The Store

Rendering of “The Store”

Rendering of “The Store”

I’m not a country music guy.  Nothing personal--there is a lot of country music I like (mostly from female country singers and writers).  I happen to be more of a jazz lover. But I have more reason today to appreciate one of Nashville’s brightest stars, Brad Paisley.

It seems Brad and his wife, Kimberly Wiliams-Paisley, have taken food insecurity in our city seriously… Enough that they have broken ground on a store they will call “The Store” in partnership with their alma mater, Belmont University.

The idea is simple enough.  The Store will operate like any other grocery store except no money will change hands.  They are committed to assisting families who have genuine need. One in seven people deal with food insecurity.  That might mean they must choose between things like health costs or rent costs and food. The Paisleys are concerned about how such choices affect children: “The kids shouldn’t have to worry about what their parent is going through.  That’s not a stress a child needs.”

At the same time, The Store can take away the embarrassment for a parent who maybe feels shame for not being able to feed their children, adequately.

I don’t know the stories of the country stars we all run into around town.  I suspect there are more of these kinds of stories than we know—at least I hope so.  The needs around us are many.

What is it that when you see it, it breaks your heart?  That’s the starting place for finding the passion to create change. For the Paisleys it is food insecurity. 

What is it for you?

The needs are many.  And for some that creates an easy “out”—there are too many needs, I don’t know where to begin.  It seems so overwhelming that it can lead to paralysis. I once heard a wise person say, “I’m not out to change the world—just my little corner of it.” That’s manageable.  Start by looking at your own little corner of it—look hard.  It will come to you.