Newsletters, Podcasts, and Social Media

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

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!