JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - All across the country Saturday, volunteers will help improve the lives of others through various types of community outreach events for "Make a Difference Day." One healthcare group got an early start this week.
Molina Healthcare stopped by the Jacksonville City Rescue Mission on McDuff Avenue with the mission of helping a select few that help call it home.
“The main thing was to actually get things that people would actually like and things that would make people feel comfy at home," said community engagement specialist, Molina Healthcare Jodie Smith.
When women first enter the hallway that houses those in the Lifebuilders Addiction Recovery Program comfy is probably not in their vocabulary.
“Chances are they’re not feeling that way when they first come in off the street, they’re still dealing with their addiction, they are still having physical ramifications from that addiction,” said executive director of City Rescue Mission, Penny Kievel.
Since this is the first room recovering addicts stay in, Jodie Smith and Molina Healthcare wanted to make the room a little brighter with a $1,000 donation.
“When I did volunteer here at the graduation ceremony initially, I just saw how kind the workers were and just so kind the people that work here were and I was like I’ve got to reach out to that organization," Smith said.
She reached out to fill the room with the essentials: new pillows, blankets, rugs and lotions.
”Even if I wasn’t donating, it just gives me validation, let’s me know my purpose is to help people, so I’m very thankful," she said. "Even if we didn’t give money, it’s actually about the time letting people know that there are still people out in the world that do care."
The City Rescue Mission off McDuff Avenue serves roughly 130 men and 33 women. Though $1,000 might not seem like a lot to fix one room, the City Rescue Mission says that effort goes a long way.
“There is no way that our women in this program and men would have rooms a nice as what they have without the help of these wonderful donors that come in. It’s great day at City Rescue Mission, yes indeed," Kievet said.
A great day with a new bright start for the women in recovery at this City Rescue Mission.
"I hope they enjoy it, I hope they feel comfy and maybe they’ll even let me spend the night with them," Smith said.
If you'd like a list of "Make A Difference Day" events near you, click here.