Every year, our station, WSMV, covers the Thanksgiving festivities at the Mission. In fact, the Tracy Lawrence Mission Possible Turkey Fry is a coveted assignment. Not only do we enjoy taking in the delicious aroma of fried turkey, but we always end up meeting some amazing people. This past year was no different, and it is a chance meeting I will never forget.
I was in between news segments for Channel 4 when a man walked up to me and asked if I was that guy on TV. I responded by telling him yes, I am. He went on to say that he watched me every morning and wanted to come over and shake my hand for making him laugh every day.
“Nashville Rescue Mission, as I learned, is so much more than a building. It’s a place where people genuinely find help and hope. -Joe Dubin
We started talking, and the next thing I know, 45 minutes had passed. We discussed all kinds of things and discovered we had a lot in common. It turns out we are the same age, and we both have two kids. He went on to tell me where he got off track and how he was working so hard now to get everything back he had lost.
“Zero excuses,” he told me. Then he paused and said, “This place. This place saved me. More than just somewhere to stay warm and grab a hot meal. It taught me that responsibility is important, and that Jesus loves me no matter what. A man I never met loves me, go figure. (Pause) That’s what I learned here.”
We finished talking, hugged, and as he walked away, he said, “Keep making people laugh. We all need that.”
He shared with me that he was heading home right after Christmas—and if not for Nashville Rescue Mission, I shudder to think what would have happened to him.
The Mission, as I learned, is so much more than a building. It’s a place where people genuinely find help and hope.
About Joe Dubin aka “Big Joe on the Go”
Joe is a Nashville native, which is the same thing as a unicorn these days. He’s been with WSMV for six years. He is a 3-time EMMY award winner and a 2-time winner of the prestigious Murrow award.
Joe graduated from McGavock high school, played football at Samford University, and graduated from MTSU. He has also been voted “Nashville’s Media Darling” for 18 years in a row. He truly is amazing, and one day hopes to see a sculpture of himself on the side of Mt. Juliet.