The Giving Bus launches in Nashville, delivers new household items to inner-city communities

Posted at 7:24 AM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 08:24:23-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville Inner City Ministry and Gimme A $5 stores are packing a bus with new products for families in need.

The Giving Bus launched in April and delivers the household items to inner city communities.

"Instead of having people come to us we're able to transport it into the hardest hit areas," said Kenny Purvis, director of development for Nashville Inner City Ministry.

Retailer Gimme A $5 recently began donating extra inventory to the ministry for them to distribute.

"Stores have to move it and if they don't give it away then it goes to a landfill and nobody wants that, especially when it can go to a family that is in need," Purvis said.

Nashville Inner City Ministry has been serving Nashville for 42 years. The ministry uses buses to get people the services they need.

"We realized early in our ministry [that] it didn't matter how good our programming was if we couldn't get a crowd to it. So instead of investing in facility, we invested in transportation. A lot of our families were relying on public transportation or they had unreliable personal transportation," he said.

The ministry owns about 55 buses and vans. At one point, the bus being used for The Giving Bus was a mobile closet.

"The bus was sitting idle until this need came up with The Giving Bus," he said.

The bus has visited three neighborhoods since the launch.

"Because of COVID-19, we have a lot of parents who are at home, who are out of work, maybe recently out of work. They have their children at home [and are] trying to take care of them," he said.

The ministry doesn't announce when or where The Giving Bus is heading next to make it fair to the residents in the neighborhoods the ministry wants to reach.

"It becomes a great blessing for a lot of people and it makes sure we don't have a waste of things going into a landfill. They can go into the hands of people most in need," he said.