box,” recalls Rhett. “I went into Gracie’s room the other day as she was preparing for school and discovered she had emptied the box and was counting all the change she’d saved. I told her with the money she had collected; she could feed over 15 people Thanksgiving dinner. I was astounded that my 6-year-old little girl from China would be so thoughtful.”

Jacob Head Continues to Help the Homeless

Last year, Jacob Head saw a homeless man on the street and immediately felt compelled to help. He begged his mom to stop and give the man some money.  Instead, Jacob’s mom Felicia suggested they think about how they could help more than just this man. Their conversation led to Jacob’s idea to collect blankets for Nashville’s homeless.

Jacob and the rest of the Head family reached out to their community of Westmoreland, and as a result, donated 118 blankets to Nashville’s homeless last year.

This year, now at the age of 7, Jacob decided he wanted to do more for the Mission. With the help of his 5-year-old twin brothers Samuel and Nathaniel, Jacob set out to collect hats, gloves and scarves for Nashville’s homeless. Their efforts resulted in a donation of over 140 sets to help keep the homeless warm during the cold winter nights.

As Jacob left the Mission, he could be heard saying, “We’ll be back sometime this summer. I know the homeless will also need shorts, t-shirts and bottled water during the summer.”

These kids are truly making a difference in the lives of Nashville’s homeless. It is through the faithful support of friends like you and kids like these that ultimately provide the necessary steps to get a homeless man, woman and child from where they are to the place God desires them to be.

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