What are you called to do?
Serving from the heart
Jerry has lived in Nashville for over 25 years but it wasn’t until he retired four and a half years ago that he started volunteering at the Mission.
“I have known about the Mission for a very long time,” says Jerry. “Over the years, my wife and I have donated, but it wasn’t until I found myself with a lot more time on my hands that I felt called to serve as well as give.” Now, you can find Jerry at the Nashville Rescue Mission at least once a week during the lunch hour preparing and serving meals to the homeless.
Blessed to be a Blessing
“God has given me a heart for the homeless,” says Jerry. “Honestly, I cannot imagine being homeless. Volunteering at the Mission serves as a constant reminder to me to never be nonchalant about my blessings. I grew up in a God-fearing home, went to college, was successful in my career…I really had it easy. Now I’ve got an opportunity to give back.”
“It’s a tragedy to me to see so many homeless in our community,” says Jerry. “When you volunteer at the Mission you hear lots of different stories as to why someone is homeless. Many of them will catch you by surprise. They are not what you might expect to hear.”
“No basic need a person has should go unmet. It is so easy for the rest of us to help provide for those who are in need. We just need to do it.”
Sharing the Love
Over the years Jerry has shared the joy of volunteering at the Mission with friends and family. One friend Jerry invited to help serve in the kitchen with him is now volunteering to teach a computer class to the men in the Mission’s life-recovery program.
“My eleven-year-old granddaughter loves coming with me to the Mission,” shares Jerry. “It’s a great way for us to spend time together. I’ve also made many friends through my time serving. As you stand next to strangers serving meals, you find conversations have an interesting way of weaving themselves into the situation. I especially enjoy volunteering when there are kids helping serve. This is a great opportunity for me to minister to others.”
Serving More Than a Meal
“As the guests come through the lunch line, I love to see the surprised look on their faces when I look them in the eye, ask how they are and really mean it,” says Jerry. “Nothing means more to a man than self-respect. It’s also a huge blessing to see the men who are coming through the life-recovery program develop confidence in themselves. Over the seven months or so they are at the Mission an amazing transformation takes place as they begin to believe in themselves and build a healthy sense of pride in who they are and in what they’ve accomplished.”
“I believe we are called to encourage,” says Jerry. “It’s not just about serving meals to the homeless. It’s a chance to share the joy of Christ with those in need of hope.” If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities, click the “volunteer” button below.