And it’s safe to say that he delivered in a BIG way. So big that it took a tractor trailer to pull it off.
This weekend, Jelly Roll sent one of the tractor trailers from his recent Backroad Baptism tour to The Last Minute Toy Store in Nashville, which provides free Christmas gifts and toys to children throughout Middle Tennessee.
The donation from Jelly Roll was enough to provide Christmas gifts for nearly 8,000 children, and Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall praised the Music City native for changing lives with his generosity:
“I met Jelly Roll over a year ago at the facility he was once housed. Before CMA/Grammy awards and much of his success said he wanted to give back. Today a truck loaded with toys showed up at the The Last Minute Toy Store. You are changing music and lives. Thank you!”
And The Last Minute Toy Store was also thankful to Jelly Roll for his donation, after the “Save Me” singer pledged $100,000 to the effort himself:
“My daughter wanted to do this…she was doing this at nine years old. This was her thought.
And I look back at it, and when I got out of jail…
I came home in December of 2009, and I didn’t have any money for toys. And the halfway house, the Men of Valor, did a toy drive for the guys that just came home. And I remember dropping off a truck of toys that I couldn’t afford for her Christmas. I didn’t even get to meet her at that time. By court, I wasn’t even allowed to see her. I had just got home.
So, her heart to want to do a toy drive and then for me to be in a position to amplify it…it’s really cool.”
Of course Jelly Roll has been open about his past struggles with drug abuse and spending time behind bars after being convicted of armed robbery. But since finding success, his passion has been giving back to his community – in a big way.
Jelly Roll has said in the past that he feels it’s his obligation to give back to a city that’s given so much to him:
“Nashville is a town that people come and take from…
They come and they party. They make the best memory of their life right here on Broadway…
They come and they chase their dreams. They join the medical field. They become big musicians in the music industry and make millions of dollars. But they never give back. As a local kid, I felt like it was important to start addressing the problem hands-on, at a community level.”
And when discussing the toy drive, he couldn’t help but think about how far he’d come with his life:
“Walmart came in, Hasbro, the Nashville Predators, the Nashville Fire Department, Metro — I mean, the mayor met me in a Walmart parking lot in Antioch, Tennessee. If you ever told me that the county commissioner, the Antioch commissioner and mayor were coming to see me, I’d have been petrified. I’d have thought, ‘God, what law did I break?’
So we’ve already raised a lot of toys…
Who would I be to be so blessed and not turn around and try to be a blessing?”
Jelly Roll has definitely used his fame and success to bless a lot of others who are less fortunate, and that’s why I’m not here for any Jelly Roll slander.
The guy’s got a big ol’ heart – and whether you think he’s “country” or not, he’s just a damn good person.