Country singer Brad Paisley and his wife, actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley, have teamed with Belmont University to open The Store, a modern version of a food pantry that is set up like a free grocery store.
“This is a grocery store with dignity for people who have fallen on hard times,” said Paisley, president of The Store’s board of trustees. “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 partner with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and other organizations to provide both fresh and nonperishable groceries to individuals and families in need for one year. Customers will be referred by nonprofit and government agencies. The nonprofit has an initial goal to serve 3,000 people per year.
“It’s that Billy Hill song, ‘There’s Too Much Month at the End of the Money,'” said Pete Fisher, co-chair of The Store’s board of trustees and CEO of the Academy of Country Music. “A lot of times when people fall on tough times, they don’t need a lifeline for a lifetime, they just need a bridge and the store affords those families a dignified way to cross that bridge and achieve that self-sufficiency.”
BWN Says: I can personally vouch for the generosity of Brad Paisley. I was in the limousine business and for years I drove him around for a day or two in Rochester, MN while he attended the Shjon Podein Children’s Foundation Celebrity Party events held in Rochester each year. He has been lending his celebrity to this event for at least 15 years now, helping raise millions. In case you have never heard of the foundation, Shjon Podein was an NHL player and was born and raised in Rochester, MN. He was drafted into the NHL in 1988 and spent the next 14 years playing for several teams including the Edmonton Oilers, Philadelphia Flyers, Colorado Avalanche, and the St. Louis Blues. He was awarded The King Clancy Award which is awarded annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and who has made a significant humanitarian contribution in his community. In 1997, Shjon and his wife, Sherry founded the Shjon Podein Children’s Foundation for disadvantaged children after after he and Sherry met Brian and Jessica, a brother and sister with ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), who have since both passed away.
Paisley even recorded a song called “Hard Life,” written by Joe Kindregan, a member of Team 25 (as the foundation is locally referred to) from Washington, D.C. The song premiered in Rochester during the golf fundraiser on June 27, 2011 and was released that fall. Click here if interested in helping the foundation
It is just one of many philanthropic endeavors Brad Paisley and his wife are involved in. Keep it up Brad, we support you.