Having owned a business located in downtown Nashville right off Broadway, I saw many homeless people over the years. It lit a fire in me and inspired me to do what I could to help Nashville’s homeless community. When someone experiencing homelessness would come into the store, I would offer them a cupcake because I believe food is comfort. It feeds people, but it also opens up their heart and provides comfort. It’s why I started making regular donations of cupcakes to Nashville Rescue Mission.
One day, a man came into my store who had recovered from being homeless. He shared with me he had gone through a program at Nashville Rescue Mission. He went on to say at dinner on the first night he was there, he saw Gigi’s Cupcakes on the table. He told me those cupcakes gave them hope and comfort, and he would never forget it. He hugged me and said, ‘I wanted to find you and tell you what your cupcakes did for me that first night. I wanted to thank you for having your cupcakes there, as they really made a difference for me and comforted me. I will never forget it.’
“Community is everything, and we should all help each other.”
The old saying, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” I love this saying because Nashville Rescue Mission does just that. It teaches people how to fish and how to be self-sufficient again. My work with the Mission genuinely changed my perception of homelessness. They have done such an amazing job of helping people in Nashville.
I have continued to meet people who had gone through the Mission’s Life Recovery Program. Their stories are compelling. I am always moved by the testimonials of them overcoming addiction and homelessness. The Mission is doing so much more than providing food and shelter. They provide resources and aid for people in need to do the work and get back on their feet. They are teaching people how to be self-sufficient.
I honestly can’t think of a better way to give back than through helping the people in our community—community is everything, and we should all help each other. Although I no longer own or operate Gigi’s Cupcakes downtown, my latest endeavor in Brentwood, Pies By Gigi, will be a place that supports and gives back to Nashville Rescue Mission.
I look forward to supporting and volunteering at the Mission with my team. I hope to see you there!
Gigi Butler, founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes, opened her first location off Music Row in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2008—and now it is the largest cupcake franchise in the world. The hit CBS TV Series, Undercover Boss featuring Gigi, was a fan favorite and viewed by over 15 million people. She published her first book, The Secret Ingredient, in 2018. You can learn more about Gigi’s newest venture, Pies By Gigi, at piesbygigi.com.