The Ally: December 2020 – Rebecca Nelson

Rebecca Nelson
Volunteer Northeast Mississippi


Born and bred in Tupelo, I have always been a Mississippi girl, even when I moved to Georgia at the age of 24. When my husband Andrew (also from Tupelo) and I moved back to “The Sip” in 2014, we were thrilled to be back home. Returning to our roots was only part of the equation. We wanted our daughter Lindsey to experience what we had growing up in the hill country: the opportunity to be surrounded by the most down-home, honest-to-goodness, best folks you will ever find.

For the past two years, I have been fortunate to see that same caring spirit magnified in the nonprofit world. As director of Volunteer Northeast Mississippi, I see first hand the work carried out day after day by people who want to make life better for others. Throughout the 13 counties that constitute the northeast hub, our nonprofits’ employees and volunteers provide food, healthcare, housing, education, rehabilitation, basic necessities, emotional support, guidance, and hope to thousands of neighbors in need.

Nothing stops these remarkable individuals from giving of their time, energy, and talents. Nothing. Not even a pandemic. Since March, every single agency I work with has been obliged to change how it delivers services. But none of them have quit. Not one. Anyone outside this great state may be surprised at our nonprofits’ tenacity and dedication, but those of us lucky enough to be on the inside know what makes this place special. Helping each other is what we do. It’s just that simple.

It’s the most down-home, honest-to-goodness, best way of life I could ever imagine. And for that, I am thankful.