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The trusted leader in homeless Rescue and Recovery services since 1949

From Pensacola News Journal

It can be a tremendous burden trying to care for a sick child, but on Sunday evening the families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Pensacola got some moral support from a few people who know a thing or two about hardship themselves.

A Joyful Noise, a men’s choir from the Waterfront Rescue Mission career development program, performed a concert for the families at the facility to help keep their spirits up during what is most likely the most trying period of their lives.

The families are using the facility as a “home away from home” while their children are in nearby hospitals fighting to overcome illnesses.

“These families are back and forth to the hospital every day, but this gives them a little break from worrying,” Susan Brady, director of marketing at Ronald McDonald House, said of the concert.

The choir performed for about 45 minutes, singing contemporary Christian music to an appreciative crowd that mouthed the words along with the singers and clapped enthusiastically after each performance.

The music proved to lift ­listeners’ spirits, but it was equally rewarding for the performers. The members of the choir are men who have
completed or nearly completed a seven-month program to help them overcome ­addiction or other life ­issues.

Jessica Howell, a development associate at the Waterfront Rescue Mission, said the choir members learn job skills in the program that they can use in the real world and help guide others on their paths to recovery.

Will, a member of the choir, said that to him it wasn’t about trying to be an inspiration to anyone. It was just a pleasure to be able to try to bring them a moment of happiness.

“I just look at it as a blessing to be able to come here and share with them,” he said.

“I know what it’s like to be down and out and kicked around. I’m hoping I can be a conduit for God and share His goodness with others who need it.”

Will said he had found God and gotten his life back on track and found a part-time job and was seeking an additional job to help him work toward owning his own home.

Waterfront Rescue Mission President Mick Breault said that it was great to see the choir members attaining happiness for themselves and spreading it to others.

“They’ve been out of the system for a little bit, but now they get to get back out there and give to others,” he said.