Everyone Needs Undies!

Everyone_Undies

We are in urgent need of underwear for our guests! Each week, we distribute at least 150 pairs.

Can you imagine the despair of not owning something as necessary as your own underwear? 

Please help! We need new, packaged, cotton underwear – men’s sizes large through 4XL and women’s sizes medium through XXL.  

 

This is a great opportunity to get creative! Purchase a package next time you’re shopping, share with your Bible study or sorority, have an “Undie Sunday” at your church, or maybe even host a “Panty Party” and ask your friends to bring new undies to donate.

Some groups are already getting involved. When Vanderbilt University heard of the need, they sprung into action and set up collection spots across campus. Their students and faculty are excitedly donating new packages of underwear for our homeless guests!

The youth group at Tusculum Cumberland Presbyterian Church hosted an “Undie Sunday” event and encouraged their congregation to bring their donations that next week. They even took some selfies to prove it

We are so grateful for the community we live in and the desire of those who live here to help! Thank you for making an tangible impact in the lives of those in need.

Why Should You Attend Music With a Mission?

Why Should You Attend Music With a Mission?

We know you have a lot of options when it comes to a “night out” in Nashville. But let me tell you why Music with a Mission deserves your attention. 

This annual event features nine artists playing their hit songs. But they aren’t alone–each talented musician is backed by the incredible Nashville Symphony. Where else can you see American Idol Runner-Up Clark Beckham, acclaimed jazz Beegie Adair Trio, country breakout artist Mo Pitney, our hosts The Gatlin Brothers, and so many more–all in the same night? 

But don’t take our word for it! Here’s what two of our supporters, who you might know, have said about the event: 

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So plan a date night, a girl’s night out, or even a special trip for your Bible study group! Music with a Mission has something for all ages. By purchasing a ticket, you are benefiting Nashville Rescue Mission and directly impacting the lives of the homeless, hungry, and hurting in Middle Tennessee.  

See you there!

Nashville Rescue Mission Loves The Nashville Pred’s Foundation!

Predators Blog PhotoWe want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank the Nashville Predators Foundation. In addition to being a great hockey team (especially last season), the team is also incredibly generous. Through their Foundation, the Predators are able to award several hundred thousands of dollars in grants to Nashville and Middle Tennessee area charities and community service organizations. They are also committed to serving 6,000 hours of community service to the Nashville community each year.

We are thankful to be one of the beneficiaries of their efforts. We are especially grateful for their free ticket program. Through this program, the Predators have presented Nashville Rescue Mission with tickets to hockey games and other special events so that men and women participating in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program can enjoy a special night out.

Recently, the Predators gifted the Mission with tickets to the Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix concert! The students who attended had a great time and all wanted to say “thank you.”

Rudy Gatlin

Rudy Gatlin

Three years ago, we were invited to perform at the Nashville Rescue Mission’s annual Music with a Mission concert, an event that has raised over $525,000 to help feed the hungry and house the homeless in Middle Tennessee. It is a marvelous event. The venue is beautiful, the symphony is incredible and the artists who perform are some of the best in the music industry. They also care about the less fortunate and perform not just to entertain, but to make a difference encouraging others to do the same. The event is truly a moving experience as each year, a graduate from the Mission’s Life Recovery Program shares a few words. It’s amazing to hear the success story firsthand, directly from someone impacted by a donors’ gift.

Larry, Steve, and I have been performing as Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers since 1976, but it really started in 1955, when we were 2, 4, and 6 years old! We’ve had several number one songs, been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, nominated for CMA and ACM awards, and are now on our 60th anniversary tour. We have been blessed! But this success means nothing if we haven’t used our platform to help others. Luke 12:48 says, “From everyone whom has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” To us, this means we must invest our talents to give hope to those in need. We’re commanded to care for the widows, the orphans and those who can’t help themselves. And this concert is a very tangible way to do that.

