Mayor Announces Nine ‘Excellence in Volunteer Engagement’ Recipients

63 Nashville Nonprofits Now Recognized for High-Quality Volunteer Management

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today announced the nine nonprofit organizations that received a renewal or new certification in Excellence in Volunteer Engagement (EVE), an initiative to recognize high-quality volunteer management by nonprofits and to help increase the number of volunteers in Davidson County. It is the first such certification effort in the nation.

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement 2014-2016“The spirit of volunteerism in Nashville is outstanding,” Mayor Dean said. “I applaud the efforts of these nonprofits to make our city a better place, and I thank them for providing the types of meaningful volunteer experiences that engage the passion of our volunteers and put their skills to the best use in serving our community. They deserve our congratulations for achieving Excellence in Volunteer Engagement certification.”

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement was developed in 2011 by the Mayor’s Office, in partnership with Hands On Nashville and the Center for Nonprofit Management. The initiative seeks to recognize nonprofit agencies with effective volunteer programs and to encourage other organizations to join them in improving their volunteer opportunities so they can maximize their resources and provide the best quality services possible. Mayor Dean recognized the recipients at an event this morning at the Center for Nonprofit Management at the Trolley Barns.

Four organizations are being certified for the first time, including American Cancer Society – Nashville Chapter, Bellevue Edible Learning Lab – Bell Garden, Nashville Sports Council and Open Table Nashville. Five of the organizations renewed their certification: Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee, Dispensary of Hope, Hospital Hospitality House of Nashville, Operation Stand Down Nashville and Project Return. Sixty-three Nashville nonprofits are currently certified in the program.

Mayor Karl Dean; Lewis Lavine, President of the Center for Nonprofit Management; and Laurel Creech, Chief Service Officer in the Mayor’s Office were joined on Friday, Aug. 29 by representatives of the nine nonprofit organizations that received a renewal or new certification in Excellence in Volunteer Engagement, an initiative to recognize high-quality volunteer management by nonprofits and to help increase the number of volunteers in Davidson County.

Mayor Karl Dean; Lewis Lavine, President of the Center for Nonprofit Management; and Laurel Creech, Chief Service Officer in the Mayor’s Office were joined on Friday, Aug. 29 by representatives of the nine nonprofit organizations that received a renewal or new certification in Excellence in Volunteer Engagement, an initiative to recognize high-quality volunteer management by nonprofits and to help increase the number of volunteers in Davidson County. (Photo: Metro Photographic Services)

“Volunteers are invaluable in helping to address critical community needs,” said Brian Williams, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Nonprofits that lead outstanding volunteer programs empower community members to maximize their impact and achieve greater service delivery. The EVE-certified nonprofits recognized today serve as a shining example.”

A panel of judges representing the community determined which agencies qualified for a two-year certification. Certified organizations showed effectiveness in specific areas of volunteer management, including a defined volunteer program with an identified, dedicated and trained manager; a screening process that aligns volunteers’ skills and abilities with appropriate tasks; orientation for all volunteers; and an evaluation process to affirm a volunteer’s impact on the community and agency.

“These nonprofits are accomplishing their missions by providing first-rate volunteer opportunities and experiences,” said Lewis Lavine, President of the Center for Nonprofit Management. “We are pleased to recognize them today for achieving Excellence in Volunteer Engagement.”

Application is open to all nonprofit agencies in Davidson County with no restrictions on the size or budget of the organization and no application fee. EVE applications are due twice annually, and the next application period will begin in the spring of 2015. Applications can be found on the Center for Nonprofit Management’s website, www.cnm.org, or Hands On Nashville’s website, www.HON.org.

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement is part of the Mayor’s Office “Impact Nashville” initiative, which Mayor Dean launched on Sept. 30, 2010, as part of the national Cities of Service movement. Impact Nashville directs volunteerism toward two top priorities, public education and the environment. Aligned with the goals of the Cities of Service national coalition, Impact Nashville strives to improve the impact of volunteerism across our city in four areas: the impact for those being served, the impact for the volunteer, the impact on the agency’s mission and the impact on our community.

The 63 nonprofits currently certified for Excellence in Volunteer Engagement are the following:

• Alive Hospice Inc.
• American Cancer Society – Nashville Chapter
• American Red Cross
• Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville
• Bellevue Edible Learning Lab – Bell Garden
• Book’em
• CASA, Inc. of Davidson County
• Center for Refugees and Immigrants of Tennessee
• Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
• Christian Community Services, Inc.
• Christian Women’s Job Corps of Middle TN
• Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum
• Dispensary of Hope
• Fannie Battle Day Home for Children
• FiftyForward
• Friends Life Community, Inc.
• Friends of Warner Parks
• Frist Center for the Visual Arts
• Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville
• Hospital Hospitality House of Nashville
• Interfaith Dental Clinic
• Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
• Junior League of Nashville
• Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee
• Martha O’Bryan Center
• Nashville Adult Literacy Council
• Nashville CARES
• Nashville Conflict Resolution Center
• Nashville Humane Association
• Nashville International Center for Empowerment
• Nashville Public Library
• Nashville Sports Council
• Nashville Wine Auction
• Nashville Zoo at Grassmere
• Noah’s Ark Society
• Open Table Nashville
• Operation Stand Down Nashville, Inc.
• PENCIL Foundation
• Preston Taylor Ministries
• Project C.U.R.E.
• Project Reflect
• Project Return, Inc.
• Room In The Inn
• Safe Haven Family Shelter
• Salama Urban Ministries
• Salvation Army – Nashville
• Scarritt-Bennett Center
• Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
• Sexual Assault Center
• Siloam Family Health Center
• St. Luke’s Community House
• Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Nashville
• Ten Thousand Villages
• Tennessee Performing Arts Center
• Tennessee Voices for Children
• The Nashville Food Project
• The Next Door
• Thriftsmart
• W.O. Smith Music School
• Your Heart On Art
• Youth Encouragement Services
• Youth Villages
• YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Bonna Johnson
(615) 862-6461 direct
(615) 389-3405 cell
bonna.johnson@nashville.gov

