Tutus and Capes
Even something as simple as a tutu or cape can be empowering for a child who has faced the challenge of poverty and homelessness.
“I went on my first trip to Haiti in January of 2011,” says Tanna. “I came back wrecked. I went there to deliver shoes, but came home with an overwhelming desire to do more. While I would have loved to pack up and move there, that was not the best choice for my family. Instead, we sold our house and downsized—then focused on how we could become better stewards of our resources.”
Off to Haiti Again
Tanna made plans to return to Haiti once more. “I knew we would be visiting a small orphanage with about 14 children,” shares Tanna. “I saw a friend on Facebook was making tutus and selling them. This gave me the idea to make tutus and superhero capes to give to the boys and girls living at the orphanage.”
What happened next changed Tanna’s life forever. “When the kids put on the capes and tutus, their faces lit up. It was like they became stronger and more confident in an instant because they felt stronger and more confident. A special gift and a bunch of people pouring out their love on them just made them beam with joy! They were flying and twirling with delight and my heart melted. I knew then I wanted to do this on a larger scale.”
Living to Give
Tanna had volunteered at Nashville Rescue Mission with her church so she was familiar with the needs of the homeless mothers and children in the community. “I have a huge passion for kids,” says Tanna. “As I started thinking about ways of giving back, I knew I wanted to do something for the kids at the Mission.”
Tanna’s idea blossomed into something even bigger than a service project to put a smile on the face of a homeless child. She took a leap of faith and established a non-profit called Grace & Glory. “I founded Grace & Glory with the mission to fight hunger, encourage play and give hope to children in need of a brighter tomorrow,” shares Tanna.
Hungry for Hope
“While the desire to give tutus and capes sprung to life, I could not look past the hunger I saw, not just in Haiti, but also in my own community,” shares Tanna. “It was clear to me that while building this platform for play we could also feed children in need. There are children right here who are hungry and homeless. What better place to launch this than at Nashville Rescue Mission?”
The event was a huge success with the kids at the Mission. Tanna’s group brought racks of tutus and superhero capes so the kids could shop and pick out the one they liked best. They also brought in a craft where the children could make their own cardboard wands and masks.
Growing “Grace & Glory”
“My twelve-year-old son Samuel came with me to help,” shares Tanna. “Afterwards, he told me how much he enjoyed the experience. Seeing the smiles on their faces had a huge impact on him. He told me he couldn’t wait to go back and do more for the boys and girls living at the Mission.”
“I was really surprised when one of the boys asked if he had to take off his cape and give it back or if he could keep it,” says Tanna. “When I told him it was his to keep forever, his face lit up like a Christmas tree. He was so excited.”
Tanna has plans to grow her Grace & Glory ministry to serve not just those at Nashville Rescue Mission, but anywhere there are children who are in need of hope and a smile.