Newsletters, Podcasts, and Social Media

For media inquiries contact Kevin Berry at 540-777-7683 or email

The Meaning of a Meal

Every November, you can count on The Drumstick DASH, our Thanksgiving meal, and a community coming together as one to make a difference for good. But why does coming together matter? “It really means a lot that volunteers came to serve food today” a guest told me last year at Thanksgiving, “they could be with their families, but they’re here, serving us.” I let this guest know that these volunteers are here because they see him as family. Our wellness as a community depends on the health of our whole community, each one of us. Holly, kitchen supervisor at the Rescue Mission was recently asked about the impact of meals, and what it means to our guests. “Eating meals as a community is important because it brings a sense of fellowship. Many of the guests get to know each other and have formed supportive relationships.” The impact of meals isn’t just felt in the Rescue Mission dining room, but beyond our walls. A meal means that our young guests can focus at school, and our older guests can focus on work when they go in for a shift. A meal means sitting down with others, connecting.

As we move into the fall, our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals are entering the preparation phase, with hundreds of turkeys and hams along with pounds upon pounds of sides ready to provide a meal cooked with love. While meals during the rest of the year mean a full belly and food security, holidays take on an extra meaning, providing guests a place to go where they can feel at home. When asked about her favorite part of the holiday meals Holly said “The family style seating. Instead of coming through the line guests get served at their tables. Another great part is to see the turnout of volunteers and how many people want to spend their holiday helping out and joining the community and seeing all the conversations being had.” The smiles you see on their faces when they are brought food by volunteers and the laughter that fills the room from stories shared all adds to the special moment. Meals mean so much more than the food on the plate. Everything from the presence of volunteers and the service of guests to the spreading of cheer means that for just that moment, everything else melts away. Worries, frustrations, the problems of life are forgotten because the love of others has become contagious, spreading like the love of Jesus at a time when it is needed most.

We invite you to get involved at the Rescue Mission by volunteering at our Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, or any night you can. Our guests would love to see you.

Click the button below to read more, in the 2023 November Newsletter!

The impact of the DASH: Growth is critical in 2023

“You have to build your recovery on a solid foundation” Janet said when asked about her recovery process, “This wasn’t possible before, but it is now because of what the Mission offers.” Janet is a graduate of the Way Forward Recovery Program, she
graduated over the summer. Now, she is a full time staff member, helping our guests navigate this new life ahead of them. Her journey is one that is possible only because of your support through participation in fundraising events such as the
Drumstick DASH.

As the Event Manager for the Drumstick DASH since 2019, I have had a chance to see the DASH impress, and persevere through tough times. In 2023, we are expecting between 8,000-10,000 supporters to come out and walk or run on Thanksgiving Morning. This is no small feat, especially considering that, much like other races, the pandemic took a toll on participation each year since 2020. In fact, many races were canceled in the immediate face of the pandemic and never came back. The Drumstick DASH was resilient. From 5,065 in 2020 to 7,545 in 2022, we have seen steady growth to grow back to what the DASH was pre-pandemic. We need your help to keep this growth moving. We need your help to strengthen the foundation of fundraising events such as the Drumstick DASH to ensure that critical funding and support is there for those we serve. As we see the demand for our services rising, the Drumstick DASH is more important than ever.

God grants us opportunities to help others. This Thanksgiving, He is giving you the opportunity to give to the Mission and have fun while doing it. Each runner and walker we have signed up for the DASH is like a direct donation right to the Rescue Mission. Your direct donations go to food, shelter, medical services/outreach, and more to ensure that our guests (and those who are unsheltered) have the services and support they need to find a path towards success. Prices will rise at the end of the month, so we encourage you to sign up today. At the Mission, your gift will mean more than you can ever imagine. As we say at the Mission, “the time to help others is always today”. Let’s make an adjustment to that and say “the time to help others is Thanksgiving Day”. We can’t wait to see you out there.

