A TRUE LABOR OF LOVE
The Journey Home relies on the help of more than 1,500 volunteers annually and could use more volunteers. This LABOR DAY we wanted to share a couple’s LABOR OF LOVE.
Joi Sherrill and Steve McDill raised their hand to volunteer more than five years ago. It began with a simple breakfast – “everyone helps with Thanksgiving dinner but what about breakfast?” they thought.
Joi worked to secure enough donations and before they knew it, she and Steve were serving breakfast on Thanksgiving morning at the Community Cafe. That was the beginning of their LABOR OF LOVE, but it goes much deeper than that.
When Joi and Steve married, they became regular volunteers at The Journey Home and began volunteering 3 to 4 times each week in their own areas of interest. Joi helps the clients with basic needs and Steve became a self-described “all-purpose utility team.” Both added that they are inspired by Geneva’s heart and dedication.
Joi’s interest in helping the homeless began when she mentored a young girl and realized how having shelter changes a person – “the day that little girl told me how great a little camper was that I had and how her mom, sister and her could live in it just broke my heart. As a Realtor, I believe everyone should have a home of their own. It is foundational to your security. Homeless is a label we put on people, but the reality is that each person has a name, a heart and a story.”
Joi’s husband, Steve McDill also volunteers several days a week. It all began for him after the Thanksgiving breakfast when Scott Foster called to get his help to move some things. “I’ve done a little bit of everything – hauling cardboard, picking up donations from Publix and Kroger, mowing lawns, helping people move into housing – it truly is an all-purpose effort.”
McDill and Sherrill want to see change in the homeless community. “It takes time to build a relationship and make change. You must get to know them for who they are and have consistent interaction. This is when you begin to build a relationship and that’s when change begins to happen,” added McDill.
The couple has a goal of building a community to provide a stable and safe place for everyone in need even attending a week-long symposium in Austin Texas to learn more about Community First in the hopes of bringing a similar service to Rutherford County.
Joi and Steve are both from humble beginnings – when Joi was young her family struggled to have their basic needs met – at one point as a child, she and her family were homeless. Steve’s father was a pastor of a country church – “when he wasn’t preaching, he was delivering groceries and giving communion to families who had so much less than us,” is how Steve described his family growing up.
Joi’s passion has led to her serving as a real estate agent with eXp Realty in Tennessee and Steve is now retired.
This Labor Day, The Journey Home is celebrating and so thankful for Joi and Steve’s LABOR OF LOVE. We invite you to join us by investing your Time, Talent or Treasure in The Journey Home.
Happy Labor Day!