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Nashville Rescue Mission

May 25, 2013

Tennessee – Thursday, May 16

This morning Linda and I started off the day by walking nearly 3 1/2 miles all her pretty neighborhood. They had a bad flood a couple years ago and she pointed out some of the high water marks – it’s hard to believe the quantity of water that must have fallen to reach some of the places that got flooded.

Then we left Tula in the comfort of a cool house while we headed to downtown Nashville. We stàrted by walking down “lower Broad” – Music Row – and seeing all the old neon signs, music stores, Elvis statues, bars, BBQ joints and lots of people wearing cowboy boots! The street was lively even on a weekday morning. We walked past the Ryman, which is “the mother church of country music”. Although a lot of the big country music shows take place at The Grand Ole Opryhouse, the Ryman is still used a great deal. We continued our walk along the river, passing an old wood fort that is under renovation and walking on part of the Cumberland River Greenway.

As we were walking back, we passed a big “Support our Troops” display table, with various things for sale to support the troops, and a donation box with quite a few donations already in it. One of the things I had been thinking about doing today was taking care of my military donation at the USO which was at the Nashville airport (nowhere near us). But this was a very nice Nashville-based organization, so I made my donation to them instead. It was an unexpected find, and those are always fun to run across. And then, there was another new donation opportunity which I had never seen before. Linda had pointed out several old parking meters which were painted blue and set off the street. Those meters were used to collect money for the homeless – an organization called The Key Alliance collects the money and uses it to link homeless people to organizations which can help them. I hadn’t seen anything like the before, and we had to go find a bank so I couple get a roll of quarters – I was going to use the extra $8 from friends’ contributions to put some quarters in those meters!

Then we thought about getting lunch, but first we stopped by to make the donation I’d really been planning on all along today. That donation was going to the Nashville Rescue Mission, an organization for the homeless that Linda told me about, and she and her husband also make a monthly contribution to them. We found the place, and went inside to find the person who handled donations. Despite making donations and dropping off clothing for the thrift store, Linda had never been inside the rescue mission. We were taken upstairs and I gave them my donation, and they also recognized Linda’s name from her contributions. They asked if we wanted a tour if the place and when we said yes, they found us a person who took us on a tour that lasted more than an hour! We were both surprised at how big the place was, and how extensive their programs are. It’s a huge place, and they can accommodate several hundred men on a nightly basis (the women’s shelter is in a different part of town). They never turn anyone away – if the beds are full, they simply bring cots into a large empty room where they can accommodate even more people. There are numerous dorm areas – some for new people to use while they figure out their plans for the future; others for older/disabled men who can’t manage bunk beds; others for men who are working and getting back on their feet etc. The sheets and blankets are washed daily and set out on the beds every afternoon. There’s a thrift store for clothing, and counselors and business people to offer guidance on getting their lives back on track. They have a huge wall of photos of people who have successfully moved on to self-sustaining lives. The rescue mission cooks and serves 3 meals a day, and a lot of local food businesses are generous about giving them food. The kitche. Smelled good! There are rules and requirements for all the people who stay – and the biggest one is that everyone attends chapel every night at 7pm. They cannot spend the night if they do not attend chapel. It was a very informative tour, and we never expected someone to take so much time to show us around!

It was getting late in the afternoon and we had missed lunch, so we decided to just grab a quick snack wrap at McDonalds, and continue on – and go out to dinner instead of lunch. We headed to Centennial Park so I could see the full-size replica of the Parthenon. This was not something I expected to see in Nashville! It was set in a beautiful park with trails around some ponds, and we finished off our 8 miles of walking for the day.

Then we went back to Linda’s house to let Tula out, then headed to the Yazoo Brewery where her husband Jim looks after all the software programming for the local brewery. I got a little tour – so many shiny vats of beer in various stages of production! We sampled a couple different kinds – the brewery is only open for limited hours so it doesn’t compete with the business that sell its brew, and it seems to be a very popular place when it is open. Then we all headed to Rotier’s for dinner – where we originally were going to eat lunch, and got stuffed with burgers, sweet potato fries and milkshakes! A good way to end a day that was packed full!

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One Comment
  1. Wow I got tired all over again after reading what we did that day!!
    We actually did not get to Music Row – a good excuse for you to come back maybe? And then Fort Nashborough wasn’t open as they are reconstructing it. But you saw a lot more of Nashville than many folks see when they visit!
    The current location of the Rescue Mission used to be the downtown Sear & Roebuck store – it is quite a lot larger than I realized – and they help so many!, Their mission statement says it all ” The Nashville Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community dedicated to helping the hungry, homeless and hurting. We strive to restore hope and transform lives by offering programs that focus on spiritual growth, education, employment and life-recovery.” I was glad for the opportunity to see the place!
    Jim had not been to Rotier’s until that dinner! We had planned to go a couple of times, but something came up. It has been around since 1945 – a family-owned and operated “meat-and three and more.
    What a fun day we had!

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