Craig Harris/Macon County Times Chastity Shrum places baby clothing inside one of the Lockers of Love.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Chastity Shrum places baby clothing inside one of the Lockers of Love.

LAFAYETTE

The employees at Lafayette's A-1 Healthcare are taking a bit of a different route in caring for the community.

The business hasn't changed, but the employees are providing more than just medical care.

"We started thinking about this a couple of weeks ago," Chastity Shrum -- one of the owners of A-1 Healthcare along with her father and mother, Mike and Jennifer Marshall -- said. "We wanted to do something for the community. There's some old antique lockers."

The metal lockers are actually 18 small compartments. Mike Marshall delivered the lockers to A-1 Healthcare early last week and are located on the front porch of the facility, to the right of the front door.

The lockers were donated by Sunshine Décor, which is owned by Jennifer Marshall and located nearby.

However, it's not the lockers themselves but the contents that will provide the benefit.

"At the business I worked at previously, we did Soles4Souls (a Nashville-based charity that collects new and used shoes and redistributes those to people in need)," Shrum said. "Soles4Souls is great, but we were trying to do something more local."

Therefore, each of the 18 compartments will contain materials to benefit area individuals who are in need. Among those goods will be deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, socks, underwear, diapers, baby wipes, baby clothes, and non-perishable food and drink items.

"I grew up here," Shrum said. "I moved away and came back recently. There's nothing like that here. There's not a food bank here that I know of, except for maybe some churches."

A-1 Healthcare -- which opened on Dec. 4 and is located at 32 Brattontown Circle -- is open until 5 p.m. on Mondays and Tuesdays, until 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and until noon on Fridays and also on every other Saturday. However, with the lockers located on the outside of the facility, those in need can come by after hours or on weekends if they choose. The service will operate on an honor system.

"They came come when we're closed," Shrum said.

The facility's nurse -- Tina Trivett -- and nurse practitioner -- Mary Linville -- are partnering with Shrum on the endeavor.

They have started a Facebook page for the Lockers of Love.

In fact, within a few hours of posting about a family that was in need, they were already receiving responses from individuals wanting to help.

"I am so excited," Shrum said. "Whenever I got the first message that somebody wanted to donate something, we were all excited. We were like little kids."

They will also accept larger items besides just the materials that will fit in the lockers. In fact, there has already been a high chair, car seat and a stroller donated.

"Everybody is super interested," Shrum said. "We had two people donate clothes and larger baby items.

"We are not going to turn away anything yet."

Shrum previously volunteered with Hands on Nashville, which has a mission of meeting needs through volunteers.

"I'm a softy," Shrum said. "I like doing stuff like that. In Nashville, I'd go to the food banks. I like to help people.

"Then, with your hometown, it's different (stronger feelings)."

They are hoping that this endeavor leads to more opportunities to impact the community.

"We want to team with local churches and counselors at schools," Shrum said. "We want to reach out to anybody in need."

For more information on the Lockers of Love program or to donate, call A-1 Healthcare at 615-688-1135 or visit the Lockers of Love Facebook page at www.facebook.com/The-Lockers-of-Love-158024884848522.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Chastity Shrum places baby clothing inside one of the Lockers of Love.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

(L to R) A-1 Healthcare's Chastity Shrum, Tina Trivett and Mary Linville started the Lockers of Love community outreach program.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

The Lockers of Love sit on the front porch of A-1 Healthcare, which is located at 32 Brattontown Circle in Lafayette.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

The Lockers of Love operates on the honor system, with good available after hours and on the weekends as well.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

The compartments of the lockers consist of various goods, including deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, socks, underwear, diapers, baby wipes, baby clothes, and non-perishable food and drink items.