The delightful story of the "The 9-Nanas"

I stumbled across a beautiful and touching story the other day which I wanted to share — it’s about nine women, all now aged over 50 (known as “The 9 nanas”) from West Tennessee who have spent more than 30 years secretly helping those less fortunate and when their husbands final found out their secret, they too came on board to help:

. . .  They’d eavesdrop -- all with good intentions, of course -- at the local beauty shop or when they were picking up groceries. And when they heard about a widow or a single mom who needed a little help, they’d step in and anonymously pay a utility bill or buy some new clothes for the children.  “We wanted to help as much as we could,” Mary Ellen said, “without taking away from our own families, so we became coupon clippers. And we’d use green stamps. Remember those? We’d use green stamps and we’d make sure to go to Goldsmith’s department store on Wednesdays. Every week they’d have a big sale and you could spend $100 and walk away with $700 worth of merchandise.” The Nanas would find out where the person lived and send a package with a note that simply said, “Somebody loves you” -- and they’d be sure to include one of MaMaw Ruth’s special pound cakes. . .

Thanks to their elusive work, these women —have contributed more than $900,000 to their community. But they don’t plan on stopping there! They have continued their work and recently made a donated more than $5,000 in linens and personal care products to a shelter for survivors of domestic abuse.

I would highly suggest you read the rest of the article on these amazing women and I am sure there will be a few tears by the end: (LINK TO STORY in the Huffington post

This is a perfect example of how a group of women can make such a differences in the lives of others and want nothing in return for their love and care.

Why not gather up a group of ladies from your church (or perhaps a group of friends in the street) and find ways to help others — perhaps make care packages for the elderly who live alone, gifts for new mothers who have recently had a baby, made simple baby quilts or lap quilts for the elderly to donate to local charities or nursing homes.  

When women gather together and group their skills, finances and time — much can be achieved.

This is a perfect activity for older women who have more time on their hands. I know myself that I am not as busy as I use to be when the children were small. My house doesn’t get messy which means housework is much quicker to do each week, I have less washing and meals for 2 are not demanding. Whilst I can’t do this sort of thing at present (whilst I work full-time), it is something I would love to do once I retire with a few other women — perhaps with my quilting buddies.  Helping others does make a big differences to others, no matter how small. 

Let’s take a leaf out of the 9 Nana’s book of caring and happiness of others in our neighbourhood. 

She extends her hand to the poor, Yes, she reaches out her hands to the needy.
Proverbs 31: 20

Photos from: Happiness Happens



  1. What a beautiful tale, it warms your heart. Such a great idea.

    1. I would just love to meet these women, they must have very big hearts:))

  2. Really inspirational, this story will stay in my mind, and I would like to make something of it someday, thank you so much for sharing

    1. I would love to get together with a group of women and change peoples lives like this. The other day there was a story on Facebook about a lady who had been at the local hospital as her child had to be admitted and she was very stressed and upset. When she returned to her car in the afternoon she found a parking ticket (as she had overstayed in her car parking spot) but attached to the ticket was a note from a stranger saying, don't worry, I have paid your parking fine because I didn't think you needed any more stress today. It was a beautiful and touching story.

  3. The ULTIMATE, in Random Acts of Kindness!

  4. What a lovely and inspiring story! :-)
    I'm so intrigued by the American "coupon" thing, I hear a lot about it. I can't fathom the idea of getting $700 of groceries for just $100!!!!!

    1. I am not sure how they work - at Costco I occasionally get sent coupons but they are just for items that are discounted which I think is quite different to the US version. I would love to know more about them.

  5. What a sweet story! :) I love hearing about kind things like that - sometimes it seems like almost everything you see is negative or sad. I'm glad you shared this one!

    1. I agree, to many unpleasant stories around these days, these women need their story spread:))


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