Nine years ago, the Fincham family of Fairview decided they wanted to wrap the homeless with love. So, they started an annual blanket drive to benefit the homeless in downtown Nashville.
Each year since, the Finchams have held to tradition – and 2020 was no exception.
“Using the play on phrase ‘Warming Hearts for the Holidays,’ we distribute flyers in our neighborhood around Thanksgiving and then collect the donations just before Christmas,” shared Heidi Fincham.
Neighbors and friends respond to the flyers by dropping off blankets at the Fincham’s mailbox, driveway and front door. Heidi said, “We are always delighted to see contributions…Some years, we may only have a few, but other years, like this year, we received 30 blankets!”
So grateful for their neighbors and friends that participate, Heidi noted, “It only takes one to make a difference!”
No doubt it’s a heart-warming story of giving to others, but Heidi said this story is not about her family or those donating blankets. “This story is about those we go to bless, and how they always find a way to bless us so much in return which shows how God really is everywhere,” said Heidi.
The Finchams agreed to share a few stories about the hearts and souls they encountered around Nashville.
Heidi began, “Take Anna, pronounced like Princess Anna, not the traditional southern way. She is from Brooklyn, NY where many years ago she lived in a home and area with a strong sense of community and she cherishes memories of neighborhood picnics. She now resides in downtown Nashville and crochets items for the ‘community’ she now lives amongst. And when handing her a blanket and candy cane, she made the comment that she would pray to God for riches to be blessed upon my family.”
They also met Jimmy. “He was very grateful for the approach we made, and as I handed him his candy cane, he turned and wished to share it with my son.”
The Finchams also recalled a gentleman sleeping propped up in an alcove of a closed business. “Leaving a blanket next to him as to not startle him, only to pass by later seeing it warmly utilized. His name I do not know, but hopefully he feels, even for just a moment, that he matters,” said Heidi.
She added, “These are just three examples of the 30 people we reached out of the hundreds more we wished we could have.”
Heidi, her husband Kevin and their six-year-old son Noah walked the streets of downtown Nashville in the days just before Christmas, searching out homeless souls in need of a warm blanket. They pulled a small wagon filled with donated blankets in search of those often overlooked and misunderstood.
“It’s not our business to know why these folks are homeless. Only God knows and only He can see them through. But in a year that so much has gone awry, there is one truth that remains: we are designed to need each other and to meet the needs of others. Simple as that,” shared Heidi.
“It’s just a matter of getting up and doing. Everyone can do something for someone - and to God be all the glory!”