Last night Tyler and I attended a benefit concert for The Contributor, a street paper in Nashville. The Contributor is sold by homeless or formerly homeless vendors throughout the city. They buy the papers at a low cost and then sell them for $1 to Nashvillians. The paper is filled with articles, poems, and short stories by homeless or formerly homeless writers. I started seeing folks selling the paper about 2 years ago and wondered how it worked. Soon after, we started buying the paper and reading the articles. We don’t always buy from the same vendor, but Tyler has gotten to know one specific vendor in East Nashville. Turns out, his work selling The Contributor has changed his life. He’s recently been able to find housing and is even getting married. We heard similar success stories at the benefit last night. It was a beautiful and emotional time. Best of all, the vendors who spoke about their success with The Contributor gave all the glory to the Lord.
Two of the best things about The Contributor is that it gives the homeless a voice and it puts a face to homelessness. Living in Nashville, we see homeless people all the time. So much so that you almost don’t notice it after awhile. What a sad place to be. We tend to dehumanize the homeless because it makes us feel a okay about not doing anything. It’s difficult to know what to do, but ignoring the situation certainly isn’t right.
It was an inspiring night. You can learn more about The Contributor here. Perhaps there is a street paper in your city? It might be worth finding out about and supporting.
And of course…the other great thing about last night’s event…THE MUSIC! I love living in Nashville. We get to hear such amazing music. Two stand outs for me last night were Robby Hecht and Angel Snow. Angel actually had a song on the MCU Family Christmas album. Check ’em out if you like!
Well, we’re off to shoot a music video this evening. We’re supposed to get snow tonight in Nashville so we’re going to start shooting at midnight in hopes of having snow in the video! I had an afternoon latte in preparation. 🙂