Hands On Nashville Day 2014 Team Captain Toolkit!

Interested in rallying your friends, coworkers and neighbors for Hands On Nashville Day 2014? Ready to sign up to be a Team Captain?

GraingerTeamPicsmall

2013 Hands On Nashville Day volunteers!

YOU. ROCK.

Thanks to Team Captains like you, more than 1,500 volunteers will makeover 50-plus Metro Nashville Public Schools on September 20.

Here’s how you can create a team on our website, register for Hands On Nashville Day, and get your team pumped up for a FUN day of service!

You can always contact honday@hon.org  or call 615-298-1108 ext. 301 if you run into any trouble throughout this sign up process!


 Step 1 – Create an account at HON.org 

Already have an account? Great! Log in to your account at HON.org and jump to Step 2.)

  • Image of account creation page at HON.orgTo create an account, fill out the form above, click Submit, and you will be logged in and ready to go!

Step 2 – Create a new team.

  • Now that you are logged in, locate the top blue menu and click My Account.
  • Then, to the left, click on Create a New Team. 

Account page at HON.org

A new page will appear.

Image of Creating a Team Page at HON.org

  • Enter info about your team (No lie detectors, we promise).
  • Go ahead and add your team members to the list along with their contact info, too. You will need an email address and/or phone number for each team member.

(We highly recommend including email addresses whenever possible!)

  • Since you’re creating the team, you’re automatically Team Captain!

TIP: You can always add and remove team members later (We’ll show you how in Step 3).

Create Team Button

  • When ready, click the green Create Team button at the bottom of the page and wait for the hamsters in the wheel to do their work…
  • You’ll see a team confirmation page (NICELY DONE). All of your team members with email addresses listed will receive an email with instructions for how to accept the invitation to officially join your team.

Great job — you’re almost finished! 

Creating a team is a great first step, but it does NOT mean your team is signed up for Hands On Nashville Day. You must also register your team for a specific HON Day school site when registration opens on Thursday, Aug. 28. We’ll show you how in Step 4.


Step 3 – Update team information.

If you find yourself wanting to add additional team members (because you’re incredibly popular, charming, or just plain awesome) or update your roster, follow these steps:

  • While logged in to your account, click My Account.
  • To the left, click My Teams.

Image of Manage Team page at HON.org

  • Identify which volunteer team you would like to update, and click the plus sign (+) next to that team name.
  • Click Manage Team.
  • To add new members, click Add New Members.
  • To remove a team member, select the box next to the individual’s name and click Remove Member.

TIP: To make another member a Team Captain, select the individual and click Make A Captain. They will then be able to manage the roster and pump up the group. We’ll communicate directly with everyone you list as a Team Captain, so please think twice before assigning everyone that role!

Ready to move on? Now it’s time to sign up your team for a school site!


Step 4 – Sign your team up for Hands On Nashville Day!

To take part in Hands On Nashville Day, Team Captains must sign up their team for a specific Hands On Nashville Day school site once registration opens on Thursday, August 28. Schools fill up fast and the early bird gets the worm! To sign up your team:

  • Log in to your account at HON.org.
  • Click on the Hands On Nashville Day link on the HON.org homepage.
  • Click on the blue Volunteer buttonA new page will appear.

Image of volunteer button

  • Browse through the list of schools and find the perfect opportunity for your team.

Screen Shot for Sign up

  • When you’ve found the school where you would like to volunteer, click Or sign up with a team.

TIP: If you accidentally click the green “Sign up”  button and register as an individual, you won’t be able to sign up your team. If this happens, don’t worry! You can always cancel your reservation from the “My Account” section of the site and try again (or send us an email if you have any issues).

Image of Choose your Team Page at HON.org

  • A new page will open where you can select your team.
  • In the “Option 1″ box use the scroll-down menu to select your volunteer team that will take part. Then click SELECT.
  • A pop-up window with your team members will then appear.

Image of Selecting Teammates Page at HON.org

  • Check the box next to the name of each team member who you want to sign up for Hands On Nashville Day.

(Team members that are “pending” on your team roster can be added like any one else. No worries! Jump down to the tip section below for more information.)

  • When you are ready, click SUBMIT!

WOO-HOO! 

