By BROOKE WANSER
The Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau announced on Thursday a partnership with a local nonprofit to collect canned food donations for victims of Hurricane Harvey now through the end of October.
Chris Whitney, the pastor of Hope Church and founder of One Generation Away, a non-profit organization aiming to end hunger by eliminating racism, denominationalism and poverty, said the partnership occurred with perfect timing.
According to Whitney, Ellie Westman Chin, the CEO of the Williamson County Convention and Visitors Bureau, was at home watching television reports on Hurricane Harvey flooding when she turned to her husband and said, “Let’s go to Houston and help feed some people.”
Her husband said, “You don’t know the first thing about feeding people.”
Chin responded, “God put me in front of a guy two weeks ago who does.”
That guy was Whitney. Chin had spoken at the Franklin Rotary Club’s breakfast a few weeks before, and the two connected over One Generation Away’s mission. So when Chin called Whitney after the hurricane, he knew what it was about.
“I said, ‘This better be about Harvey,’” Whitney said.
The organizations will be collecting canned and non-perishable foods, and are accepting donations towards the purchase of fresh produce. A link to the list of 20 drop-off locations can be found at VisitFranklin.com/blog/Harveyrelief. Whitney also said more trucks are needed to deliver food.
Whitney said the food collected will be delivered in the beginning of November, and one 52-foot truck has already been filled in Murfreesboro.
He referred to the 2010 flooding as a reason those in Franklin could truly empathize with the disaster.
“It’s hard to articulate or put into words, but I’m humbled, grateful and thankful that we get this opportunity,” Whitney said.
Martina McBride’s nonprofit organization, Team Music is Love, is also a partner in the disaster relief effort.