For the past four years, local musicians have raised nearly $20,000 to help provide food for school kids who may otherwise get little or no food on the weekends.
On the third Sunday afternoon of each month, musicians gather at E&D Bar & Grille for a jam session that has a twofold purpose: it provides a place for local musicians to get together and play, and donations collected for Hands of Mercy’s Bags of Blessings (BOBs) program benefit children.
About 1 p.m. on those Sundays, Jimmy Hudson, leader of the group Dr. Mojo, along with Vince Rutledge of Lankford Station, begin setting up sound equipment for the musicians who choose to participate.
“We try to make it as painless as possible,” said Hudson.
Musicians begin to stream in from local and surrounding communities, and then promptly at 2 p.m., the performances begin. At any given time, there may be 15 musicians on stage playing rock and country music.
Eddie and Darlene, owners of E&D, contribute to the cause and pass around a tip bucket a couple of times before the session ends at 5 p.m., giving customers an opportunity to donate toward the kids’ weekend feeding program through BOBs.
“I think it’s a very worthy program,” he said.
Hudson said the fundraising efforts for Hands of Mercy’s Bags of Blessings happened spontaneously. While jamming with other musicians one afternoon, Hudson was looking for a worthy cause and came up with the idea of asking for donations to provide kids at risk with a weekend bag of food. Their first collection yielded about $107, and since then, the donations have climbed to $400 to $600 each month.
“Everybody has been incredibly generous,” said Hudson.
School children in both Fayetteville and Lincoln County benefit from the program. It costs roughly $160 to provide food for one child per year, and at one count, BOBs served 225 children meals.
“I think everyone involved is being rewarded for their efforts,” Hudson said.
E&D is located at 263 Flintville School Road, Elora. The next session is on Sept. 15, and everyone is welcome to attend. Musicians who would like more information may call Hudson at 931-425-6688.
To donate directly to the BOBs program, send a check to Hands of Mercy, P.O. Box 1215, Fayetteville, TN 37334. Write BOBs on the left hand corner of the check.