Volunteer Spotlight: Dave and Michelle Pederson
Dave and Michelle have been long-time supporters and volunteers with Open Table Nashville. If you’ve served at our First Church of the Nazarene Shelter, you’ve met Dave, who orients volunteers there. We are so appreciative for their consistency, loving manners, and do-anything attitudes. So much behind-the-scenes stuff gets done because they are willing to do it! Thank you, Pedersons. Your Open Table Nashville family loves you!
How did you get involved with Open Table Nashville?
Michelle: I worked with Ingrid prior to the founding of Open Table. I was impressed and inspired by Ingrid’s courage to follow where her heart led. So, when I saw a posting that volunteers were needed, I contacted Regina.
Dave: Michelle told me that we were going to help out Ingrid.
In what ways have you been involved?
We began helping with set-up a few times at Barth Vernon around 2013. In 2014, we made several donations of household items and that’s when Dave met Ingrid. In 2014, Dave began helping at First Church of the Nazarene as a floater. Over the next year he became the co-coordinator. Once Michelle completed school, she began volunteering as a listener and recently helped create a new welcome process.
How has your involvement connected you to wider ideas of community?
Dave: It made me much more aware of people who are experiencing homelessness.
Michelle: Open Table is well known and respected…the web of connections between people and organizations are made visible all over Nashville.
How do you feel your service has made a difference?
Dave: Open Table is the one organization in Nashville that most emulates Jesus’ ministry. We treat people with respect and see everyone as having worth and dignity.
Michelle: Too often in our society we ignore the “other,” we don’t take the time to really listen. I think that I make a difference by being fully present and available to listen to another person.