Your team is now registered for Hands On Nashville Day! You and your teammates (with email addresses) will receive an email confirmation with additional details about where to go for your project, etc. Now is a great time to personally tell your team members the good news. Jump to the last step to see how!


HONft2011_388 TIP: If you do not have 100% commitments from each team member you’ve invited to be on your team, that’s OK. You can still go ahead and select these team members as shown in Step 4 and sign up your team for HON Day.

Team members who are shown as “pending” on your team roster will still get a slot if you select them when you sign up your team.

If for any reason team members are not going to be able to volunteer on September 20,  it is important you remove them from the school your team is signed for so that other volunteers can fill in those slots. The sooner you remove the team members who can’t make it, the better!

Here’s how:

  • Sign in.
  • Go to My Account.
  • In the main section of the page you will see your Upcoming Opportunities.
  • Find the opportunity your team is registered for.
  • Click on Manage My Team.
  • A pop-up window with team member names will appear.
  • Unselect the people who will NOT be joining you for HON Day.
  • Click SUBMIT to finalize your roster.

Step 5 – Communicate with your team.

Pumped to tell your team about this awesome event and plan your matching outfits for the day? You are able to send out mass messages to your members. Here’s how:

  • Log in to your account.
  • In the My Account section, click on My Teams.
  • Click the plus sign (+) next to your team name.
  • Click Manage Team and select which members you’d like to email.

Image of Emailing Team Members Page at HON.org

  • Click Email Members.
  • Write your message and hit SUBMIT to send!

Tip: This is another great reason to include email addresses for as many team members as you can! Only team members with emails listed will receive these messages. 

INFORMATION TO COMMUNICATE:

  • HON Day projects take place at 50+ school sites on Saturday, September 20 from 8 a.m. to Noon. When you’re done with the landscaping and painting, be sure and plan to attend the after party celebration including complimentary lunch ’til 2 p.m at Hands On Nashville.
  • Team Challenge  – Your team can choose to maximize its overall impact on Hands On Nashville Day by participating in the Team Challenge, which adds a team fundraising component to group volunteer efforts! If interested, click here to learn more.
  • Limited edition HON Day event t-shirts will be available beginning August 28 at HON.org.

Whew! That’s it. You now know everything you need to conquer the world… or, at least make it a better place. Still have questions? You can also call us at (615) 298-1108 ext. 301 or e-mail us at honday@hon.org. View this video for an easy walk-through:

A Great Summer of Youth Service!

We had a blast serving and learning with hundreds of outstanding youth this summer. We explored issues that impact our community, talked about sustainable eating and healthy food choices at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm, and worked alongside skilled youth interns and other future leaders. What can we say? We’re already looking forward to next summer! Here’s a recap of our 2014 summer.


Crop City 2014 Youth Development Program Recap:

Crop City 2014 Participants_1

Youth from Sophia’s Heart harvest materials for Squash Slaw at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!

Last week, Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture team wrapped up its six-week youth development program, Crop City, and it was a huge success! Over the past two months, 763 youth spent a total of 1,923 hours learning about nutrition, the social and environmental impacts of our food choices, and of course, gardening, at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

Each day, participants played educational games and harvested food from the garden, which they then used to create healthy, delicious snacks right at the Farm. Over the summer we harvested and ate 646 pounds of fresh fruits and veggies! This year’s partners included the Martha O’Bryan Center, Y-CAP, Nashville International Center for Empowerment, Watkins Park Community Center, Sofia’s Heart, and Youth Villages.

To see more pictures of the Crop City 2014, click here.

To learn more about our outstanding Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns who led Crop City this summer, click here.


Youth Volunteer Corps Summer Camp Recap

2014 YVC Summer Youth Camp Week 3

Youth serving at The Nashville Food Project during week three of YVC Summer Camp.

This summer, Hands On Nashville also launched YVC Summer Camp, a brand new summer camp for youth ages 14-18. Each week, campers explored an issue that impacts our community.

During the months of June and July, campers learned about environmental issues, homelessness and hunger, health and wellness, and youth education, and served the Nashville community through experiential service-learning projects. Campers served at the Nashville Rescue Mission, gardened at BELL Garden, sorted medical supplies at Project C.U.R.E. and served and learned with many other community organizations.

2014 YVC Summer Camp Week 4

Youth serving at Fannie Battle during week four of HON’s YVC Summer Camp.

Huge thanks to our 2014 Summer Youth Leaders, Ben, Cecilia, Emily, and Conor, for helping make YVC Summer Camp a success!


Interested in serving as a youth leader? Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps is now recruiting passionate, dedicated youth to serve as leaders for our ongoing, monthly volunteer projects. Email Ashleigh at hon.org for more information.

Join our CSA(e) – Community Supported Agriculture education!

Here’s a tasty way to support Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program: join our CSA(e) – Community Supported Agriculture education!

Image of Youth serving at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!

Youth serving at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm!

The community’s generous support enables us to educate youth about healthy eating and
sustainable living. Every week throughout the year, our Urban Agriculture Program engages young people in service-learning based experiences at our Urban Farm to empower them to make healthy eating choices. These youth gain practical experience in growing their own food, and learn how to cook (and eat!) delicious, nutritious meals.

