Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Helping the Needy of Nashville

Many Saturday nights of my youth were spent at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway watching local racers burn up lap after lap. Because of a series of colossal, mega-failure decisions by the Metro Nashville City Council and the Fair Board over the last two decades, racing at the fairgrounds has been all but silenced now.

Tuesday morning, I returned to the fairgrounds for a different reason than racing entertainment. Tom Henry, a friend of mine and executive director of Feed America First, needed arms and legs to unload ten tractor-trailers of food and other supplies to distribute to about 2,000 needy families in the Nashville area. The fairgrounds was used as the parking, staging, unloading, and delivery area.

The food and supplies were trucked in by Feed The Children out of Oklahoma City, OK. Locally, the event was sponsored by Cumulus Media and its various TV and radio outlets.

It was really cold as we got underway with a stiff wind and flurries in the air. But once we all got rolling, the temps were forgotten (well, maybe not forgotten but at least tolerated for a few hours). Volunteers stepped forward, we worked out a logistical flow to match the needy with a volunteer partner, and folks were given boxes of food, hygiene supplies, HBA items donated by Avon, and a winter coat.

Here is WSMV-TV's video of the event. (Sorry, the site only provided a link. Embedding option wasn't available.)

I have to admit the warmth of the office felt great when returning after lunch. But the morning was really rewarding by pitching in to help needy families, working alongside dozens of other smiling, energetic volunteers, and even having a few moments to visit with friends I hadn't seen in many months.

01-27-2010 Update: More video from NewsChannel 5.


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