How awesome is this?! Country singer Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, have partnered with Belmont University to open a free grocery store for “people who have fallen on hard times.” The couple is planning on opening the new business, called The Store, in Nashville, TN next year.
“Essentially, we got this idea that it could be a very effective thing in Nashville,” Brad told The Tennessean in a recent interview. “All of us are one unforeseen disaster away from rock bottom. It’s nice to think about a place where when that happens to someone, they can use it to get back on their feet.”
Brad, 45, and Kimberly, 47, hope to serve around 3,000 people per year with their new nonprofit business and are working with government agencies to help refer deserving customers to The Store. The couple first came up with the idea after they once took their two sons, Huck Paisley, 11, and Jasper Paisley, 9, to volunteer and help out low-income families around Thanksgiving time.
“It was inspiring because these people have dignity,” Brad shared. “It’s not a scene from Oliver Twist. These people are able to sit there and feel very, very normal in the eyes of their kids. I remember thinking, ‘Why isn’t this everywhere?'” Kimberly added, “It’s not like they’ve made major mistakes, they just need a little extra help and we want to be a resource for those people.”
Though Brad and Kimberly want their grocery store to be a success, they don’t plan on having customers use the nonprofit as a crutch for the rest of their lives. Brad said he’s aiming to give people a “temporary Band-Aid on the road to self-sufficiency.”
The Paisleys are hoping to begin building The Store in Nashville in 2019. Around $500,000 is needed to start construction and the entire project will cost an estimated $1.2 million, according to The Tennessean. Brad and Kimberly added that they will jump start the project’s funding campaign with a hearty gift.
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