Marginalia: To the Least of These
Brynn M. White
“Marginalia” - funny name, serious vision. The inspiration for a homelessness outreach group at VDS started with a calling to go into the margins and enter into community with those facing the harsh realities of life on the streets. What began as a seed of vision has flourished into a growing number of motivated Divinity students eager to make not only a difference in the lives of those they encounter, but to build strong, enduring relationships with Nashville’s homeless brothers and sisters.
Marginalia: To the Least of These debuted in September with a homelessness symposium, “Faces of the Invisible: The Plight of the Homeless,” featuring panels of homeless citizens and homelessness outreach activists. Nearly a hundred people attended the two-day event, at which over $500.00 was raised to keep a homeless, pregnant woman off the streets until she gives birth, a collection reflecting the fact that the symposium awakened many hearts to the urgent needs of the homeless in our community.
Inspired by the symposium, several students have begun a project to feed the homeless every Friday under the Jefferson Street Bridge. (This endeavor will complement and work in collaboration with an ongoing initiative, The Bridge Bunch, which feeds homeless people the remaining days of the week.) Recently, students participated in a clean-up of “Tent City,” a homeless encampment located on the outskirts of downtown Nashville and other students helped cater dessert at the wedding of a couple living in Tent City.
During October, Marginalia hosted a month-long pet food drive because caring for the homeless means caring for their companion animals as well. Marginalia collected dry food and distributed it at Tent City. Other events included a Thanksgiving fast when people refrained from one meal and donate the money saved to aid the homeless.
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