In Tennessee, you will find a “secret society” of sorts that consists of 9 women who call themselves “The 9 […]
In Tennessee, you will find a “secret society” of sorts that consists of 9 women who call themselves “The 9 Nanas.” The mission of this “secret group” is simple – to spread happiness by performing random acts of kindness for those in need. The 9 Nanas have been carrying out this mission in secret for over 30 years. Even their husbands had no idea what the ladies were up to!
The idea began 30 years ago when the 9 women were sitting around playing cards and thinking of MaMaw and PaPaw (grandparents to 4 of the 9 women) and how MaMaw would always keep track of who died in the area and send them one of her special pound cakes. The idea was simple: to console them and bring a smile on their faces. The 9 women wanted to emulate that but knew it would not be easy.
They began by setting aside around $400 a month by doing their own laundry. They then used their ears, eavesdropping on others conversations in supermarkets and beauty parlors. When they heard about people who had suffered a loss or needed help with bills, the 9 Nanas would spring into action.
Believe it or not, the group operated in secret for 30 years! But by then, the husbands had started to get suspicious. One started to notice extra mileage on the car and large sums of money being withdrawn from the bank account. When he questioned his wife about the suspicious activity, the ladies knew it was time to come clean. The 9 Nanas gathered together with the husbands and the women spilled the beans.
“They were amazed that we were doing this and even more amazed that they never knew. We can keep a good secret! All but three of them are retired now, so sometimes they come with us on our drive-bys. In our area, all you need is an address to pay someone’s utility bill, so we keep the men busy jotting down numbers.”
Soon, the secret was shared with the children (all grown by now). The children introduced the ladies to the power of the Internet, where MaMaw Ruth’s pound cakes could be sold for even more revenue to fund these acts of kindness. The business took off, and soon the home kitchens couldn’t keep up! The group moved their operation into the kitchen of a restaurant owned by one of the sons.
Now, over 5 years since the husbands uncovered their wives’ secret, the 9 Nanas are still going strong. Their online business and expansion into a commercial kitchen allows them to do all the more.
Bravo to these wonderful women and their families for being the humble servants we are called to be. It just goes to show that a simple act of kindness can go a long way.