Roanoke, Va. (WFXR) — Although it’s often the comradery and excitement of large crowds that can make any event special, what can really make an event remarkable is how it’s able to better the lives of those in need in our community.
That’s what the Drumstick Dash, hosted by the Rescue Mission has been able to do for over fourteen years. Although this year’s 15th Annual Drumstick Dash will look different, the impact of your participation is just as important as it has been years prior.
The funding garnered from the race is poured back into the Rescue Mission, allowing their team to provide those who have fallen on hard times the basic necessities, but even more so, offer families stricken with sudden homelessness a second chance.
This was certainly the case for Jessica Shelor Light.
“When Jessica and her girls arrived to us in shelter they had been living in not good conditions at all. They literally came with just what they could carry, what was on their backs, and Jessica was very apprehensive.”Natalie Kline, Agape Aftercare Coordinator -Previously Family and Children’s Chaplain
Jessica was apprehensive and angry at her situation. She lost her job in 2016. A single mother of two at the time, bills were pouring in. She had no one to turn to for help.
“I definitely was mad at the world for the way my economic situation was. I was depressed.”Jessica Shelor Light, former Rescue Mission Guest
Natalie Kline, the Family and Children’s Chaplain at the time, now Aftercare Coordinator, says Jessica was a “tough nut to crack.” Jessica, prideful, and distant initially really just needed compassion.
“They need someone to hear them, to recognize their name and call it out, to look them in the eye and say you you are loved and we can help you.”Natalie Kline, Agape Aftercare Coordinator -Previously Family and Children’s Chaplain
Help they can, something Jessica learned quickly. Not only is the Rescue Mission able to provide basic needs for their guests but in the seventeen months that Jessica and her two young daughters stayed there she was able to pay off nine-thousand dollars of debt, obtain her license, her first car, and ultimately find success by learning that it’s ok to ask for help.
“It’s not beneath anyone to come here. It’s okay to ask for help. The help is really there. There’s no way that you can get what you actually need if you don’t show up, that’s the only way that you can’t win is if you don’t play… you know, like the lottery, and I do, I feel like I hit the lottery, I do. “Jessica Shelor Light, former Rescue Mission Guest
Jessica says she was able to get a new perspective on life. She left the Rescue Mission with enduring relationships. Since leaving, Chaplain Kline ordained her wedding, she has helped the Chaplain drop off Christmas bikes to other children in need. Moreso, she’s found stability for her growing family.
At the Rescue Mission, they believe God has a purpose for every person who walks through their doors. Their compassionate team wants to provide not only resources but hope for new beginnings.