THE BRIDGE, INC. exists to alleviate the suffering of underprivileged children, the homeless, and the working poor by providing life-sustaining resources and a message of hope.
CANDY CHRISTMAS BIO
Candy Christmas is the Founder and CEO of The Bridge, Inc. Candy has spent her life giving to others through music. She began her career as an adolescent, and quickly climbed to the top of the Christian charts. Later, she married and happily settled into family life, but she wanted a way to continue her ministry of giving. Her heart’s desire is to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate. That is what prompted her to start The Bridge Ministry with her husband Kent Christmas in 2004. Candy has appeared on over 50 Gaither Homecoming Videos and traveled on tour for 6 years with Bill Gaither and The Homecoming Friends. Candy wrote a best selling Christmas book in 2002.
HOW THE BRIDGE STARTED
The Bridge began in November of 2004. Birthed out of a desire to help feed and clothe the homeless of Nashville, Candy Christmas began taking huge pots of jambalaya down to the homeless living under the Jefferson Street bridge. After seeing that the need was far greater than just one hot meal a week, Candy began to collect clothing and non-perishable food items to pass out to her friends. She stored it all in her garage and friends volunteered to come over and fill grocery bags with food. The more people that began finding out about this ministry and caught the vision, the faster the ministry grew.
THE BRIDGE TODAY
The Bridge is housed in a 20,000 square foot warehouse in Nashville, TN, that not only stores the food for the Tuesday evening services, but also acts as a local food bank for other area ministries. The Bridge Ministry also aids school children on assisted lunch programs by filling their backpacks with food on Friday afternoons so that they have food to eat over the weekend.
A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
We have a passion for the poor, and we invite you to join us in making a difference. The Bridge is a federally recognized 501(c)(3) organization, which means all donations are tax deductible. We are honored to live out the words of our Lord when he said, "...inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)
PHASES OF THE BRIDGE
BRIDGE TO KIDS
Previous to Nashville's March tornadoes and the COVID pandemic, the Bridge To Kids Program was growing very quickly. Not only did we have a special Bridge To Kids Service under the bridge every Tuesday evening. We also served thousands of students each week with weekend food bags. These are students who suffer significant food insecurity issues and struggle to have food to eat when not receiving free breakfast and lunch at school. Our teams have been innovative during this unprecedented season. We are continuing to serve thousands of students each week through Metro School distribution centers and aftercare programs and have recently added new distribution sites to our weekly deliveries. The following is a brief video of the Bridge to Kids Program throughout 2022.
CHURCH UNDER THE BRIDGE
Prior to Nashville's March tornadoes and the COVID pandemic, every Tuesday Night under the Jefferson Street Bridge, we served 300 – 500 of our homeless and under-resourced friends. Everyone received a delicious hot meal and participated in a powerful worship service. At the close of service, we distributed 15,000 – 25,000 pounds of food, clothing, and toiletries to our friends. We are adhering to CDC guidelines and following our mayor's pandemic response mandates closely, and finding adaptive ways to serve this vulnerable population strategically. We have not missed a Tuesday night with our friends and are still serving hundreds each week with hot meals, food bags, water, toiletries, sleeping bags, and tents. As soon as it is safe, we will return to including a worship service with our Tuesday night experience.
BRIDGE TO YOU
Following Nashville's March tornado and the onset of the COVID pandemic, our Bridge To You area of ministry evolved to direct service to hundreds of families and individuals and is currently serving at multiple distribution sites throughout the greater Nashville area.
BRIDGE TO COMMUNITY
Bridge To Community works with other like-minded partners and organizations to help serve those in need by sharing resources when organizations experience resource gaps to complete their mission. We truly do believe we are better together.
The following is a short video of the outreach impact of 2022.