The cost of daily living can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when you have a family to support. Healthcare bills, food, clothing, rent…every little thing can add up and tip the scales that leave millions of people facing homelessness, starvation, and death. In a country like ours that should be the land of plenty, America is actually a country where want is far more prevalent that we might imagine; and hope seems far away and out of reach when it should be well within grasp.
It is for these struggling souls that Radical Mission Compassionate Ministries was begun in Clarksville a decade ago, offering Christ-centered assistance to families daily facing challenges that some of us are fortunate enough to consider a mere check on the to do list as we go about our lives. We thoughtlessly swipe our cards at the grocery store while others can hardly afford a loaf of bread, we dress in closets stocked with clean clothes and drive our cars to jobs that help us pay for our needs. Day in and day out, we go about our routines, while their routines consist of wondering how they’ll pay for the things they need today.
Over the past ten years, Radical Mission has walked alongside these families, providing them with “hand-ups” in every way imaginable, from clothing and shoes to family counseling and rental or mortgage assistance. It’s an all-encompassing expression of God’s love, a way to serve the needs of these lost and struggling members of the community who so desperately need hope and help in order to have a better life. “We want people to see us and our ministry as a place to start transforming their lives,” says Jon Vaughn, Executive Director at Radical Mission. “Clarksville is such a wonderful town, full of loving and caring people, and we have a great opportunity to change families and help them breach the poverty cycle,” Vaughn continues. “Radical Mission is here to change the face of Clarksville with the love of Jesus, and we focus on building loving and caring relationships through our programs to help stop the poverty cycles that perpetuate through the generations of so many families.”
During Radical Mission’s past decade of service, the organization has fed nearly 800 children and adults through the Food Pantry each month, distributed clothing to more than 550 adults and children every month through the Clothing Closet, and given monthly counseling to an average of 15 families. Children’s food bags are given out on weekends and Blessing bags help feed the homeless. Even rent and mortgage payments and utility bills receive radical help, those donated dollars sometimes the only thing keeping families safe and warm in their homes.
Even as it offers assistance, however, it is hardly the goal of Radical Mission to become a crutch. As they help families get on their feet financially, they help them become stable enough to become independent, offering counsel and advice that will change their futures forever.
The mission can hardly go on without help of its own, however, and what began as a small youth community outreach program has now grown to a countywide organization that’s moving the entire city. It is indeed a radical mission, led by caring individuals brought together to offer their own hearts, hands, and financial blessings to show how very much the under-served are not under-loved.
In keeping with such a giving spirit, Radical Mission began Warm Souls in 2008, serving dinner on Christmas Eve to struggling families and individuals who needed a taste of love to warm their holidays. “These are people who would not have a Christmas celebration otherwise—it’s a time for us to feed them and bless them in a season that is all about giving,” Vaughn explains. And indeed they give. During their first year, the 50 volunteers that gathered at Community of Hope First Church of the Nazarene to serve on Christmas Eve fed 125 guests, a number that has grown exponentially in the past seven years. As have the number of volunteers. Now, the compassionate members of Radical Mission are numerous enough to take on the even bigger challenge of feeding more mouths and offering more than 1170 children and adults a show of true Christmas spirit. In addition to dinner, Warm Souls is now an event, providing donated toys, household goods, winter clothing, and even services like family portraits, haircuts, and vision and medical screenings.
The Christmas season is a season of blessings—and blessing Radically is what Radical Mission is all about.
Want to get learn more about how to get radical?
Visit www.RadicalMission.org to find out more about volunteer opportunities, needed items for donation, and ways to donate financially.
To learn more about the 2016 Warm Souls dinner, visit the website or call Radical Mission at (931) 648-1496. Radical Mission us located at 150 Richview Road, Clarksville, Tennessee 37043.