HON Urban Farm Carrots

Carrots harvested from the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

To support these efforts, we’re inviting individuals to make a financial donation to Hands On Nashville. As a gift for your support, you will receive a weekly box of fresh produce from our Urban Farm for two months, along with fun updates about what Nashville youth are learning and doing at our Urban Farm. Together, we can continue to grow healthy communities through youth education.

For more information, please contact Urban Farm Coordinator Adam Curtis adam@hon.org.

Volunteer Service Organizations Awarded $100,000 in Grants at Conference on Volunteering and Service

Hands On Nashville earns top grant of $50,000 through innovative competition
supported by JPMorgan Chase

HandsOn Nashville earns top grant of $50,000 through innovative competition  supported by JPMorgan Chase

Hands On Nashville President and CEO Brian Williams accepts grant at first-ever HandsOn Network Innovation and Social Impact Forum.


ATLANTA (June 17, 2014)
– Volunteer service organizations from across America are leaving Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service this week with $100,000 to implement innovative, high-impact programs, thanks to an ongoing commitment to volunteer service by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Four volunteer organizations participated in the first-ever HandsOn Network Innovation and Social Impact Forum, supported by JPMorgan Chase, where they competed before a panel of service leaders for a top grant of $50,000. The remaining three organizations shared $50,000 in grants to enhance their volunteer programs.

Hands On Nashville was awarded a $50,000 grant to continue growing its Home Energy Savings Program, which engages volunteers in improving the energy efficiency, comfort and safety of Nashville homes owned and occupied by low-income homeowners. Other volunteer service organizations receiving grants included the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County (CA), HandsOn Twin Cities (MN) and HandsOn Genesee (MI).

“The passion and creativity that these finalists utilized to solve important problems in our communities was impressive,” said Lois Backon, head of corporate partner marketing for JPMorgan Chase. “JPMorgan Chase is committed to investing in service innovation because we know that when we harness what our best and brightest have to offer, we can make a tangible difference in every local community we touch.”

The Innovation and Social Impact Forum was part of the Business Track at Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, which unites thousands of volunteer and service leaders from around the world each year. At the forum, candidates each had 10 minutes to promote their organization and answer questions before a panel of judges including Lamman Rucker from Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns; Laura Turner Seydel of Captain Planet Foundation; Taproot Foundation President and CEO Liz Hamburg; and Coxe Curry & Associates Senior Consultant Ann Cramer. Moderating the panel was Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSRWire.

JPMorgan Chase and Points of Light, the world’s largest organization devoted to volunteer service, have a history of collaborating to find new ways to support and facilitate volunteer service. At last year’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, JPMorgan Chase and Points of Light kicked off a nationwide One America tour focused on uniting unlikely allies to help students succeed, tackle food insecurity and improve the environment.

“The key to strengthening America’s communities is inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to take action,” said Points of Light President Tracy Hoover. “We’re proud to work with corporate partners like JPMorgan Chase who are providing the resources and commitment needed to spark innovative approaches to service.”

For more about the Conference on Volunteering and Service, visit www.pointsoflight.org or www.volunteeringandservice.org.

# # #

About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We put people at the center of change. For more information, go to http://www.pointsoflight.org.

About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.

Introducing Hands On Nashville’s 2014 Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns!

This week, Hands On Nashville is kicking off Crop City, a six-week camp where community youth will learn how to grow food and make healthy eating choices! 2014 Crop City participants are youth served by the following organizations: Watkins Park Community Center, Y-CAP, Martha O’Bryan Center, Youth Villages, Sophia’s Heart, and the Nashville International Center for Empowerment.

As we begin, we would like to introduce you to a group of outstanding Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns who will lead the farm-to-table, curriculum-based summer youth development program.

Guided by Hands On Nashville staff, these awesome interns will teach Crop City participants – who live in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce — how to grow healthy produce to share with their communities and useful leadership skills to foster future growth. Please join us in welcoming these young leaders who are making a difference during their summer break.


 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Grace Bryant

Grace Bryant is a rising junior at Glencliff High School where she is currently preparing for a future in biological engineering. After school, Grace can often be found researching diseases among insects in a biology lab. Grace hopes to share her knowledge of nutritious plants and food with the world this summer, and in the future.

Fun fact: If Grace could be any movie character, she’d be Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – he has a lot of fun but still helps others.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Maria DartyMariah Darty is a rising junior at Glencliff High School. From joining the garden club and working for the newspaper to tutoring students at two different middle schools, Mariah has taken on many new activities over the last year. She is ready to continue learning and teaching others while adding an Urban Agriculture Internship to the list this summer.

Fun Fact: If Mariah could be any cartoon character, she would be Sponge Bob because he is always happy, and positive.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Emily DunnEmily Dunn  is a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where she’s co-captain of the swim team; co-leads a club that raises money to fight cancer; and helps coordinate the school’s recycling effort. Emily is returning for her second year leading Crop City programming as an Urban Agriculture Intern. She’s driven to play an active role in eliminating food deserts.

