When Kerry Wiles of Nashville, Tennessee, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, she made a bucket list of all the things she wanted to do.
Among the items she wrote down was driving for Uber and Lyft. Little did she know, checking it off would lead her to making an incredible impact on her neighbors’ lives!
During the week, Kerry works as a scientist at the Cooperative Human Tissue Network at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. But when the weekends roll around, she uses her second income to feed her city’s homeless population!
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It all started about a week after she became a ride-hailing driver. She loved chatting with her customers, but she couldn’t ignore the heartache she felt at seeing so many people without homes.
Figuring they could use a good meal, she began packing lunches to hand out between (and sometimes during) rides. Now, the cancer survivor typically gives out more than 100 lunches every Saturday and Sunday!
Kerry pays for these “Homeless Helpers Lunches” with her ride-hailing earnings and tips, often matching the latter with her own savings. Not only does she offer tasty sandwiches, snacks, and water, but she also includes a kind message on each bag!
Though working seven days a week can get exhausting, Kerry has never felt more fulfilled.
“What’s important you fit into your week. You just have to determine what’s important,” she said. “When you stop and evaluate life, there are a lot of things that become important to you, whether that’s the legacy you leave behind or the ability to inspire someone else.”
These days, she even has help! Ryan Caldwell started out as one of her customers, but watching Kerry inspired the 24-year-old to join in!
“It’s the best thing in the world,” he said. “It’s a humbling experience. When I was a bellhop, I would see people freezing and under bridges and it just didn’t sit well in my soul.”
On top of delivering lunches together, the two of them are working on getting boots to as many homeless people as possible in time for winter.
Kerry may be able to remove “feeding the homeless” from her bucket list, but that doesn’t mean she’s stopping anytime soon! What a beautiful way to give back after everything she’s been through.
Learn more about Homeless Helpers Lunches in the video below, and share this story to inspire similar initiatives in your community.
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