Keeping an eye out for one another, noticing what’s needed, and acting on a desire to be the change you want to see. That’s what community work is all about. And while it can sometimes be hard knowing where to begin when an idea is brewing, East Chattanooga’s NeTasha McClure is showing us all how much of an impact one person can make.
McClure’s newest effort to show love for her neighbors popped up in Glass Farm this month near the corner of Glass Street and Crutchfield next to the new Save-A-Lot location. As that store is under construction this winter, McClure said she wanted to make sure that anyone in her community who was struggling and hungry could find food within reach.
McClure, 39, grew up in Chattanooga and believes in the mission of the local organization, Helping Hands, “to provide a place for people to obtain basic food items anonymously while building a sense of community amongst neighbors and changing the perception around hunger.” As a volunteer, NeTasha has helped fill the Helping Hands pantries located in the 37404 neighborhoods; but she noticed that there weren’t any pantries in 37406.
She also believes our human purpose is to help each other. So she decided to build a food pantry for her East Chattanooga neighbors.
Like most community work, it began with a spark and before she knew it, NeTasha had gathered the tools and talent to help her pull it off. She borrowed free tools from the Chattanooga Public Library’s Tool Lending Program, and, using donated wood pallets, got to work “making a mess” in her front yard.
“The library also recommended Rondell Crier, from Studio Everything, and that’s where the magic happened. Rondell and his apprentices taught me how to use the equipment, even donating the supplies,” McClure said.
Now that the Glass Street food pantry has been installed and filled with food, McClure said she will be making plans to create even more in other locations.
But that’s not all she’s creating. NeTasha has provided another kind of deeper nourishment with a homegrown project that not only inspires us, but lets everyone know that their needs are seen and supported.
Hear more from NeTasha McClure on WDEF-TV.
(photo credit: screenshot WDEF-TV interview)