Rachena Carpenter was born in 1961 in Marion, Indiana. She resided in Fairmount, and graduated from Madison-Grant High School. For three years prior to her 31-year tenure with the Grant County Rescue Mission in Marion, Rachena consistently volunteered for the organization. She developed a strong sense of passion and care for people in need. She went well above her duties as an administrative assistant by driving funding to purchase Christmas gifts for the Mission’s residents. She even initiated collaborative efforts with the Rescue Mission, Grant County churches, and other organizations to begin an Angel Tree program unique through the GCRM for additional families in need. Rachena was also a proud member of the Women’s Auxiliary, and was instrumental in its fundraising as well.
GCRM Director of Donor Relations, LeeAnna Smith, explained Rachena’s nature as selfless, giving, and very approachable. “Residents felt safe talking to her. She would help them with paperwork, tech needs, while also going beyond to make sure they had a warm meal and a good place to stay.” LeeAnna said Rachena championed for their cause, helping to restore their self-worth and value.
The Mission’s Past President, Janet Pearson, got to know Rachena over the past 25 years. “You couldn’t find a more servant-oriented person who has that kind of passion for people and the mission of the GCRM. She was caring, giving, truly compassionate about serving the guests, and always put others before herself.”
Since Rachena worked with a lot of Grant County churches, she would attend/support several of them.
Rachena passed away on November 14th, 2017, at the age of 56. Her survivors include her three brothers, four nieces and nephews, two of which she had helped raise, plus three great-nieces and nephews.
Brother, Bryan Carpenter, explained Rachena’s philosophy. “Have an open heart and never look down to others because you may be looking up at them one day.”