Teens for Jeans

Students from Waverly Central High School in Humphreys County donated 575 jeans at our donation center on December 1st. The students, grades 9-12, organized the jean drive “Teens for Jeans” to collect jeans for men, women, and children at the Mission. In addition to the 575 pairs of jeans, the students acquired soap and deodorant. One student lost her father several months ago and donated all of his jeans and pants for the men at the Mission. The students were so excited to learn all sizes of jeans are on the Mission’s list of items most needed.

Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. —1 Timothy 4:12


25 Days of Giving

We’re celebrating the holiday season by sharing 25 stories about how lives are transformed at Nashville Rescue Mission when people discover the power of hope for today, hope for tomorrow, and hope for eternity.

A new story will be revealed each day leading up to Christmas so make sure to come back and read about the amazing things happening at Nashville Rescue Mission.

Be sure to follow along each day as we add new stories!



It Wouldn’t Be Christmas—A Family Tradition of Blessing Others

It Wouldn’t Be Christmas—A Family Tradition of Blessing Others

If seven is a lucky number, then the Jones family is in for a real treat this Christmas … as this will be their 7th year celebrating Christmas at Nashville Rescue Mission.

“The first time I volunteered at the Mission was when I was a school teacher,” recalls Melanie. “We brought a group of teachers and their families to serve. I have two children who at the time were young, and I was concerned about them volunteering in the kitchen. I guess to calm my fears, I was introduced to Sven, one of the kitchen staff, who took time to talk with us and explain what to expect. I didn’t know it at the time, but from that moment on, our lives were forever changed.”

Daughter’s Emma (15) and Gabby (12) are so close they’re like twin sisters. Both are excellent students and their parents couldn’t be prouder of them. “Each year we have the opportunity to hear testimonies from the different menworking in the kitchen. They are so powerful. I love that my girls listen and remember these men and their stories. Our kids have learned how to listen, not judge, but instead love the people we meet at the Mission.”

“It’s really hard to put into words what kind of impact our volunteering has made on our family over these seven years,” said Melanie. “Sven is now a member of our family. My husband Nick thinks of him as the brother he never had. He will be coming to our house for Christmas this year. My children have had the opportunity to watch him grow into a strong man of God.”

According to Melanie, it wouldn’t be Christmas without Nashville Rescue Mission. “We could seriously skip the presents and go straight to the Mission on Christmas morning. When we go there, we want to treat the guests and everyone we meet like royalty. But what’s even more amazing is that we are made to feel like royalty in the process. It’s such a beautiful picture of God’s kingdom.”

While the Jones family volunteers at other times throughout the year, Mother’s Day tops their list as another favorite day to serve. “The Mother’s Day luncheon is really special,” said Melanie. “It is a wonderful day of loving on the women and children, but especially the moms. I can’t imagine the battle these women face and it’s an honor to love on them and encourage them to have hope.”

Whether they are cutting vegetables, serving food, carrying trays, filling cups, or even folding clothes … the Jones family feels incredibly blessed by serving those in need.

If you’d like to bless others with your time and service, visit nashvillerescuemission.org/get-involved.

Sidewalk Prophets— Mission in My Words

Sidewalk Prophets— Mission in My Words

My buddy Ben and I formed our band Sidewalk Prophets 15 years ago while in college at Anderson University back in Indiana. We moved to Nashville ten years ago after signing with Fervent Records/Word Entertainment and now call Nashville our home.

Up until a year ago, I had never owned a home. In the nine years of living in Nashville before that, I moved nine times. I always rented and never had a permanent place to call home. That experience gave me an appreciation for what it means to have a roof over my head. I can’t imagine what it must be like for those who are truly homeless.

I’ve encountered people experiencing homelessness everywhere we go. I’ve served meals to the homeless many times. Last year, our band volunteered at 94 FM The Fish’s radiothon to benefit Nashville Rescue Mission. Through all my interactions, I’ve yet to meet someone who just one day decided to be homeless.

At times it’s easy to think of ourselves as better than them. But they are our brothers and sisters. In the book of James we are reminded to help the poor widows and the orphans. We are called to help the “least of these.” As believers, we have Christ living in us. We are called to be something different. We have an eternal hope. We can live Christ, so that He’s a presence among us.

Hope can sometimes be a hard thing to come by. Thankfully organizations such as Nashville Rescue Mission are taking the charge of the Gospel to heart. They are doing great ministry and are being bringers of hope to the hungry and homeless in our community.

I may never know what brings someone to a place of homelessness. It might be addiction, mental illness, bad decisions … any number of things can contribute to a life on the streets. In most cases, these individuals have simply given up hope.

