Local Spotlight: The Contributor
Community Outreach Director: Robert Rosario
With the holidays just around the corner, we look forward to special moments shared with loved ones, delicious food and lots of laughter. But the reality is that not everyone will be able to enjoy the season in these ways. Homelessness is a staggering issue not only across the nation, but right here in Middle Tennessee.
In 2007, the Contributor founder, Tasha French Lemly, developed a friendship with a homeless man outside of her office building in Downtown Nashville. Since then, The Contributor has become a beloved social enterprise that gives homeless people the opportunity to take part in their own advancement. The Contributor prints and publishes a weekly newspaper, which is then sold by both homeless and formerly homeless vendors in and around the Nashville area. Each vendor buys the paper for 75 cents and sells it for 2 dollars. Between this profit and additional tips, the vendors are essentially establishing a business for themselves, encouraging a sense of autonomy. Currently, The Contributor distributes 40,000 to Middle Tennessee residents per month and has swiftly become one of the most reputable non-profits of the region.
What makes The Contributor different from other non-profits? Rather than simply alleviating the symptoms of poverty, The Contributor provides the bootstraps for indigent people to get back on their feet. Their mission is to provide real advancement opportunities for our homeless population
Robert Rosario is the Community Outreach Director of The Contributor. He says he admired the infrastructure of the non-profit and its dedication to making a tangible difference. Robert joined the team a year and a half ago to pursue his passions for establishing a better society that encourages the well-being of all people. “I love working for an organization that is addressing a need in our community,” says Rosario. “A lot of people are motivated in different ways… For me personally, I love working for an organization that brings purposeful work and services those who have a need.”
To get involved with this remarkable organization, purchase a paper next time you see a vendor or consider donating to their fundraising efforts to support the circulation of the newspaper. Each and every contribution makes a substantial difference in the lives of our city’s residents. And be sure to follow them on social media for updates on the unique ways in which Robert and the team are empowering our community.