When our co-founder, Jena Lee Nardella, was asked to speak about her recently released memoir, “One Thousand Wells,” at STORY, we jumped on the opportunity to be as involved as possible. STORY is an uncommon creativity conference that was not only held in Blood:Water’s office base of Nashville, Tenn., this year, but at the main campus of Cross Point Church, a supporter of our mission.
During our time at STORY last week, we were able to tell our own story through several outlets. Jena shared her journey to “One Thousand Wells” with an audience of over 1,000 conference attendees and was able to sign copies of her book at the Blood:Water booth. Our booth also offered an exciting experience for those who stopped by that tied in with Jena’s session through a do-it-yourself screen print canvas featuring a quote from “One Thousand Wells.” With help from our screen-printing friends, Hip Hues, the canvases sold out on the first day of the conference!
The rainy, cold weather couldn’t stop our plans to encourage others to get involved with the Blood:Water story by guiding a Water:Walk down to the Cumberland River. During the afternoon breakout sessions, Dan Haseltine, co-founder and lead singer of Jars of Clay, led a small group of attendees with jerry cans in hand (or on head) to the river and back. The Water:Walk participants also listened as they carried their cans to the sounds of an actual walk for water in Africa and learned about Gertrude, who walks miles every day to take care of her family only to bring home water that is not safe to drink. It is always eye-opening to experience a small portion of what others must endure to obtain life’s most basic need!
Our staff marked the end of our STORY experience by satisfying our sweet tooth! We grabbed delicious shaved ice (BRRR!) from a local favorite food truck, Retro Sno. If you ever find yourself in town and around the truck, we recommend the “Dreamsicle,” an orange-vanilla flavored sno-ball stuffed with ice cream.