Nashville Rescue Mission preps for Christmas feast

Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 10:05pm
Eric England/SouthComm 

During just two days in late December, the Nashville Rescue Mission will serve some 5,000 meals, for free, to the city’s most impoverished people. Those meals will comprise some 250 hams, more than 400 cans of green beans, about 500 pounds of potatoes, and roughly 450 pies. 

“The holidays can be especially hard on the homeless, a reminder of sorts of just how bad their circumstances are,” mission spokesman Cliff Tredway said. 

So the mission is planning its annual Christmas Eve and Christmas Day feasts. Each will start at noon, wiht the mission’s modestly sized staff working alongside hundreds of volunteers to prepare and serve the feasts. 

“Volunteers are the heartbeat of our organization, and we pretty much turn the keys over to them for a few days and get out of the way,” he said. “The week of Christmas alone, nearly 1,500 volunteers will arrive to prepare for the big day.”

The rescue mission’s two Christmas meals are also intended to represent the end of 12 months of citizens donating their time, clothing and food — about 682,000 meals’ worth — to the downtown-based nonprofit. But the holidays are a boom time for the organization: According to Tredway, more than half of the mission’s entire annual operating budget comes from donations that come in during November and December. The organization gets no direct government money. 

The mission’s efforts over the years have not gone unnoticed,  nor failed to spur similar charitable work. For example,  The Key Alliance, the nonprofit fundraising arm of the Metropolitan Homelessness Commission, held a highly successful Project Homeless Connect event last week at the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. Approximately 1,350 homeless individuals and families — as well as those on the brink of homelessness — received thousands of services from more than 70 service providers, event organizers said.

“The solution to homelessness is housing,” said Clifton Harris, executive director of The Key Alliance. 

At the Nashville Rescue Mission this Christmas, that solution will start with a warm meal for some and a renewed sense of community for others.  

1 Comment on this post:

By: yucchhii on 12/17/10 at 6:42

Take it from someone who actually stays at the rescue mission and this is NO bull! The ONLY time the people who stay there get a DECENT meal is during the holidays! this is because the media will be present during these times. This is a plan to make things look pretty for the public. So the public is decieved into donating as much as possible. MOST times, food that is donated is taken home by the upper management, such as Don Worrell who is the the top exec that makes $98.000 per year for running this "NON-PROFIT" organization. If this place is "NON"-profit, where is he getting all that money? Clthing donations that arte meant for the homeless there at the mission is given first prioity to people in the program that takes full advantage of there ability to work! Otherwise is sent to a thrift store that is owned by "THE NASHVILLE RESCUE MISSION" The clothing that is not worthy of dressing a snowman is most times then given to the "TRANSIENTS". Most times the clothing needed by these people is NOT available, because it had already been picked through! If you, the public do not believe this, then it's time YOU came in posing as homeless and see for yourself just what the homeless have to deal with. Also to see that the Nashville rescue mission does absolutely NOTHING to assist people to make progress in their lives. There are MANY things about the Nashville rescue mission that are NOT right and show that this place IS CORRUPT! I dare YOU THE PUBLIC to come in as homeless and see for yourself how undignified the treatment is. Spend a month it takes a little time to see so many things. If you get hurt in ANY possible way, it's because the Nashville recue mission, MOST times has put you in a position to get hurt and they willclaim that you can not sue them because they are "NON" profit! Time has come to see this and stop believing their lies!