Jim McDonald was born and raised in Littleton, and after graduating from the University of Oklahoma, he went to work for his family’s business, McDonald Automotive. Jim and his wife, Stacey, have three children, Jackson, Charlie and Molly, who are a part of the third generation serving with Denver Rescue Mission. They attend Wellspring Church in Englewood

The McDonald family has been involved with Denver Rescue Mission for multiple generations. Will you share about your family’s heart behind supporting the Mission?

The seed was planted by my parents years ago when I was a kid. It probably goes back to the ‘70s or early ‘80s. My mom and dad were involved with the Mission and felt the calling to serve. We’d serve during Thanksgiving or Christmas depending on when we were needed. Their example planted a seed in myself and my brothers. There are five boys in the family and at some point, all five of us have been involved in some way.

How is your family involved with the Mission currently?

About 15 years ago, my wife, Stacey, started volunteering at the Mission regularly on Tuesdays. We took my daughter and my sons to serve at different times, during Easter and Thanksgiving or during their summer breaks. There’s been a lot of exposure for my kids, and hopefully that’s something that will grow over time like it did for me with having those seeds planted at a young age. From my own experience, just having an example of our elders showing us what giving and serving looks like is huge, because you can talk, but if you don’t model it, it doesn’t really have an impact.

How has your experience volunteering at the Mission impacted you?

The first time Stacey and I volunteered together, we learned that a lot of the clientele the Mission serves are people who have a college education and had a good job. There are so many people who are living paycheck to paycheck, and if they miss one or two paychecks because of a medical crisis or something happening with their marriage, all of a sudden, they don’t have the resources they need. To me, that was eye opening.

How has McDonald Automotive Group supported the Mission’s Turkey Drive in the past?

Our corporate slogan is “Doing Right Comes Naturally.” We have a committee at the dealership called the Doing Right Committee who decided to donate turkeys for every car we sold during the month of November to contribute to the Mission’s Turkey Drive. It was a company-wide initiative, and we saw a lot of involvement and enthusiasm around it.

Why is it important to you personally to stay involved with the Mission?

I think from a basic level, people need to understand that they are loved. Being the example of Jesus, serving them, encouraging them, and letting them know that they are loved regardless of their circumstances is probably the simplest and greatest message we can give them. Then, you have to follow up with practical ways of what that looks like, and that’s a really important thing that the Mission is doing. We appreciate the opportunity to be able to partner with the Mission in whatever ways we can.

This post is a part of August’s Changing Lives Newsletter. In this month’s edition, Teach, Equip, Support, Love, you’ll learn more about how the Mission is trying to enrich the lives of children experiencing homelessness.