YOUR GIFTS, ESPECIALLY AT THANKSGIVING, MAKE A SIGNIFICANT IMPACT ON THOSE IN NEED
What will your Thanksgiving look like this year? Hopefully, it will be better than last year’s Thanksgiving, which COVID likely hampered.
Perhaps you will invite your friends and family over to gather around your table to enjoy a feast fit for a king. Maybe you’ll say grace over your meal, giving thanks for your many blessings. You might even spend some time at the Mission, volunteering to serve meals to the hungry and homeless in this community.
But what if you’re someone who doesn’t have a home? What if you’ve burned all your bridges and you’re no longer welcome at the home of your family or friends? This is a reality for many of the men and women who walk through the doors of Nashville Rescue Mission.
But thanks to generous friends like you, those without a place to call home can enjoy some home-cooked food and a sense of belonging, served by caring volunteers during the Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet.
The banquets take place the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and the day of Thanksgiving. Volunteers play an essential part in this special event.
Whether it’s chopping potatoes, carrying a tray, sharing a warm smile, or serving a glass of sweet tea, volunteers let the guests know they are valued and treasured. Guests are treated like royalty, even if it’s just for a few hours.
At the Mission, Thanksgiving is an extraordinary holiday because of faithful supporters like you. Just ask Kevin, who spent six months living out of his car before he decided to come to the Mission.
“I didn’t think the Mission was for me,” shared Kevin. “I didn’t know about all the programs and services the Mission offered. But once I learned more, I entered their program, and my life has never been the same.”
Coming from a broken home, Kevin never experienced a typical Thanksgiving holiday of a family gathered around the table sharing a meal. Holidays for him were stressful, as he felt pulled in different directions depending on who he was with at the time.
“My parents divorced when I was three,” recalled Kevin. “I always had to split holidays between them. It was hard. But coming to the Mission has given me a real sense of what holidays are supposed to be like.”
Last year, Kevin had the honor of working with volunteers who chose to spend their Thanksgiving serving at the Mission. “I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed Thanksgiving last year. I know it was in the middle of COVID, but still, I got to meet so many wonderful volunteers. It felt good to help them and show them around the kitchen and dining room.”
According to Kevin, coming to the Mission has dramatically changed his life. “My thoughts have changed from being lonely and depressed to now wanting to celebrate the holidays. Being at the Mission has made me realize that I don’t have to sit at a table with my family to celebrate. In fact, you can be strangers and still come together and celebrate the holidays, and it is a special time of thankfulness and fellowship.”
MORE THAN A MEAL
“God calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves,” said Rev. Glenn Cranfield, the Mission’s president and CEO. “We want those who have nowhere to go to turn to the Mission, where they will find more than just a filling Thanksgiving meal … they’ll find help and hope. And in the process, they’ll learn about a God who loves them with an everlasting love. And with the help of our faithful supporters, this is something the Mission excels at doing.”
And according to Kevin, “The show of care and support we receive at the Mission, especially during the holidays—it’s great. It has been an awesome experience, and today I have hope!”