How The Store Is Changing the World with Love at the Core - Interview with Courtney Vrablik, Executive Director - Grant Writing Simplified Podcast with Teresa Huff, Episode 72

How The Store Is Changing the World with Love at the Core [Episode 72]

It came together really quickly because everybody came to it with an open heart and an open mind, and we weren’t being self-protective. We were all focused on the same goal of addressing the need.

Nonprofit Spotlight: The Store, Nashville, TN

It’s been a while since we had a nonprofit spotlight on the show, so I’ve been saving this interview up for you to air during the holidays. And let me tell you, there is GOLD in here today, friends. Pure gold.

I first mentioned The Store back in Episode 51 when we talked about ways to build meaningful relationships in the community. The Store’s social media presence is a great example of showering appreciation on supporters and partners.

Last week in Episode 71 we talked about how it’s important to always be learning, but also taking ACTION.

Today’s guest is a perfect example of that combination.

Courtney Vrablik is the Executive Director of The Store in Nashville, TN. A few years ago, Brad Paisley and his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley (yes, that’s the country singer and the actress) volunteered with their kids at Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara, California. That sparked their dream to address food insecurity in their own hometown of Nashville.

Courtney became The Store’s first Executive Director just before the pandemic of 2020 hit, and what a time to step into a new role! She’s such a beautiful combination of tenacity, confidence, and humility.

Key Takeaways

This conversation is full of so many inspiring insights. Courtney shares about:
  • Staying on top of her game and the ability to make decisions quickly
  • Relying on her supportive board’s wisdom to advise and guide
  • Importance of having a community of peers to build each other up, share resources, and learn from each other’s strengths
  • Pooling resources with other organizations in the community
  • Nashville’s unique culture that contributes to the generosity
  • Being open to areas where we need to grow, and also learning to trust our gut
  • Courtney gets raw and real about her personal journey and how it’s helped her better serve the community now
  • The importance of going back to your mission when making decisions and determining your services
  • Creative ways to share your nonprofit’s story while maintaining dignity and privacy for clients
  • Finding fun ways to lift the heaviness and still talk about the needs
  • Being good stewards and building trust with donors
  • Determining what success looks like for each client
There are so many moving parts to our work that my go-to should never be to put the burden of proof and the burden of why we exist on the customer who’s experiencing the greatest amount of need.”
 This is one inspirational interview you won’t want to miss!

Meet Courtney Vrablik:

Courtney Vrablik is the Executive Director of The Store in Nashville, TN. 
The Store is the result of a dream Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley had to address food insecurity in their hometown after their experiences volunteering at Unity Shoppe in Santa Barbara. With a mission that focuses on dignity, The Store provides free groceries to qualifying families and individuals who are seeking self-sufficiency and opportunities to break cycles of poverty. 
As a single mother who has navigated SNAP and WIC programs in the past, Courtney has a deep desire to assist others through such difficult times in a way that makes them feel seen and respected. 
Connect with Courtney and The Store:

Other Episodes Mentioned:

If you’re ready to step up your nonprofit game in 2022, join me on the Fast Track to Grant Writer. The world needs you.

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