Full Hearts and Full Shopping Carts

Haley Schaafsma

Working in the music industry, it can be so easy to get wrapped up in your own “problems” and “crises.” We forget sometimes that there are so many families right in our own neighborhoods that are experiencing a real life problem and crisis, hunger. Myself and the other Marbaloo employees had the chance to see first hand the true effects hunger has on many Nashville families. Fortunately, through the amazing efforts of 1GenAway and Team Music is Love, a foundation founded by Martina McBride, we were able to help take one small step towards a solution.

On Friday, June 9th, Team Music is Love and 1GenAway teamed up to provide fresh produce, groceries, medical examinations, and a lot of love to many Nashville families in need. With our love for the music industry and passion for giving back to the community, there was no chance Marbaloo was missing out on volunteering for this event (even in the middle of CMA Fest.) We bagged fresh produce that was rescued from local farms and grocery stores, helped families fill their carts with their favorite foods, and then escorted them to their cars to help load everything and said a prayer. Even though the families were the ones receiving the food, I believe Marbaloo received a lot more. Here are just a few statements and stories from Marbaloo employees about the experience:

Kalaway Voss: “This experience was a humbling one.I don't think I spent more than 14 minutes with any one family or individual, but I saw vulnerability, I saw appreciation, and I saw love. So quickly, when we are in true need we forget about ego and about pride. It is an overwhelmingly human space. One that is easy to forget as we enjoy our lives of fortunate abundance. Friday reminded me to be thankful, to remember where I come from, and to be even more giving, if only of time.It feels good to be grateful. It feels good to give. I would like to remember that more often. Also, very proud to work for a company that believes in philanthropy and giving back”

Maddi Farr: “Each time, after loading their car and shutting the door, I asked if they had anything they wanted to pray about. I never expected someone would take me up on it, but every single person did. Mostly they prayed just for everything to be okay, and they held my hands tight like we had known each other for ages. After that, we parted ways. Moments like that are what made the event so special, and I'll take that with me.”

Frances Blount: “One of the sweet ladies I was with was a highlight because her son, who supports her, was overseas for the military so he's not around to take her grocery shopping, etc - she teared up when we were praying for his safe return it honestly made me tear up, too!!!”

Marisa Boras: “My personal highlight was talking to a woman while I was pushing her cart - she was shy at first but opened up and told me that "you have no idea how much this helps" and seeing the look on her face when she was handed a rose at the end of the line. She nearly had tears in her eyes and it was so emotional to see the impact that such a small gesture had on her!”

After seeing what a difference 1GenAway has made in the lives of families, we wanted to continue to stay involved. As a company, we pledged to donate $5 a month for each of the 24 employee that volunteered that day.. If you are not familiar with 1GenAway and their amazing efforts, they are a non-profit organization that is dedicated to providing emergency food service to those in need via mobile pantries, as well as through partnerships with hospitals, social workers, schools, law enforcement, churches, civic groups, and many others who want to wipe hunger off the face of America. 1GenAway was founded in Franklin, TN with the dream to eliminate poverty, racism, and denominationalism in our lifetime. It is easy #jointhemovement by volunteering at one of the many food distribution events they hold throughout the year.