Volunteering to serve meals at the Mission and sing Christmas carols in the dining room, along with my daughter, was really where I saw the heart of this organization. Sometimes people think they can’t help because they can’t donate money. But they can, by giving their time and assisting on the front lines, serving meals to the homeless, and listening to them share their stories. It definitely changes a person’s perspective.

My brothers and I look forward to this year’s Music with a Mission event. Those who attend won’t be disappointed because once again it’s a lineup filled with talent and passion. It’s a chance to interact with the Mission on a different level and help the homeless of Middle Tennessee. I can’t wait to see you there.

 

God Bless,

Rudy

Feed My Sheep

Feed My Sheep

Reverend John Swyers didn’t set out to run one of Nashville’s largest food box distribution centers. With a congregation of 16 people, he was simply looking for ways to get his congregation more involved in the community. “I was following God’s command to ‘feed my sheep.’”

With over 24 years of service as a prison chaplain, Rev. Swyers moved to Nashville to lead St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in 1981. In the heart of one of Nashville’s poorest areas of town, Rev. Swyers wanted to find a way to give people help and hope.

“Nashville Rescue Mission became our neighbor when they opened their women’s campus in 1987,” said Swyers. “When an intern from Vanderbilt Divinity School was assigned to our church a couple years later, it was her suggestion that we start serving breakfast to the homeless women, one Sunday a month.”

Eventually this intern would become the Breakfast Coordinator at St. Paul’s, where they now serve breakfast every Sunday to the homeless women and children staying at the Mission and have done so for the past 26 years. “While our congregation is small, we have a collective group of nearly 100 volunteers representing seven different churches, a variety of denominations and civic groups, who take turns helping prepare and serve these women and their children breakfast every Sunday. Our serving is not only an outreach to the women in need, but it also gives us an opportunity to give back to the kitchen staff at the Mission’s Women’s Campus who faithfully serve the homeless in our community every day.”

Anywhere from 8 to 15 volunteers show up each Sunday morning, ready to prepare and serve a hot, hearty breakfast to over 150 homeless women and children. “Over and over we hear how much this means to the women and their children,” said Swyers. “So many will stop to say ‘thank you’ and ‘God bless you’ after they’ve received their meal. Over the years, we’ve had some of the women return to worship with us after breakfast. They are kind, gentle people who need help and hope. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve them.”

Volunteer-Group

In 1997, St. Paul’s became a food box distribution center for Second Harvest Food Bank. Today, they are one of Nashville’s most used food banks. “We hand out anywhere from 25 to 35 food boxes each day. In 2014, we distributed over 8,000 food boxes in our community. Our goal is to proclaim the Gospel, one meal at a time, one box of food at a time.”

“St. Paul’s might be a small church with a small congregation, but they are making a big impact in this community,” said Carolyn Grossley, director of the Mission’s Women’s Campus. “Rev. Swyers, his church, and their volunteers have been such a blessing to the ladies who live at the Mission. Not only have they served meals, but they are constantly asking, ‘What can we do to help?’ It’s a beautiful thing when the body of Christ comes together to help those in need.”

Rev. Swyers, who is 75 years old said, “God has been good to me and I’m having the time of my life. I don’t take these gifts for granted. I’m blessed and want to be a blessing to others. I’ve said it many times before, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, you simply need to feed the hungry. People are hungry—feed them—one meal at a time.”

Help, Hope, and Healing

Help, Hope, and Healing

“Although I grew up going to church, I didn’t know God,” said Brandy. “Nashville Rescue Mission’s Life Recovery Program showed me how to tell the truth from a lie. It was at the Mission where my journey of living in His will and healing from my past began.”

Raised on a dairy farm in New York, Brandy’s childhood was traumatic. “I didn’t talk until I was five,” said Brandy. “I grew up in a family of alcoholics where feuding was common. When I was in first grade, my parents packed us up in the middle of the night and moved us to Ohio. I was the oldest of four kids, and my mom was pregnant with a 5th. We left everyone and everything I’d ever known behind—and it was never discussed again.”

