Lovingly known as “The Cookie Lady,” Kim Tuzzio’s ministry extends well beyond the 150-200 cookies she makes each week for the women and children to enjoy. “The first time I volunteered at the Mission, I read books to the children,” shared Kim. “The more I learned about the Mission and what they do to help homeless women and children, the more I wanted to get involved.” Kim’s desire to help bring a smile to the faces of people facing a very difficult situation started with cookies and has grown to include a monthly delivery of cupcakes to celebrate any birthdays.
“We love all our volunteers,” said Lauretta DeMille, food service manager at the Women’s Campus. “Kim is certainly an extra special one. Not only does she make cookies and cupcakes, but she also helps with our annual Mother’s Day Banquet where they prepare homemade chicken salad on croissants, with beautiful table linens, flower arrangements, and tea. It’s truly a blessing to each of our guests. The ladies love being pampered by Kim and her friends.”
Kim has shared her love for the ministry of the Mission with her co-workers. “Three years ago we started a Bible study where I work. As I’ve shared my experiences with the group, each has found their own way of participating. Some ladies will bring things to donate to the Mission, like food, clothes, and books. Others have decided to experience the Mission for themselves. Just this past Mother’s Day, several of the ladies decided to join me in helping with the luncheon. As Ms. Carolyn (the Director) shared her heart and spoke of the needs the women have, the ladies I brought were moved to tears. I think it’s hard for some people to grasp that there are so many homeless women and children in need living right here in Nashville.”
But Kim hasn’t stopped there. Living in an active community in Williamson County, Kim has shared her passion with neighbors and has become the community drop off point for donations to the Mission. “We have a strong Facebook group, and once I started sharing about the needs of the women and children, I was amazed by the number of people who were not familiar with the Women’s Campus. I’m also blown away by the generosity of my community. Whenever there is a need, they rise to the occasion to help meet it.”
“I never expected a volunteer experience to change me so much,” says Kim. “My faith has grown stronger. When you consider how many people live paycheck to paycheck, it’s easy to see that becoming homeless could happen to anyone.”
“I enjoy my job,” shares Kim. “But doing this … serving the women and children … this brings me JOY. I love hearing their stories and seeing God’s handiwork in their lives. Homeless or not, we are all God’s people. I serve because I want those who have fallen on hard times to know just how much God loves them.”
If you’d like to find out how one hour of your week can make a difference in the life of a child, visit: nashvillerescuemission.org/get-involved