For Damon Hininger, volunteering at Nashville Rescue Mission during the Thanksgiving holiday created some meaningful family moments as his wife, children, and in-laws spent the day serving alongside one another.
“This was the first time our family has served together at the Mission,” said Damon. “And it definitely won’t be the last. It was a wonderful day of fellowship in a great environment. We met some amazing people and had lots of warm exchanges with many of those we served. I even had the opportunity to sit down and chat with a few of the guests. My family and I were truly blessed by this volunteering experience.”
As Damon refilled glasses, his kids took turns serving drinks to the homeless men and women who were taking part in the Mission’s annual Great Thanksgiving Day Banquet. “Over the years I’ve had several opportunities to tour the Mission and learn more about what the ministry does in and for the community. This type of work resonates with my family. So I was delighted to have this chance to bring my family to the Mission and give back to those in need.”
With an obvious heart for service, Damon serves on the board of directors for several organizations throughout the community. “I tell my family all the time that we are blessed more than we deserve. I’m constantly asking myself what can we do to give back. I believe it’s important to help those in need, and I feel strongly about leading by example for my children. What better way to do that, than to come together as a family and serve the homeless and hungry.
For ten-year-old twins, Robert and Mildred, volunteering at the Mission was an enlightening and educational experience. “Our trip home included some really interesting and insightful conversations,” shared Damon. “Our kids wanted to know how the men and women got to the Mission. What happened to them that would cause them to lose their home and become homeless? It gave my wife and I the perfect opportunity to explain to them that sometimes there are people in the world who need just a little help. And if it is within our power to help, we should help. I expressed to them that it doesn’t matter if someone has a home or not, we are all equal and we are to treat others with respect and kindness. Definitely some very valuable lessons to learn.”
“My wife’s parents are new to Nashville,” said Damon. “They’ve only lived in the area for two years. I know Steve and Diane treasured this experience as well. They moved here from a rural area where the homeless are not nearly as visible as they are in Nashville. I know volunteering at the Mission was eye-opening for them. But it was also a very special time of serving others that they were able to share with their grandchildren. We were definitely making memories that day.”
According to Damon, the Mission is “filling a gap where there is much need in our community.” In conversations with others who care about the future of our city, he is also quick to tell them that, “they need to visit Nashville Rescue Mission and take a tour. I honestly don’t think enough people know about what the Mission does for this community. You guys are doing some very important work and our city is all the better for it.”
The Mission is thankful for Damon and his family for making us a part of their Thanksgiving holiday.
If you’d like more information on how to get involved, visit nashvillerescuemission.org.