Kevin Berry is the Director of Communications at the Rescue Mission of Roanoke, Event Manager of the Drumstick DASH, and
loves a great slice of pizza.

Click the button below to read more in the 2023 October Newsletter!

My time at the Rescue Mission

Hello! My name is Amanda Kline and I am currently a junior at Hollins University majoring in communications. This summer, I have been given the incredible opportunity to work as a marketing intern at the Rescue Mission. The Rescue Mission holds a special place in my heart as it has been a part of my family for nearly ten years. In 2014, my mother, Natalie, became the assistant children’s chaplain here, and I have spent countless days at the Mission, helping out in children’s chapel and exploring the facility. The Mission and the people I have met there have had a profound impact on my life, and I am forever grateful for that. I have been blessed to have mentors who have guided me along the way and witnessed miracles happening on a daily basis. I am honored to share a small part of my mission story with you.

Click the button below to read more about Amanda Kline, and more, in the 2023 September Newsletter!

Interview with Karen Hart, Art Gallery Coordinator at 2nd Helpings

We are excited to introduce Karen Hart as our new Galley Coordinator at 2nd Helpings. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the art world and we are hopeful she can introduce the Roanoke region to all the beauty that our gallery offers. If you haven’t been by our galley, we invite you to take a look! Check it out at 1502 Williamson Road NE, Roanoke, VA, 24012.

How long have you been working in the art field? What brought you to it?
I was born in Wilmington, Delaware, which along with Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania was part of the Brandywine School artists colony of illustrators. Perhaps the most famous of these were Howard Pyle, Frank Schoonover and N.C. Wyeth. The latter being the father of Andrew Wyeth. Although I enjoyed history and mathematics, art was always my favorite class throughout my school years, but eventually gravitated to a path that combined culture and art. Entering the hospitality industry and later tourism and public relations provided a new view of the world of art. For a number of years I independently promoted travel to Egypt through self-funding roadshows in the USA and publications. Later I gained a contract from the country’s Tourism Ministry to operate press trips that produced media and print publicity. Most recently, I was the Director of the first artists community in the United Arab Emirates.

Click the button below to read more about Karen Hart, and more, in the 2023 August Newsletter!

The Honeycutt Family, 30 years of giving to the Mission

Since 1993, the Honeycutt family has been faithfully giving and serving at the Rescue Mission of Roanoke. The history of your Rescue Mission is filled with donors, volunteers, staff and more who pour their hearts out to make a difference in the lives of our guests. We wanted to get an idea of why donors support the Mission, and figured a good place to start was with some of our longest standing donors. We caught up with Susan Honeycutt, supporter and Board Member at the Rescue Mission.

Click the button below to read more about the Honeycutt Family, and more, in the 2023 July Newsletter!

Meet Nathan Fraley, Rescue Mission Community Health Worker

As a Community Health Worker, Nathan works closely with Rescue Mission and Fralin Free Clinic staff to ensure our guests receive high level, professional care when they come into the Rescue Mission or as we visit them in the community. Nathan was named the 2023 “Community Health Worker of the Year” by the United Way of Roanoke Valley. We sat down with Nathan to hear a bit more about who he is and what his job entails.

Tell us a little about yourself
I was raised in Bedford VA and went to Liberty High School, then attended Christopher Newport University to study Communication and Psychology. After school I worked at a small doctor’s office in Bedford before coming to the Rescue Mission to work in Reception. I later transferred to work at the Fralin Clinic full time last November.

Click the button below to read more about Nathan Fraley, and more, in the 2023 June Newsletter!

Persistence Is Powerful

A shelter guest is making moves, and her story is one of hope.

In late March, the Rescue Mission featured a short video in an email about Robin, a shelter guest who came to us almost eight months ago. Her journey began in confusion but has transformed into confidence and a bright outlook on life. While using all the emergency services at her disposal, she found other services that she didn’t expect to make such a big difference in her stay.

