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Nashville man awarded for giving homeless woman shirt off his back

Posted at 7:36 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 20:36:26-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — A Nashville man is being hailed as a role model for literally giving a homeless woman the shirt off his back. Alex Wornell, a server at The George Jones in downtown Nashville, is being honored with a Hitmaker Award for his actions last summer.

Nashville advocacy groups say it’s hard to know exactly how many homeless people are in Nashville, but they suspect almost 2,000 people are out in the cold. Right now things are freezing under the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, but last Forth of July the scene was much different.

It was just brutally hot outside,” said Alex Wornell.

He was working with the Convention and Visitor’s Corporation to set up for the Let Freedom Sing! Music City July 4th celebration.

More than 340,000 people packed Broadway, but Alex focused in on one person.

“She was crying, drenched in sweat, I think we were probably right about here. And she was just begging me, ‘can you please help me?’” said Wornell.

A disabled homeless woman with no shirt said everything had just been stolen from her.

“I was like, she needs to get covered up. She needs help. So, I took off my shirt and covered her up and ran over there and got as much food and water as I could for her,” said Wornell.

Being helpful is not new to Alex. He’s a server at The George Jones in Downtown Nashville, and his boss says his hospitality is what Nashville is all about.

“He’s a role model employee for me. I know when Alex is on the floor I don’t have to worry about his section and he supports his teammates as well,” said Mike Ingram, Executive Chef at The George Jones.

Word of Wornell’s kind deed got back to the Nashville Convention and Visitor’s Corp and he was chosen to receive one of the city’s Hitmaker Awards.

Each month the city selects a different hospitality worker that’s been nominated for an act of outstanding service.

Winners receive a certificate and special luncheon.

“It was a moment of spontaneity. I just wanted to help somebody that needed help. For me it’s just odd to get an award for just-- I just wanted to do something nice for somebody. I’m very appreciative!” said Wornell.

The city knows how important good service is for our tourism industry.

Last year more than 16 million people visited Music City, a 6% increase over the year before.

More than 70,000 jobs like Wornell’s depend on hospitality and tourism.

Wornell doesn’t know how the lady is today but knows there’s something we all can do to help.

“In your day to day experiences, especially downtown you see a lot of homeless people and people that are asking for money or food, and just kind of be more decent humans to one another,” said Wornell.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Hitmaker Award, you can submit a form.