Pizza for a Purpose

Vanderbilt women's basketball commit used team's uneaten food to help others

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Kiara Pearl isn’t on the court, the Vanderbilt women’s basketball commit believes in serving other people.

One day, after enjoying post-practice pizza with her AAU team, Pearl noticed how much pizza and water they had left over. She decided to do something about it.

“After we finished eating, I realized how many unopened boxes hadn’t been touched,” said Pearl. “We also had a case of water. I made a suggestion that we walk a couple blocks and hand out the boxes of pizza we had left to each homeless person we saw and carry however many water bottles we could fit in our arms. Providing them dinner that night, we fed at least six homeless people a full box of pizza.”

In larger cities, especially near downtown areas, finding people that have been displaced or that are homeless is not a challenge. This was the case for Pearl, a Louisville, Kentucky, native, while on a trip to Atlanta.

"The idea came to my head because we were staying at a Downtown Plaza in Atlanta," Pearl said. "When driving to the game, every 30 seconds I saw about three homeless people on each block standing with a cardboard box lid or laying on the grass. I'm blessed to be in the position I am, so when I have an opportunity to do a good deed, I do it."

Kiara Pearl

Good deeds aren’t a stray idea to Pearl, who has frequently served other volunteer efforts. The Kentucky native is strong with her faith, and she believes in helping others when possible. Next season, she hopes to bring that mindset to the locker room with Vanderbilt women’s basketball.

“This was important to me because we all need to help each other when we can,” Pearl said. “God says, ‘Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord and He will reward them for what they have done.’ If you are a blessing, you will receive a blessing.”