My story started the day I moved to Nashville.
I moved into a traditional red brick house in East Nashville with three other roommates that I had never met in person. After a twelve hour drive up from Florida with the back seat and trunk filled with my belongings, the moment I walked into the door I was home. My new roommates were very welcoming and we became quick friends. My first impression of Nashville was one of warmth, friends, and community.
After living here for a year, making dozens of new friends, and becoming a part of the Nashville community, I wanted a way to give back. I had heard of similar “basket drives” before, so I thought that would be a really fun way to give to this amazing community for all that it had given to me. I made a quick plan and put it into motion.
My first stop was Dalewood United Methodist Church off of Stratford Avenue. I spoke with the pastor, and he gave me the names and addresses of ten families in the congregation who were in need. With the list in hand, my next stop was Dollar General. I went into the store and spoke with the manager (I wish I still had his name), and told him what I was doing. After filling up two carts with everything I needed, I went to check out.
This very moment was what I like to consider the beginning of the Nashville Basket Brigade. The manager turned to me and said “it’s taken care of.” I was speechless. I had just met this man, told him how I wanted to feed ten families, and he did not even hesitate. This is the spirit of Nashville. This is why I LOVE our community. This is where the story goes far beyond my story and becomes the story of the Nashville Basket Brigade.
Fast forward to a few years later and lots of support from friends, family and coworkers. In 2011, we were officially founded as a non-profit and brought Kari Kuefler and Sean Squire on as board members. In 2014, we delivered to our 1,000th family. The Brigade grows more and more each year. I can't wait to see what we have in store for the future!