The Mission’s Grandma – Volunteer Spotlight: Janet Doxtater – Orlando Union Rescue Mission

The Mission’s Grandma – Volunteer Spotlight: Janet Doxtater

 In Story, Volunteer Spotlight

“Grandma” serves at the Mission’s Bargain Store every Tuesday. Her real name is Janet Doxtater, but “everyone calls me ‘Grandma’,” Janet shares. Over the past 25 years, Janet has become a Bargain Store staple, and her nickname indicates the devotion store visitors feel toward her. “Grandma” is family.

Visitors are not the only ones who see Janet as family. The Director of the Bargain Story, Penny Burke, does too. Janet took Penny under her wing during a jail-counseling program. Later, when Penny stayed at the Mission, Janet found ways to serve there as well. At one point, she co-led a Bible Study on Thursday nights for women at the Family Home.

Eventually, however, God led her to the Bargain Store. She again served alongside Penny, who now transformed by her time at the Mission, manages the store.

Janet ensures everyone feels welcomed and known. She prays over the store’s visitors and asks to hear of God’s work in the disciples’ lives. Some shoppers visit every day. “They come back to visit because they know they are loved,” Janet states. They expectantly look for people like Janet whose unquestionable interest and godly affection make them feel seen.

The Bargain Store provides affordable shopping alternatives to those in need while increasing the Mission’s revenue; however, its most impactful function is the sense of love volunteers like Janet provide.

To a lonely visitor, “Grandma” may be the kindest and closest family they know. To a struggling disciple, her grandmotherly advice may strengthen their resolve to succeed. Just like Penny experienced, the love of one person may guide another to the transformative love of Christ. And, who better to be that person than a “Grandma”?

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