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Share Your Talent, Change A Life

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) prep class opens new doors

When it comes to volunteering at the Nashville Rescue Mission, most people envision serving food. However, some volunteers who have unique gifts and talents serve in other ways—such is the case with Sam Thompson.

“A friend of mine who was teaching a Bible class at the Mission suggested I think about teaching a CDL class there,” explains Sam. “I like helping people, especially those in need. Also, I knew it would give those who passed the test more job opportunities with greater earning potential than just an hourly wage job.”

“I started volunteering at the Mission in late 2002,” says Sam. “I come four times a year and teach a six and a half hour class that prepares a student for the written CDL exam. Once they pass, I work with them one-on-one to prepare for the practical test. I average 5 to 10 students per class. Over eight years I’ve probably had over 250 students at the Mission.”

“I’ll never forget my first student from the Mission,” shares Sam. “Nathan got his CDL in February 2003. He was so excited. He fell on hard times at first, but a couple of years later I got a call from a trucking company asking for a reference on him. Turns out he’d been working there for six months and they were updating their records. I was so proud.”

If a man or woman wants to straighten out their life, get a decent salary instead of an hourly wage, I’ll do whatever I can to help them. I like giving back.”

“Robert, another student from the Mission, made a big impression on me as well,” says Sam.

“After completing the program, he served our country in Iraq for 18 months, then came home and got a job at MTA driving a bus.”

“I’m glad I can volunteer,” says Sam. “I enjoy teaching the class and seeing the students succeed. This is my way of giving back a little of what I’ve been blessed with. Anyone who wants to better themselves…well, if I can help them, I’m more than happy to do whatever I can.”

Because volunteers like Sam give of their time and talents, lives are constantly being changed at the Nashville Rescue Mission. Find out how you can get involved.

Upon hearing of Sam’s desire to teach a CDL class at the Mission, Inner City Ministries, where Sam has worked for the last 21 years, volunteered to provide the necessary resources for Mission clients to take this class and obtain their CDL.

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