I know what that feels like. I have battled hopelessness. I’ve been on the brink of “is life even worth living?” I’ve walked through painful times and wondered whether the pain is worth it. During those dark periods of my life, my grandpa would sit me down and say, “Dave, you were made for so much more! Don’t lose sight of that! Keep hope!”

We may never know this side of heaven why we’re going through a trial, but we can be a light to the watching world!

Nashville Rescue Mission is a light to a watching world. I stand with them in their efforts to share a message of hope to those encountering trials. We stand together in saying to those who are homeless and hurting, “never give up hope.”

God’s word reminds us over and over, that He is faithful. The words of the Bible came from people who aren’t perfect and have suffered much, like many of those the Mission serves. It’s an encouragement to see their imperfect lives, but to also see that they continued to trust the Lord. This is a message that permeates the work of the Mission.

They are offering those in need more than just food that satisfies their hunger … they are also offering them a message of hope … a chain-breaking hope that is setting people free. I greatly appreciate the work the Mission is doing in our community and hope you will join me in supporting them.

With hits like “The Words I Would Say,” “You Love Me Anyway,” and “Live Like That,” Sidewalk Prophets has sold nearly 700,000 albums and 1.6 million digital downloads. Comprised of Dave Frey (lead vocals), Cal Joslin (bass), Daniel Macal (lead guitar), Blake Bratton (keys/B3), and original co-founder Ben McDonald, who now works full-time as the group’s manager, this Dove Award-winning band has garnered five No. 1 songs, eight top five radio singles, and more than 11 million views on YouTube.

No Place Like Home

No Place Like Home

When La’Tosha’s living situation fell apart, she was devastated. She had no idea what to do or where to go. She wondered; where would their next meal come from, would they ever have a roof over their heads again, and how would her children respond.

After bouncing from place to place with family and friends, La’Tosha discovered Nashville Rescue Mission and made the difficult decision to ask for help. The Mission welcomed her and her children with open arms.

“We had been staying with different family members and friends,” shared La’Tosha. “But before that, we were renting a place when plumbing issues forced us to leave. It was uninhabitable, but we planned to return once repairs were made. The landlord wasn’t in a hurry to make repairs. And for a variety of reasons we were unable to return.”

La’Tosha comes from a large, diverse family. She was always extremely close to her mother, and when she died suddenly from an aneurysm, La’Tosha was crushed.

“My mom was my rock,” said La’Tosha. “She was always there for me. I have a supportive family. But trying to live with other people, even family, can be overwhelming,” said La’Tosha. “Each time we would move, it was stressful. We would stay with someone different and they would have their own set of rules. My kids didn’t know who to listen to. It took its toll on us.”

For some people, going to the Mission might be considered a last resort, but for La’Tosha, it was an answer to prayer. “I wish I had gone sooner,” said La’Tosha. “Being at the Mission has been much better because my kids are not getting yelled at. People aren’t trying to spank them. I’m not arguing back and forth with anybody else about things my kids may have done. It has relieved a lot of my stress.”

While staying at the Mission, La’Tosha has been able to save money, catch up on her bills, and make plans for her future. “Even while staying with friends and family, I was paying rent, utilities, and helping with other expenses,” said La’Tosha. “I wasn’t able to save any money and was working all the time. Case managers at the Mission helped me connect with the right social services and get my credit situation worked out. It’s been a huge blessing. Thanks to the Mission, we will soon be moving into our own place.”

In looking back, La’Tosha realizes she was not on the best path for her children’s sake. Her time at the Mission gave her the opportunity to take a timeout and make decisions that were in the best interest of her and her family. “I was not doing everything I knew I could do to be a good mother. I was devoting a lot of my time to things that were not important. My experience at the Mission helped me realize my kids are the most important thing in my life.”

At the Mission, La’Tosha and her family have had all their basic needs met. “We have food. I know there are meals for us every day. We can bathe. We can sleep without wondering if somebody’s going to shoot outside or come in and get us. I have felt protected, and the people here really love my kids. They hug them. My kids love them, too.”

And while being homeless might mean they don’t have all the luxuries many others may have, La’Tosha has not let that stop her from making sure her children look nice. “We might be homeless, but we don’t have to look like it. I want my kids to look nice regardless of what we are going through. I know if I’m feeling down and depressed, it affects the way I care for my kids. But when you look nice, it helps you feel good. That’s important to me.”

“I got the help I needed at the Mission, plus some things I didn’t even know I needed. We established a balanced routine of getting up, going to school, coming home, having dinner, doing homework, and going to bed. Having a schedule has done wonders for us. It’s going to be hard to leave, because I know we are going to miss everyone so much. The people here have become our family.”

Because of the generous support from people like you, La’Tosha was able to secure a place for them to live and was able to transition to independent living.

If you would like to help others like La’Tosha and her family, give today.