Deborah loves helping people. In fact, it’s one of the reasons she loves working for HCA. “We are in the business of helping people. That’s important to me.”
As an employee of HCA, Deborah participates in their annual community day. “On this day, HCA sends their employees out into the community to give back,” said Deborah. “Over the years, I’ve volunteered at several different nonprofits, but building the Birds and Butterfly Garden was my first project at Nashville Rescue Mission.”
“I had such an amazing time serving during this project, I decided to come back and volunteer on my own time,” shared Deborah. Since then, Deborah’s made many trips back to the Mission to help in the garden and manage other work projects on behalf of HCA.
“Working with the staff, other volunteers, and especially the men and women in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program has been a blessing to me,” said Deborah. “I love listening to them share their personal stories of how God has changed their lives. It’s also been encouraging to hear them relate verses of scriptures with each other in the context of gardening.”
Deborah says volunteering in the garden at the Mission provides a haven away from the fast paced, often materialistic world we live in. “I believe our society has gotten far away from nature today. God intended for us to be outside, to experience nature. In fact, it is His creation. I think it’s time for us to put down our phones and other electronic devices and pay attention to the things that matter.”
“There’s something about having the sun shine on your face and dirt on your hands that is therapeutic. It feels good to plant seeds, watch things grow, and be a part of bringing in the harvest.” Deborah admires the way so many of those in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program have made the biblical connection to gardening.
It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow. 1 Corinthians 3:7 NLT
It might seem odd coming from someone who works in technology, but Deborah, a Senior Business Analyst for HCA said, “We are so focused on our electronic devices there is a void in our lives today. We’ve become disconnected from real people. I think that’s why working in the garden has resonated with me. I can’t say I’m a great gardener, but it’s invigorating to be involved in God’s creation.”
“Working with Deborah has been such a blessing to the staff, the students in our programs, and to other volunteers,” said Billy Eldridge, Director of Operations for the Mission. “We’ve learned so much from her. Not only are we impressed with her knowledge of gardening, but the gentle, sincere, and peaceful spirit she displayed while explaining certain aspects of gardening touched everyone on the team.”