Fun Fact: If Emily could be any cartoon character, she would be Phineas, from Phineas and Ferb – because they lived in an endless summer.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Jon EdwardsJon Edwards is a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where he will serve as Student Body Treasurer next fall. As a volunteer, Jon has spent three Christmas holidays working at a school and orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua and has served as a tutor for elementary school students within the local community. This summer, he hopes to positively influence a child’s future out at the Farm.

Fun Fact: If Jon could only listen to one CD/album forever, he’d listen to, The Band by The Band.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Nikita HolbertNikita Holbert, a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, absolutely loves to be outside. Nikita is excited to bring her gardening experience (she has planted tomatoes, squash, and peaches at her grandmother’s garden…yum), passion for helping others, and strong interest in teaching youth to the Urban Farm this summer.

Fun Fact: If Nikita could have superpowers, she would have the abilities to disappear, pause the world, and run fast.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Ameena KhoshnawAmeena Khoshnaw is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. As a dedicated volunteer, Ameena regularly serves at local Islamic churches and has assisted in disaster relief efforts as an ICNA Disaster Relief Group volunteer. Ameena strives to be a shining example for her younger family members and help those less fortunate take steps toward success in their lives.

Fun Fact: Photography is Ameena’s favorite hobby – she loves capturing nature’s amazing scenes.

2014 Urban Agriculture Camryn MagsbyCamryn Magsby is a rising sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic High School. Camryn is a strong advocate of healthy eating, and has helped fight hunger as a volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Rescue Mission, and Mercy Ministries. Camryn aims to inspire others to see the value of growing their own food this summer.

Fun fact: If Camryn could have any superpower, it would be to read people’s minds, like professor X from X-Men.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Dina MikaielDina Mikaiel is a rising senior at Antioch High School where she is an essential part of the school’s Leadership Class. Dina helps fellow students through the Adopt a Freshmen program, serves as a Big Sister, and hopes to meet new people and help change lives of community youth through education this summer.

Fun Fact: If Dina could travel anywhere in the world, she would travel to Egypt.

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Leyla Mohamed

Leyla Mohamed is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School where she is a member of Beta Club, Red-Cross club and the Muslim Student Association. For the past three years, Leyla has volunteered at local mosques teaching children Arabic nearly every weekend. This summer, Lelya hopes to learn more about the agriculture system in Nashville and use her leadership skills to help improve it.

Fun Fact: If Leyla could have any superpower, she would have all of the knowledge in the world.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Miranda MooreMiranda Moore is a rising sophomore at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. She loves working with kids, and has many years of experience as a camp counselor. Miranda is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of healthy foods and nutrition with campers this summer, and is excited to learn more about urban agriculture throughout the process.

Fun Fact: If Miranda could only eat one type of food forever, she would choose Clementines.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Megnot Mulugeta

Megnot Mulugeta is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School where for the last two school years she has helped organize fundraisers for FEED, an organization that helps feed and clothe children in Haiti. With a newfound interest in gardening, Megnot aims to help others to make healthier choices this summer.

Fun Fact: If Megnot could have any superpower, she would be able to read minds.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Farhiya Omar

Farhiyo Omar, a rising junior at Hillwood High School, is very excited to be spending a second consecutive summer teaching at Crop City this year. Farhiyo says that being able to watch the kids smile and grow last year was a very rewarding experience and is looking forward to again sharing her knowledge of farming with others.

Fun fact: If she could do anything she wanted, Farhiyo would travel the world.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Rayan OsmanRayan Osman is a rising junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. Rayan is co-founder of her school’s Muslim-Student Association and regularly tutors elementary and middle school students. After college, Rayan plans to go to Somalia to help residents fight poverty. She hopes to gain knowledge about agriculture this summer.

Fun Fact: Reading is Rayan’s favorite hobby – it’s a really fun activity, she says.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Carson ThomasCarson Thomas is a rising senior at University School of Nashville where she co-leads USN’s Environmental Club, is captain of the Ultimate Frisbee Team and is involved with the Student Sustainability Initiative. Carson has served as a fellow at the Urban Farm for the last year, and is thrilled to be joining us again for her second consecutive summer as an Urban Agriculture Intern at Crop City.

Fun Fact: If Carson could only eat one type of food forever, it would be pasta.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Chloe VaccaroChloe Vaccaro is a recent graduate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School and will attend UT Knoxville in the fall. As an Urban Farm Fellow and Urban Agriculture Intern for the past two summers, Chloe continues to make an impact at the Urban Farm. Chloe’s long-term goal is to help increase access to healthy food for families located in food deserts and hopes to continue to learn about organic farming this summer.

Fun Fact: If Chloe could only listen to one CD/album forever, it would be Live by Erykah Badu.

Introducing our 2014 Youth Volunteer Corps Summer Youth Leaders!

This summer, four exceptional Middle Tennessee high schoolers will lead their peers to explore important issues facing our community during Hands On Nashville’s new Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Summer Camp.

From June through July, these 2014 YVC Summer Youth Leaders will each facilitate a weeklong camp for their fellow high school volunteers that focuses on a specific issue, including homelessness, health and wellness, youth education, and the environment. Each camp is designed to encourage a deeper understanding of the issue and our community through hands-on service learning experiences.

