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Mission in My Words: Jerry Pentecost

When I think of Nashville Rescue Mission, I think of food, shelter, support, and love. It’s a place of peace and comfort. Its contribution to this city is immeasurable.

I started volunteering at the Mission years ago, serving meals during the holidays. As my touring schedule became more hectic, I began organizing benefits to raise money for the Mission. Something I continue to do today.

I know my heart to help those in need was inspired by my mother. Before she became ill with cancer, she donated to the Mission. She also spent time volunteering at her church. She was a recovering addict, led NA meetings, fed the homeless, worked in the church office, and sang in the choir. She was an amazing woman!

Watching the way she connected with others who needed help moved and motivated me to give when I’m financially able and to volunteer when I’m not.

As a touring musician, I’ve connected with those experiencing homelessness across the country. My perception of homelessness and one of the reasons I started volunteering is that I realize I could be giving money to my future self.

No one intends to be homeless, but circumstances beyond one’s control can put someone there. It can happen to anyone. I’ve had multiple points in my life when I didn’t have a place to stay. Sometimes it’s hard to ask for help.

If I were there and were asking for help, I’d want someone to help me, so I help every time I can. With my mom being a recovering addict, sometimes a friendly voice or face can be the bit of light that someone needs to make it through the tunnel. The Mission is that for lots of people.

I’ve lived in Nashville or surrounding areas, so it was very important to me to give back and connect with the community as I got older.

The amount of homeless in Nashville seems to be increasing. I can’t imagine what life would be like if the Nashville Rescue Mission didn’t exist. The Mission is more than food or a warm place to sleep. It provides hope and instills faith.

I see the work the Mission is doing. They’re helping so many. It’s not easy, and they can’t do it alone, so I’m inspired to keep supporting them. The way I see it, we’re all a part of this journey. No one asked to be here, but you’re here, so we might as well make the most of it and help take care of each other.

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