Brandy struggled in the midst of the mixed messages she received. “My mom babysat to bring in extra money,” recalls Brandy. “She verbally abused the kids, just like she did us, but then would turn around and teach Sunday school. It was confusing to me. But, I’m thankful we went to church, because that’s where God put pastoral people in my life who loved me. Otherwise, I’m not sure I would have ever believed in God.”

Brandy was 18 when she married Michael—AND when she started drinking. “After being around alcohol as a kid, I’d never wanted to drink. But I started hanging out with friends after work at a local bar. I was having so much fun, when the owner asked if I’d work at the bar, I said yes. Our daughter Julia came along a couple of years later and life got more complicated. Before I knew it, my drinking had escalated to the point I was out of control.”

Much like how her family packed up and left when she was a child, Brandy left her husband and daughter—for a man she met while working at the bar. After suffering a number of devastating losses, including that relationship, Brandy lost herself in her addiction. “If I wasn’t drinking, I was puking, or passing out.”

Things continued to deteriorate as Brandy found a new love—cocaine. She spent the next four years self-destructing. “I wanted the madness to end,” recalled Brandy. “I knew this wasn’t who I was. But I couldn’t stop. Rock bottom came the night I hit someone or something with my car. I was so messed up, I had no idea who or what I hit. The thought that I might have killed someone and could spend the rest of my life in prison was sobering. I’m thankful I didn’t hit anyone, and grateful that it put me on a path to a Christian halfway house.”

“God used Paul and Karon Rose to change the course of my life,” said Brandy. “I stayed five months at a halfway house where they worked in Indiana. When I relapsed, they loved me enough to tell me about Nashville Rescue Mission’s Life Recovery Program and to drive me to Nashville so I could get away from the environment I was in and relearn how to live.”

Brandy vividly recalls the day things changed for her while at the Mission. “I was sitting in the chapel when a pastor preached on John 5. I didn’t want to be there. But when he asked if any of us wanted to be whole, it was as though God himself was asking me if I wanted to be well. I was ready to get whole. My answer was unequivocally yes!”

BrandySquareNoWords

She spent the next seven months learning everything she could about how to live a godly life. “I didn’t know God. The staff and volunteers at Nashville Rescue Mission…they served me. They were the mouth, the hands, and the feet of Christ to me. They showed me God.”

It was at Nashville Rescue Mission where Brandy’s journey of healing began. She graduated from the Mission’s Life Recovery Program in March 2009 and over the last six years; she’s continued to seek God. “God gave me a heart for the widows and the orphans,” said Brandy. “I enjoy studying the word of God and want to serve Him.” This decision led Brandy to serve those in need in the Philippines and Brazil on short-term mission trips. She’s worked as a nurse’s aid to the elderly and a housemother at the same Christian halfway house where she first sought help.

“I had the privilege of reading the 23rd Psalm to a dying man in his final days, as well as help a blind woman use a fork,” said Brandy. “God is allowing me to be His hands and feet to those who need hope. The rewards are priceless—in fact, they’re eternal.”

Today, Brandy is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on Addictions and Recovery at Liberty University. “I don’t know God’s plan,” said Brandy, “but I know there is no better place to be than in His will. Today, I want to be obedient because I love Him.” For the first time in her entire life, Brandy is living on her own and her daughter Julia recently came to live with her.

“I’m so extremely blessed,” said Brandy. “God has restored so much in my life. But I’m still healing. Every day, God is working on me and my character defects.”

“At the Mission, I learned a new way to live, and when I left, I took that home with me. God has blessed me with an incredible life. My 14-year-old daughter gets up at 5:00 a.m. each morning to spend time with the Lord. She’s seen a real God work a real miracle. There is no greater joy. I’m so grateful.”