Robin loves the art classes that we hold for our guests, proclaiming that it gives her comfort to know that “I have a place where I can go express myself”. Many of our guests talk of how they find peace through classes, case management, chapel, and Robin is no exception. At chapel, there’s a sense of fellowship “when we pray together, we stay together” according to Robin. Financial classes and case management also had a major impact on her stay, helping to guide her while on site and preparing her for the future that’s ahead. Her faith that God will always turn things around gave her the determination and persistence to stay focused on getting the little things right so she can do one big thing, move out.

Click the button below to read more about Robin, and more, in the 2023 May Newsletter!

An inspiring coat in a beautiful space

For many of our guests, the first place they visit at the Rescue Mission is our dining room. We know how important is to make our dining area a space of love, warmth, and compassion. Russell Chu, a local artist with a passion for helping others, created three murals in our dining space that illustrate the love, direction, and comfort of Christ while also bringing bright colors and designs to such a critical space at the Mission.

“Something deeper inside motivated me” said Russell Chu when asked about why he painted the murals “and I’m so glad people are enjoying them”. He spoke of how it is not always easy to find the right design for a specific space, but that it’s important to have artwork in spaces like the dining area. “After I did the first painting of God’s hands encompassing the world, I texted a picture to my brother. He said it gave him peace and comfort”. Once he heard this, he knew “it wasn’t just an art project, but a mission from God”. Russel hopes that his murals will have an impact on those who come to the Mission, and that it gives them the same inspiration he felt. Concerning the importance of each mural, Russell said “we need such expression of faith, especially in dark times”.

We encourage you to come and volunteer at the Mission or take a tour and see these murals for yourself. They are a beautiful expression of God’s love for us all, and His comfort in tough times. We thank Russell for his amazing work and cannot wait to see the impact that his work will have for years to come.

Click the button below to read more in the 2023 April Newsletter!

Meet Leah Shank Director of Development

Leah Shank is the Director of Development at the Rescue Mission. Bringing years of nonprofit experience to the job, she is excited to share all the ways people can get involved through giving.

What was your background before coming to the Rescue Mission?
I have worked for several faith-based non-profits with my job responsibilities ranging from counseling, providing training for social workers and older youth aging out of foster care, volunteer management, and fundraising.

As our Director of Development, what does your job entail?
The goal of my job is to provide the resources the Rescue Mission needs to serve every person that walks through our doors needing health, hope, and healing. My job entails reaching out to donors, identifying new donors, securing grants, planned giving, and building and maintaining relationships with churches and businesses. Basically, connecting with anyone that wants to walk along side the Mission in “helping hurting people in Jesus’ name”.

Click the button below to read more about Leah Shank, and more, in the 2023 March Newsletter!

Join us in a network of love!

It was like holding love in my arms. A tiny bundle softly breathing, swaddled and secure in the crook of my embrace, took my breath away. Here he was! Our first grandchild arrived, with his mother safe and sound after a scary delivery. What love is this!

Carl Sandburg said that “A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.” And yet, it is a messy, overwhelming world we live in. Troubles surround us. At the Rescue Mission, daily we see the results of a broken world. Illness. Addiction. Poverty. Abuse. Finding love seems impossible at times.

Click the button below to read more of Lee Clark’s story, and more, in the 2023 February Newsletter!

Big Prayer

How big are your prayers?

Full disclosure – there are times when I get so caught up in the heaviness of this work that my prayers seem to be mired to the earth. Domestic violence. Mental illness. Substance use. Physical impairment. People lost in the trauma of abuse and illness being unwilling or unable to come into a safe place.

In those moments when I can’t see a way forward, that things are beyond my control, that my own weakness overshadows the potential for change…just when things seem at their worst, light breaks through. God reminds me that He is in control. That his power is limitless. That I need to be still. Quiet. Small. And let Him be big in all his creative power and might. Then my prayers can soar.

And when our prayers soar, and our sense of self is anchored in God alone, great things can happen.

I see it every day at this Rescue Mission.

Click the button below to read more of Lee Clark’s story, and more, in the 2023 January Newsletter!