I first became aware of Nashville Rescue Mission and its efforts to care for the homeless while playing for the Nashville Predators during the 2001-02 season. The team was and continues to be very involved with the Nashville community. In 2010, the Predators Foundation presented the Mission with a grant to help build a safe and secure playground for the children staying there. Today, they still continue to find ways to support the Mission.
After retiring from hockey, I finished my undergraduate degree and completed work on a law degree in 2005. My family and I love Nashville so much; we decided to make this our home. I spent several years in private law practice before returning to the game as an analyst for the Predators. When that ended last year, I took on a new role as corporate counsel for Van Meter Insurance, while also working part-time as an analyst for the NHL Network. Over the last year, I’ve become more familiar with the Mission, through volunteering and other projects.
I had somewhat of a superficial understanding of homelessness, but being involved with the Mission has put a name and a face to it. I’ve come to appreciate the Mission and the work they do in this community on a much deeper level.
Several months ago, Blake, a participant in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program, came to visit Van Meter and shared his testimony with us. At one time he was a successful businessman. But because of his addiction, he lost everything. Hearing him speak about his transformation changed my perspective on how to help. I’ve now had the opportunity to come alongside someone who is battling that life. I’ve seen how the affirmations he received from myself and everyone at Van Meter had a positive impact on his life. It’s humbling and astounding.
I recently had the chance to attend Blake’s graduation from the Mission’s program. It was incredible hearing each man share his story. That day represented a culmination of months and months of self-examination. It was apparent they each had rolled up their sleeves and done a lot of hard work changing their lives over the many months spent in the Mission’s program.
I’m grateful for Van Meter Insurance and appreciate the opportunity they give us to partner with organizations such as Nashville Rescue Mission. It’s a wonderful thing when we can extend our professional lives to make a difference in the community while doing our job to the best of our ability. It feels good to know what we’re doing is making a difference.
Stu played in the NHL from 1989 to 2002 and finished his professional hockey career with the Nashville Predators. Following his retirement, he went back to school, earned a law degree, and entered private practice for several years. Following a stint as a television analyst for the Predators, Stu returned to the business world as corporate counsel for Van Meter Insurance. He also works part-time as a hockey analyst for the NHL Network.