After being selected through a highly competitive application process, these difference-makers completed a Hands On Nashville leadership training session to help them prepare to lead skill-building activities centered around service-learning. Please join us in welcoming these four inspiring leaders!

To read about other young people in the Nashville community who are Hyped On Help, check out our Tumblr page.


BEN DELEVANTE, Environment Week, June 9-13

Volunteer Corps Summer Youth Leader Ben Delevante

“I serve because I have the ability to help others.” – Ben Delevante

A few fun facts about Ben:

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

A: I would go to Europe.

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in Nashville?

A: Attend Vanderbilt football games.


For the past two years, Father Ryan High School sophomore Ben Delevante has volunteered as a middle school basketball coach, assisted at Room In The Inn, and has helped raise money to fight cancer as a Relay for Life participant. “I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have many great examples of volunteerism and leadership,” Ben says. “It’s important to help out those less fortunate in our community.”

As a coach and leader, Ben knows the importance of having a plan and motivating others to achieve a common goal. This summer, he hopes to further his teaching and leadership skills while learning more about our community needs. As a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, Ben will be channeling his energy for health and wellness to better the environment in our community. This summer, Ben will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including maintenance and upkeep of local parks, planting gardens, and providing energy upgrades to a local home.

 

CECILIA VON MANN, Hunger & Homelessness Week, June 23-27

YVC Summer Youth Leader Cecilia Von Mann

“I serve because I believe that one small act of service can ripple out and not only impact a person’s life, but change the world.” – Cecilia Von Mann

 A fun fact about Cecilia:

Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

A: India during the Holi Fest or Patagonia, Chile, to hike the mountains or hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain.


For Cecilia Von Mann, volunteering is one of the most important aspects of her life.

Cecilia, a junior at Father Ryan High School, is a long-time volunteer at Room In The Inn. From serving meals and registering guests to teaching art classes, Cecilia is passionate about helping those facing homelessness. In addition, Cecilia tutors refugee children each week, has led multiple retreats at her middle school, and has traveled across the globe to complete mission trips in cities from Honduras to South Carolina.

Cecilia is excited to put her summer to good use by helping others as a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, and hopes to learn more about hunger throughout the process. This summer, Cecilia will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including sorting perishable food items, serving lunch to women and children facing homelessness, and prepping survival kits.

 

EMILY THOMPSON, Health & Wellness Week, July 7-11

YVC Summer Youth Leader Emily Thompson

“I serve because I believe making a difference begins with one person taking action, creating a chain reaction of service.” – Emily Thompson

A few fun facts about Emily:
Q: If you could eat only one type of food forever, what would it be?
A: Pizza. All day every day. There is nothing better.

Q: If you could only listen to one CD/album forever, which one would it be?

A: Any Arctic Monkeys album other than A.M. Their older stuff is even better.


Emily Thompson, a junior at Merrol Hyde Magnet School, believes that time is the greatest gift you can give to someone. A Girl Scout since kindergarten, Emily learned the true value of volunteerism from a young age. Whether volunteering at Hands On Nashville, spearheading a clothing donation drive at her church to support those facing homelessness, or organizing a middle school dance to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Emily enjoys making a difference for others and leading by example.

As an aspiring pediatrician, Emily’s goal is to help improve access to proper healthcare and safety in the community. As a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, Emily will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including sorting medical supplies for clinics overseas, boxing shoes for children abroad, and cooking lunch for people battling illnesses.

 

CONOR RORK, Youth Education Week, July 21-25

YVC Summer Youth Leader Conor Rork

“I serve because I want to make a difference in other people’s lives.” – Conor Rork

A few fun facts about Conor:
Q: If you could only eat one type of food forever, what would it be?

A: Spaghetti with meat sauce. All day.

Q: If you could only listen to one CD/album forever, which one would it be?

A: El Camino, The Black Keys


University School of Nashville tenth grader Conor Rork has been an avid reader since age 4. This summer, Conor hopes to share his passion for education and the written word with his peers and community youth as a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader. “I’d like to pass on and share my love of reading with children,” Conor says. “I hope to make a difference in at least one child’s life through this opportunity.”

As a community volunteer, Conor has proudly served as a math tutor for youth at Edgehill Community Center and the Susan Gray School, organized musical activities at his church’s vacation bible school, and led Boy Scout Troup 31 in many service projects.

This summer, Conor will lead campers in service-learning opportunities such as assisting with enrichment activities for young kids, reading to children, and sorting books.

 

ISABEL JOHNSON-BANN, Youth Volunteer Corps Summer AmeriCorps Member 

"I serve because I know I can make a difference in someone's life." - Isabel Johnson-Ban

“I serve because I know I can make a difference in someone’s life.” – Isabel Johnson-Bann

We’d like to extend a special thank-you to Youth Volunteer Corps Summer AmeriCorps Member Isabel Johnson-Bann. This summer, Isabel will oversee each week of Hands On Nashville’s YVC summer camp while facilitating fun, educational service-learning activities for youth participants. From 2007-2013, Isabel served as a highly active Youth Volunteer Corps volunteer in the Middle Tennessee community. She has completed numerous service projects benefiting our community’s youth, homeless and disabled populations, as well as the environment. Isabel is currently studying Animal Science at The University of Tennessee at Martin.

