Volunteer Finds Healing in Helping Others
“Donna is a faithful volunteer. She’s at the Mission almost every day of the week teaching GED classes in reading and math to the menand women in our life-recovery programs who do not have high school diplomas. She is an incredible blessing!” –Edd King, Education Assistant
Donna moved to Tennessee in 2011. Over a three-year period she lost her husband, mother, father and best friend. During that time she also suffered a severe back injury requiring over a year of therapy. After reinjuring her back, Donna was no longer able to work. She became depressed and started searching for answers.
Finding Purpose in Pain
“I always believed in God, but I never had a relationship with him,” shares Donna. “That all changed when I visited a campground my husband and I used to go to. I spent the summer there in hope of finding peace and answers. That first Sunday, I attended a small country church and gave my life to Christ. I also started working with the children in the church as a volunteer. I found joy in serving.”
At the end of the summer, Donna moved to Tennessee where her daughter lives. “My daughter was going through a tough time,” says Donna. “She was working full-time and trying to raise two children on her own. I wanted to do whatever I could to help her out.”
God Heals Hurts
Once in Nashville, Donna found a church home. She made friends and started to build a life for herself. A friend from church suggested Donna find a place to serve and give back.
“I had no idea where to even start looking for a place to volunteer,” recalls Donna. “Then I heard a radio commercial for the Nashville Rescue Mission. I went to their website and learned more about all the things they do to serve the community. My background is in education, so when I saw there were volunteer opportunities in the Education Department, I knew immediately, this was where I was supposed to serve.”
“Volunteers are a key component of what we do here,” shares Dr. Jay Juday, Director of Education. “When I met Donna, I knew she would be a great fit for our GED preparation classes. She has a strong background in education with many years of experience. She jumped right in and has assisted numerous students in the areas of reading and math.”
“Miss Donna has helped me so much with my reading,” said James, a GED student. “I’m 50 years old but dropped out of school in 7th grade. She’s been a wonderful help and is very patient with me. I have come a long way. I thank God for her.”
“Not only has volunteering at the Mission been rewarding, it has been extremely healing,” says Donna. “The love of God permeates the Mission. Just seeing how everyone loves each other has made an impact on me like nothing else I’ve experienced. I have found purpose in volunteering my time and talents at the Mission.”