This month marks one year since we started our Lawyers Give Back campaign, a pledge to make a monthly donation to a nonprofit in need. Our money has gone to World Central Kitchen, which mobilized quickly last spring to feed displaced Ukrainians following the Russian invasion. We’ve given to help Syria (twice), as that country deals with the devastation caused by war, corruption and natural disasters. And we’ve supported closer-to-home causes like the Window of Love and the PENCIL Foundation, which both serve our local youth and public schools.
There are countless worthy causes for charitable dollars, but this month we’re touched by the work of Open Table Nashville, which works alongside our city’s vulnerable homeless population to find housing, advocate on their behalf, and offer them compassion, dignity, community and solidarity.
The organization grew out of the May 2011 flood, which destroyed Nashville’s “Tent City” and shined a not-great light on the uphill efforts to find its residents a new place to call home.
But why is it called Open Table? Isn’t that how you get a dinner reservation? Their website explains the origin story of the name: “An open table signifies fellowship, community, and radical inclusion. We’re not here just to make sure our friends on the streets get crumbs from the table. That is no more than charity. We’re here to make sure our friends have a place at the table, and that is about justice.”