On a day when most families will gather around their table to give thanks before enjoying a Thanksgiving feast, there will be many more men, women, and children who are hungry and have no idea where their next meal is coming from.
For those without a home or family, Thanksgiving can be very lonely. But because of your support, they can experience community, and they can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal served by caring volunteers during the Mission’s Great Thanksgiving Banquet.
“Thanksgiving is not just another holiday at Nashville Rescue Mission,” says President and CEO, Glenn Cranfield. “While the focus is often on the meal, this day is more about family, friends, and community. Volunteers play a huge role in making this day extra special for our guests. When they take time to serve a meal, offer a compassionate smile, and treat guests with grace and dignity, never expecting anything in return—it is a beautiful picture of how Christ loves each of us.”
“As the Lord provides through friends like you, the Mission’s hands and hearts are open and ready to serve both the body and soulof each person who walks through our doors.”
– Glenn Cranfield
MORE THAN A MEAL
They say it takes a village to raise a child; well, it certainly takes an army of volunteers to feed everyone at the Mission, especially on Thanksgiving. Each day, the Mission serves over nearly 1,700 meals to hungry and homeless men, women, and children in the community.
But throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, the Mission will serve more than double that amount. It’s an extraordinary feat that requires a lot of manpower.
Throughout the Thanksgiving holiday, the Mission will welcome over 780 volunteers who will graciously serve over 2,000 hours.
“Volunteers are the life-blood of this ministry,” said Summer Sanders, Director of Volunteer Services. “We couldn’t do this without the help of volunteers—people who are ready, willing, and able to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Whether it’s chopping potatoes, slicing turkey, or pouring a glass of tea—every volunteer plays a vital role in making this day so much more than just a meal.”
“We have some amazing volunteers,” said Cranfield. “Volunteering is more than just serving food. A couple of years ago, we had a volunteer on Thanksgiving who had recently lost her father. He’d graduated from the Mission’s Life Recovery Program several years before. We walked upstairs so she could see her father’s graduation picture proudly displayed on our Wall of Hope. She said it was such an honor to volunteer her time on Thanksgiving at a place so loved by her father.”
Thanksgiving at the Mission not only blesses volunteers, but it also has a profound impact on those seeking services. “I know first-hand how important a good Thanksgiving meal served by caring volunteers can be,” shared Ryan, a recent graduate of the Mission’s program. “I was homeless this time last year. It was over a Thanksgiving meal at the Mission I decided it was time to get help. While the meal was great, is was the thoughtfulness and care of strangers who were volunteering their time on Thanksgiving, who made me feel loved. It was hard to believe they would give up time on their holiday to serve someone like me.”