by: Sandy Green, LGFCU
It is hard to imagine being a musician without an instrument to play.
No one wants to be poor, just like no one wants to be homeless. It’s generational poverty, situational hardships, or flat out hopelessness that’ll put you there. And, it’s difficult to bring yourself out of it alone.
The volunteers at the Nashville Rescue Mission gave me a tour of the facility. What a beautiful place! The reception area was nicer than my doctor’s. The folks who lived in the shelter are responsible for that. I met a couple of them along the way and they seemed proud of their positions inside the Mission. I saw a room filled with beds and people. Then a second room with no residents, which sleeps 85 people in bunk beds. I lost count of the rooms I saw there, but found out that this shelter could house 2,500 men. Some are there for a night, looking for a place to shelter from the elements. Some come back for a while until they can find other shelter. Some have lockers to store their belongings. Many of them enter into a campus program to learn life skills. The walls in the hallway are covered with the hopeful and smiling faces of men who have graduated from the program. Many are able to improve their lives. Some return to the program—some, more than once. Statistics say that addicts may relapse up to seven times before they either go to prison, or die. The Nashville Rescue Mission believes in second chances. As long as they are willing to check their addictions (including cigarettes) at the door, they are still welcome to try the program again.
The guys who reside here become friends, too! As you can imagine, they also play music together. They have a coffee shop where some of the music and friendship happens. I have been invited to hang out here next time I’m in Nashville. You can bet I will. They also have a music room. At first glance, the place looked hopeful, but as I walked closer, I saw the guitars were broken, or strings were missing. The drum heads had been taped up with duct tape and amps had no chords.
Guitarists for Good gave one guitar to the men’s and one to the women’s and children’s shelter. We also donated a box of strings to share, and we will be purchasing a few miscellaneous accessories for both shelters.
Thank you all so much for your donations to Guitarists for Good. Thank you to Visit Music City CVB for helping me find the shelters, a couple of great Lyft drivers for keeping my spirits up, and PCMA Southeast Chapter and Destinations International for being my cheerleaders!