CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – The Union Gospel Mission is no stranger to helping out those in need.
Today they distributed clothes, goody bags, and Christmas dinners to the needy – one of three holidays a year that they give back to the community in such an impactful way.
Executive Director Jon Rector says that it’s simple acts of love that make all the difference – especially around the holidays when more people are susceptible to the holiday blues.
“People talk about how depression is higher during the holidays than any other time. This is our chance to reach out to people in need and just say hey, somebody out there cares about you, the Union Gospel mission loves you, God loves you, and we just want to be a blessing. And so that’s us being the hand and feet of God, just sharing the blessing that God provides for us and reaching out to those in the community in need,” says Rector.
Resident Manager, Bryan Dumas knows the importance of Union Gospel all too well.
Being once homeless himself, he turned to the Mission in his time of need.
In turn, he’s now hoping to give back to people like him.
“In joining the Union Gospel Mission, first off I reconnected with God. That is where my story starts, is with what God has done in my life,” says Dumas.
Volunteers with the Union Gospel say that their mission is especially important in a year like 2020, where a global pandemic and joblessness have shaken already vulnerable communities. But above all, they say their goal is to inspire hope.
“It is all about providing hope. Because God is hope and if he gives us hope, we give hope to others. Through feeding dinners like this, to bringing in homeless men who need direction in their life, to clothes drives, to just volunteering in other situations and just working with our partners throughout the city,” says Dumas.