Hurley celebrates 10 years at Mission House


Mission House, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting the homeless of the Beaches communities, celebrated its 20th anniversary this past February. With cake and sparkling cider, staff at Mission House’s Jacksonville Beach facility gathered once more last Wednesday to celebrate yet another anniversary – that of Ponte Vedra resident Rhonda Hurley’s employment there.

Hurley, who is currently the Mission House clinic manager, has been working with the organization for the past 10 years. Going forward, she will be transitioning into a part-time role, which is a concept that has left her with mixed feelings.

“It’s mixed because I have decided to go part-time, and it’s just like I’m giving up a whole part of everything that I do,” Hurley said. “And even so, it’s been a blessing because I don’t have to worry about so much. So I have a lot of relief of not having to worry about how everything’s going to go. I am getting older, I have a grandbaby, so it’s good. I feel good.”

According to Hurley, her original decision to get involved with Mission House was made at a difficult time in her life.

“I had gone through one of those ‘bumps in the road’ and I had been married 28 years, and [then] wasn’t married,” Hurley said. “Once I got through the ‘feeling sorry for yourself,’ angry and all that, I figured it was time do something else. Someone said, ‘How about Mission House?’”

As for why she stayed with the organization for so long, Hurley said, “It was an eye-opener. And I love it. I loved it then, and I love it now. I always feel like God put me here for a particular reason, and I was supposed to be here.”
Mission House Executive Director Lori Delgado Anderson, who organized the anniversary party, said that Hurley began working with the organization as a part-time volunteer and eventually worked her way up to the position of clinic manager.

“Although Rhonda is not a licensed medical person, many of our volunteers think she is because of her vast knowledge of what we do,” Anderson said. “She ran the clinic with the medical directors for the past 10 years on her own, writing referrals, working with our partner agency We Care, scheduling the all-volunteer staff, training volunteer staff and doing intakes for new patients.

“And Rhonda does a lot more than just work here,” Anderson added. “She’s with Heartstrings, which is a group that gives to the community. She does an annual fundraiser for Mission House, which this year, she helped us raise close to $7,000 with her annual Mardis Gras party.”

In addition to Hurley’s fundraiser, Mission House hosts an annual “Compassion by the Sea” fundraiser, which will be held in October at the Casa Marina Restaurant and Hotel in Jacksonville Beach. Funds raised will go towards the organization’s many community outreach initiatives, including providing healthcare to the uninsured, as well as feeding the homeless and assisting them with finding jobs and housing.

“We want everyone to know how much we appreciate all that Rhonda has done for the Mission House clinic in her generous, giving and loving way,” Anderson said. “Rhonda is like no other.”