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Moving Into The Neighborhood

“Between my career and my husband’s we have moved numerous times. I have personally found that volunteering is a great way to connect with the community in a new city,” said Julie. “So when we moved to Germantown, I quickly discovered the Women’s Campus of Nashville Rescue Mission.”

While a large number of volunteers serve in the Mission’s kitchen, Julie was focused on finding a spot where there was the greatest need. “I met with Holly, the children’s coordinator at the Mission, and through our conversation, I quickly realized the kids were in desperate need of help with homework. I am an engineer and felt like I could make the greatest impact by working with the children.”

For the last year, Julie has been giving an hour or more each week to help homeless kids with their homework. She’s recruited a few others to join her along the way. One being her daughter Alex. “One of the biggest blessings of volunteering with my daughter is that it’s brought us much closer to each other. We’ve also discovered that these kids need so much more than help with their homework.”

When asked what surprised Julie most about volunteering at the Women’s Campus, she said, “I realized that even though thousands of people drive by the Mission every day, not enough people know about the women and children who are homeless and stay at the Mission. Now I’m making it my personal mission to make sure more people know about the need and hopefully we can gather the right people and resources to make an even bigger difference in the lives of these children.”

For Julie, one of the highlights has been the opportunity to love on the kids one-on-one. “Over time you can see that being a regular volunteer has a huge impact on these kids,” said Julie. “In their world, where there is so much change, having a consistent person who is there for them really seems to go a long way in building their confidence.”

“I will never forget this one young girl who was struggling to read,” Julie recalled. “Each time we would ask her to read out loud, she would become very angry. But I’m old-school, and I don’t put up with disrespect or sass and told her so. Soon she came to see that I was a ‘judgement-free zone.’ Once she saw me as a safe person to share with, she started to enjoy reading to me. I saw a huge difference in this young girl in a very short period of time.”

After noticing the need for an improved work space, Julie took on the challenge of rallying troops to make drastic improvements to the kid’s computer lab. Between a personal donation, a matching gift from her employer, and the generosity of singers Matty and Tae, the room got a complete makeover. “Once the ball got rolling, everything seemed to come together,” said Julie. “The room got a facelift, we were able to get new computers and printers … it created a bright, happy place for the kids to study and do homework.”

“I challenge anyone who thinks they can’t make an impact to commit just one hour of their time each week to helping a child at the Mission,” said Julie. “Whether it’s reading a book, helping with homework, planning activities for the kids while their moms attend chapel …that one hour a week can make a world of difference in the life of a child.”

If you’d like to find out how one hour of your week can make a difference in the life of a child, visit

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