When asked about his ideas for volunteerism at Raleigh Rescue Mission, Jim Smith has clearly given it some thought: “Three building blocks,” he says earnestly. “Awareness, training, and ongoing encouragement.
It’s a crucial time in our world, in our country, in Raleigh,” he continues. More and more people want to be part of making things better, and the Mission is doing that right here in our community. Potential volunteers could meet and have dialogue with our clients at an Open House to learn about our New Life Plan, receive training on how best to connect and serve, then be encouraged to stay active. If they’re like me, once Jesus taps you on the shoulder to say ‘you can do this,’ Raleigh Rescue can change your heart and become a part of who you are. We can help plant the seed to build someone INTO a volunteer.”
Smith has definitely made things better at Raleigh Rescue Mission. When he attended a movie premiere of “Same Kind of Different as Me” back in 2017 that raised awareness of situational homelessness, he was immediately intrigued. Health challenges brought Jim and his wife to the Triangle to be near their doctors, and after his wife passed away, Jim decided to make Raleigh his home to be closer to his family. When CEO John Luckett called on Jim to help implement the Mission’s jobs training program, he knew he was saying yes to God’s call to utilize his time, energy and broad work experience in an impactful way. Since then, Jim has taught classes, mentored clients, and provided encouragement to countless clients in countless ways.
In addition to the practical instruction that he brings to the table, Jim also provides Jesus Calling devotionals for each Jobs for Life graduate and includes a personal note of encouragement in each one. “That simple little orange book can be a vehicle for the Lord in the clients’ lives as they move forward,” says Smith. “The New Life Plan is transformational, and clients need ongoing support to continue their success. I believe volunteers can play a big part.” As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we are grateful for Jim Smith and so many other volunteers who faithfully serve our clients and make our world a better place. Thank you, Jim, for the blessing you are to Raleigh Rescue Mission.