Nashville, Alzheimer, Santa Barbara discussed on That Sounds Fun with Annie F. Downs
So idea was to provide a safe normal sort of experience for people who were on hard times and so. That's why we called it the store because we wanted normal like they could say to their kids. We're just going to the store And and the idea is to have people come in and shop and in a community safe you know sort of community grocery store and that their kids could see their parents in a position of power making choices for the family but we open two weeks before the tornadoes hit nashville in march in march and then end so immediately sort of pivoted to emerge like disaster relief. Of course the pandemic happened and we didn't feel like it was safe to our doors open to people coming in with volunteers. We just wanted to regulate a little bit more so we pivoted and now we're doing Delivery service to homebound seniors and and curbside pickup. So we do have an and there are still some choices people can make but unfortunately it's not like what we originally envisioned but we'll we'll get back there. Why do you and brad care about this. Why was this the thing. Because i know you also talk a lot about alzheimer's and that really important to you as well. I y is food insecurity important to you. We were really inspired by organization called unity shop that we saw in santa barbara that the same thing and so we kind of copied that model and developed it into our own but we were really inspired by that model. It was a place that we took our kids over thanksgiving. Yeah one year when we wanted to just do more service and and we loved the way that we were all welcomed as volunteers and they showed. They taught us skills that are useful like that. My kids were suddenly packing beans and stacking on the shelves and checking people out and at the at the checkout counter and and it felt like there was the margins were being erased. I saw this woman in the aisle who is Pushing a cart and she saw my kids at the register. And she said oh. I used to bring my kids here. When when they were younger she used to bring her kids to unity shop to volunteer and now she was needing the service and there was no shame in her telling me that it was sort of like all of us. Come on hard time. Some some have harder times than others. And we're all here free each other and we're you're just in a different stage in life than you were then and you'll be back on your feet again and we're partnering with belmont ministries service a partnership with my university. Because i know that hunger is a multi-faceted problem especially in the edge hill neighborhood where we are there. A lot of issues that have led to someone not being able to have enough food so the ministry center is right next door and they are and they've had to curb what they offer now as well because the pandemic but they do offer like music therapy and then they offer legal services and things like that. So it's a great a great partnership there. And i just think the dignity. The way are doing it with such dignity where people are shopping like they aren't they. You know there are times where especially during natural disasters where you see a table and the people can just get a jug of water and a can of soup and that makes total sense at the everyday life of what you're offering. It just seems like such an answer. I want to tell you something embarrassing. And you can tell me why it's what to do with it There are times when i think about volunteering yet. I think i feel embarrassed to be the one who is on this side of it. And i feel embarrassed that i'm the person looking in the eyes when i'm handing them. The groceries looks just like me or we look like we could have been in high school together. Or how do we get over that weird. I i can't imagine on the only human ever felt that maybe and you can be like anne. It's a you probably well. That's the honest and thank you for sharing. I'm sure you're not alone in feeling that i would say. Give it a try. You know what. I felt when. I'm when i volunteered is that there's a wonderful connection. That's that's there and actually. It's something that i didn't feel growing up when my mom used to deliver meals on wheels and we go to a food pantry and we dole out like peas and mashed potatoes on asking and i always felt resentment from people that we were giving food to a lot of resentment and anger and that was surprising. But i think. I think it's that dignity piece. So that's what we're trying to get around with. The store is the store. I wanted to feel more like we're all in it together. Yeah you know and you are dignified when you show up here and you're making choices and you are empowered. So there's i don't feel that kind of embarrassment. Yeah it feels more normal business you know. Yeah i love that field so in in all of our communities are listening. How do we even find where the need is. How do we step into this. If we're able to i would. Yeah i would definitely go to the local places in your area where you are and and the local feeding america's fantastic across the country and they have a lot of opportunities to volunteer to back packs. And things like that that you can go with your kids. It's something i just love doing with my boys and then the store we will have more volunteer opportunities. There are a lot of onto al but we'll have more once. The pandemic.