 

 

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Nashville Chefs Collaborate on Dinner to Raise Money for Hands On Nashville

**Please Note: This dinner has been postponed for a TBD date in September. All ticket purchasers will receive a 100% refund this week. Please contact becca@hon.org with any questions, and stay tuned for details on the September dinner!

Sycamore’s summer farm dinner on Sunday, June 8th features seasonal fare from four Nashville chefs

Sycamore Nashville, a pop-up concept created by husband-and-wife team Tony and Caroline Galzin, will host a summer beer dinner to raise funds for the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. The four-course dinner will highlight seasonal produce from the Farm. The evening will be a collaborative effort, with appetizer from Tony Galzin, a pasta course from Tom Lazzaro of Lazzaroli Pasta, a wood-fired entrée from Jim Garvin of Crankees Pizza, and dessert by pastry chef Audra Dykes.

Chef Tony Galzin demonstrates a healthy summer salad recipe for the participants of Hands On Nashville's Urban Farm youth summer program. The kids got to try their hands at making the salad, too!

Chef Tony Galzin demonstrates a healthy summer salad recipe for the participants of Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm youth summer program. The kids got to try their hands at making the salad, too!

Beers from Jackalope Brewery and other local brewers will pair with each course. The dinner will take place on Sunday, June 8th at 6:00 pm at POP Nashville (604 Gallatin Ave., Ste 202).

TICKETS: $50 each and include dinner and beer pairings. Tickets may be purchased at the event, or in advance here. Space is limited.

In partnership with Mayor Karl Dean’s Office and the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation, Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm engages volunteers – primarily young people – in service and learning. This dinner will support Hands On Nashville’s youth summer camp program at the Farm, which teaches Davidson county children about nutrition, sustainability, and healthy food choices.

This will be Sycamore’s fifth fundraiser for the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

Hands On Nashville is grateful for Tony and Caroline’s dedicated support of our work to engage young people in learning about healthy eating choices, leadership development, and FUN at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm. Print

ABOUT SYCAMORE: Sycamore is a project from husband and wife team Tony and Caroline Galzin, both formerly of Chicago. Tony and Caroline have been hosting pop up events under the name Sycamore for the past year in Nashville at Fido, The Catbird Seat, Flyte, The Jackalope Tap Room, The Southern Artisan Cheese Festival and Outstanding in the Field. They are currently working on a new concept that will open in Nashville in 2014.

 

 

Volunteers Give Refurbished Bikes to Underserved Youth

200 Children Benefit From Hands On Nashville’s ReCYCLE for Kids Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two hundred elementary school students served by Metro Parks community centers took home their very own bicycles and bike helmets today, as part of Hands On Nashville’s ReCYCLE for Kids presented by Jackson.

ReCYCLE for Kids engages community volunteers in providing refurbished bikes, new helmets and basic safety education for underserved children.

ReCYCLE for Kids 2014 image

Two hundred elementary school students served by Metro Parks community centers took home their very own bicycles and bike helmets today, as part of Hands On Nashville’s ReCYCLE for Kids presented by Jackson.

“This is truly a volunteer-driven effort, from the donations of used bikes to financial contributions we received during The Big Payback to support the cost of new helmets for the kids,” said Hands On Nashville President and CEO Brian Williams. “ReCYCLE for Kids harnesses the volunteer spirit of this community and puts it to action.”

To kick off Hands On Nashville’s ReCYCLE for Kids effort, nearly 150 individuals and businesses donated used children’s bikes to Hands On Nashville last fall. Throughout the past several months, more than 300 volunteers refurbished those bikes at the Oasis Center’s Bike Workshop – cleaning, repairing and returning the bikes to like-new condition.

Saturday’s grand giveaway event at McFerrin Park Community Center was the culmination of these efforts. After receiving a free bike and helmet, each child completed a skills course and took part in road safety activities. Seventy-five volunteers helped to facilitate the event.

“Metro Parks is proud to partner with Hands On Nashville to put like-new bicycles in the hands of deserving young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to own a bike,” said Tommy Lynch, director of Metro Parks.

Overall, the effort engaged more than 450 community volunteers, including many volunteers from Nashville’s business community such as Jackson, Emma, UBS, Starbucks, Cassidy Turley and Cummins.

“Jackson employees really value the opportunity to volunteer together, especially when it comes to projects such as ReCYCLE for Kids,” said Corinne Bergeron, corporate social responsibility manager for Jackson. “Not only are we bringing joy to these kids, but we’re also promoting healthy lifestyle activities and giving kids the opportunity to learn responsibility through bike ownership.”

About Hands On Nashville
Hands On Nashville’s mission is to meet community needs through volunteerism. For more than 20 years, Hands On Nashville (HON) volunteers have been addressing critical issues facing the Middle Tennessee community such as hunger, homelessness and environmental protection. In 2013, HON connected or referred more than 124,000 volunteers to service opportunities, making it one of the largest volunteer resource centers of its kind in the world. Offering more than 300 volunteer opportunities to the community each month at HON.org, Hands On Nashville challenges everyone to find a way to give back and to … Be the Change. Volunteer. For more information, visit www.HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.

