An interview with Corinne Bergeron, Vice President, Program for The Frist Foundation
What motivated or prompted your first gift to Nashville Rescue Mission?
The Frist Foundation made its first major grant to the Mission in 1995 for $25,000 to buy furnishings for the newly built women’s shelter on Rosa Parks Boulevard. That gift was quickly followed by a $50,000 grant in 1996 to help convert the former Sears building into the men’s shelter. Dr. Tommy Frist Jr.’s vision in starting the Foundation always included a commitment to taking care of our most vulnerable people. Giving to the Mission fits this vision for building a better community for all of us.
What do you think is the most important thing the Mission does?
Over the years, Nashville Rescue Mission has evolved from providing basic shelter to addressing complicated issues like trauma and chronic poverty. The Foundation appreciates this approach because it allows for a more personalized opportunity to address long-standing challenges that may prevent individuals from moving into stable housing.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about getting involved with Nashville Rescue Mission?
When talking to the staff at the Mission, one thing comes through—their love for their clients. It has been a gift to work with people who genuinely care about folks who have endured much hardship in their lives.
What do you wish other people knew about Nashville Rescue Mission?
It is important for the public to understand that the Mission serves more people than most other area homeless service agencies combined. They also collaborate with Metro Government and other local nonprofits to share best practices and address homelessness at a community level.
What do you think people need to know about giving to the Mission?
In funding the Mission, supporters are empowering an organization that is genuinely caring for our most vulnerable. The Mission also raises an outsized amount of its funding from individuals, more so than any other organization in the area, and so there is a unique, personal connection to this support.