Country music superstar and committed Christian Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberley are opening up a new grocery store where all the items are free. The grocery store will be called The Store. It will operate as a year-round free grocery store for people who have fallen on hard times. They are given the opportunity to come to The Store for a one-year period. There is no charge to those referred or to the people and agencies that send them.
The Store is inspired by Unity Shoppe, located in Santa Barbara, California. Unity Shoppe has been helping families in the community for more than 100 years. Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley first visited Unity Shoppe with their sons.
"We took our boys to Unity Shoppe to teach them about serving others and giving back to people in need," says Paisley. "And we came away surprised by what the organization had taught us. Most people don't want handouts. They want dignity and respect. Most people want to become self-sufficient."
They were so inspired by the way Unity Shoppe empowers people, including volunteers, that they wanted to expand on that model here in Nashville. The Store is its own unique spin on a free grocery store that offers a healthy food shopping experience.
"This is a grocery store with dignity for people who have fallen on hard times," Brad, president of The Store's board of trustees, told the Tennessean. "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."
The Store will serve up more than just groceries-during the holiday they plan to set up a toy aisle and will also provide on-the-job training year round.
The couple made an initial donation to kick off their goal of raising $500,000 before breaking ground, and they have a $1.2 million target for total construction. The Store is located at 2005 12th Ave. S. in Nashville. Visit thestore.org to donate.