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Recycle For Kids Sponsors

 

MEDIA CONTACTS: Becca Wilson
Hands On Nashville
(615) 298-1108, Ext. 406
(615) 426-1428
becca@hon.org

Mayor Announces ‘Excellence in Volunteer Engagement’ Recipients

42 Nonprofits Recognized for High-Quality Volunteer Management

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean announced today the 42 nonprofit organizations that received a renewal or new certification in the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement (EVE) program, an initiative to recognize high-quality volunteer management by nonprofits and to help increase the number of volunteers in Davidson County. It is the first such certification effort in the nation.

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement was developed in 2011 by the Mayor’s Office, in partnership with Hands On Nashville and the Center for Nonprofit Management, to recognize nonprofit agencies with effective volunteer programs and to encourage other organizations to join them in improving their volunteer opportunities so they can maximize their resources and provide the best quality services possible. Mayor Dean recognized the recipients at an event this morning at the Center for Nonprofit Management at the Trolley Barns.

Mayor Dean speaks to representatives from nonprofit organizations who received certification in the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement program

Mayor Dean speaks to representatives from nonprofit organizations who received certification in the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement program. Photo: Metro Photographic Services

“The volunteer spirit in our city is what makes Nashville special,” Mayor Dean said. “I appreciate the hard work of these nonprofits to make our city a better place, and I commend them for providing the types of meaningful volunteer experiences that put the skills of their volunteers to the best use. They deserve our congratulations for achieving certification in the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement program, and I thank Hands On Nashville and the Center for Nonprofit Management for leading the implementation of this significant program.”

Thirty-five of the 42 organizations that achieved certification today were part of the inaugural group to receive EVE certification in 2012, including FiftyForward, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville Public Library and Tennessee Voices for Children. Seven organizations are being certified for the first time. Seventy Nashville nonprofits have been certified since the inception of the program.

“Volunteers are invaluable to our community, helping to address critical issues such as hunger, literacy, and homelessness,” said Brian Williams, president & CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Nonprofits that excel in engaging volunteers achieve greater outcomes, amplifying their impact on the community. This group of EVE-certified nonprofits sets the standard for outstanding volunteer management practices.”

Photo: Mayor Dean joins representatives from nonprofit organizations who received certification in the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement program.

Mayor Dean joins representatives from nonprofit organizations who received certification in the Excellence in Volunteer Engagement program. Photo: Metro Photographic Services

A panel of judges representing the community determined which agencies qualified for a two-year certification. Certified organizations showed effectiveness in specific areas of volunteer management, including a defined volunteer program with an identified, dedicated and trained manager, a screening process that aligns volunteers’ skills and abilities with appropriate tasks, orientation for all volunteers and an evaluation process to affirm a volunteer’s impact on the community and agency.

Application is open to all nonprofit agencies in Davidson County with no restrictions on the size or budget of the organization and no application fee. EVE applications are due twice annually, and the next group of certified nonprofits will be announced in the fall. Applications can be found on the Center for Nonprofit Management’s website, www.cnm.org, or Hands On Nashville’s website, www.hon.org.

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement is part of the Mayor’s Office “Impact Nashville” initiative, which Mayor Dean launched on Sept. 30, 2010, as part of the national Cities of Service movement.

Impact Nashville directs volunteerism toward two top priorities, public education and the environment. Aligned with the goals of the Cities of Service national coalition, Impact Nashville strives to improve the impact of volunteerism across our city in four areas: the impact for those being served, the impact for the volunteer, the impact on the agency’s mission and the impact on our community.

The 42 nonprofits certified for Excellence in Volunteer Engagement are the following (organizations noted with an asterisk are first-time recipients of EVE certification; all others were certified in 2012 and received renewal certification):

  • Alive Hospice Inc.
  • American Red Cross
  • Arts & Business Council of Greater Nashville
  • Book’em
  • CASA Inc., of Davidson County
  • Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
  • Christian Women’s Job Corps of Middle Tennessee
  • Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum
  • FiftyForward
  • Friends Life Community Inc.
  • Friends of Warner Parks
  • Frist Center for the Visual Arts
  • Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville
  • Interfaith Dental Clinic
  • Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee Inc.*
  • Martha O’Bryan Center
  • Nashville Adult Literacy Council
  • Nashville CARES
  • Nashville International Center for Empowerment*
  • Nashville Public Library
  • Nashville Zoo at Grassmere*
  • PENCIL Foundation
  • Project Reflect*
  • Room In The Inn
  • Safe Haven Family Shelter
  • Salvation Army-Nashville
  • Scarritt-Bennett Center*
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
  • Siloam Family Health Center
  • St. Luke’s Community House
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure Greater Nashville
  • Ten Thousand Villages
  • Tennessee Performing Arts Center
  • Tennessee Voices for Children
  • The Nashville Food Project
  • The Next Door
  • Thriftsmart
  • W.O. Smith Music School
  • Your Heart On Art*
  • Youth Encouragement Services
  • Youth Villages*
  • YWCA of Nashville and Middle Tennessee

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Bonna Johnson
(615) 862-6461 direct
(615) 389-3405 cell
bonna.johnson@nashville.gov