Hands On Nashville announces the 2018 Strobel Volunteer Award nominees

Congratulations to the incredible volunteers nominated for the 2018 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Categories and nominees are listed below.

Save the date for the award ceremony: Join Hands On Nashville on Wednesday, April 25 to celebrate volunteerism in our community.

 

Capacity-building Volunteer

Honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization, or developed an innovative approach to significantly improve an existing program.

Anna-Vija McClain

Caroline Kreh

Carroll Kimball

Cheri Ferrari

Don Cornwell

Eddie Pearson

Heather Hicks

Helen Miles

Jane Baxter

Janet Kuhn

Jeff Parrish

Jen Robinson

Joe Christopher

Joey Hatch

John O’Shea

Kay Kretsch

Laneisha Coburn

Laura Beth Hyman

Laura Da Fonte

Leigh and Bear Barnes

Michael Gray

Mona Binda

Phil Holt

Rachel Petty

Robbie Williams

Robin Puryear

Samantha Perez

Susan Shand

Terry Demars

Trish Sanders

 

Corporate Volunteerism

Pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact. 

Asurion

Bank Director

Bridgestone Americas

Cigna

Dell Nashville

Deloitte

Ingram Marine Group

Jackson National Life Insurance Company

LifePoint Health

Mars Petcare

Media Star Promotions

Nashville Predators

Nissan North America

Geodis

Publix Super Markets

Steve Ward and Associates

Two Men and a Truck

United Parcel Service (UPS)

 

Civic Volunteer Group

Recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or non-corporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue. 

Beta Upsilon Chi

Cooper Trooper Foundation

Covenant Baptist Church Women

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Nashville Alumnae Chapter

Education Equal Opportunity Group

First Baptist Church Goodlettsville, Women’s Ministry

Greater Nashville Realtors

Junior League of Nashville

Murfreesboro Young Professionals

Music City Community Court

NHA Silver Socializers

Operation Song

Perennity

Royal Hills Neighborhood Organization

The Oak Hill School

Nashville Capitol City Chapter, Top Ladies of Distinction

 

Direct Service Volunteer (ages five to 20)

Recognizes individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources to help an agency’s constituents.

Allison Heard

Carter Hyde

Gitanjali Rao

Gracie Stambaugh

Leanna Edwards

Margot May

Melina Nguyen

Nora Ryan

Sam Strang

Sidney Starling

Vince Dick

 

Direct Service Volunteer (ages 21 to 49)

Andy Morris

Arville Knight

Brittany Taussig

Casey Enright

Charlotte Avant

Jennifer Radcliffe

Jill Heyman

Josiah Holland

Julie Hornsby

Lesley Patterson-Marx

Paige Cruse

Robyn Saunders

Sean Druffel

Talisha Robertson

Tim Slate

Victoria Driver

 

Direct Service Volunteer (ages 50 plus)

Amelia Workman

Andy Womack

Anthony Viglietti

Bette Christofersen

Bill and Mary Jean Murphy

Brenda Hix

Carolyn Nash

Catherine Thornburg

Charlotte Swor

Don Cornwell

Donice Kaufman-Stewart

Ed Batsel

Geri Franske

Gordon Dunaway

Harold Pinney

James Hogge

Janie Busbee

Janie Luna

Jean Styron

Jen Robinson

Joyce Page

Karen Catron

Kathy Shaw

Kenneth Watford

Larry Christian

Lela Hollabaugh

Marilyn Bagford

Mary Beth Pacsi

Mary Buckner

Nancy Mally

Pam Cavala

Pat McDougal

Patricia Wright

Saralu Lunn

Warren White

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Resolve to Serve Stories: Nashville Adult Literacy Council

Every day, Hands On Nashville’s community partners and volunteer community build stronger communities through service. HON celebrates these partners through Resolve to Serve Stories. We’re inspired by their work, their missions and their dedication – and invite you to get involved.

Imagine not being able to read. Imagine not being able to speak or understand the English language. Imagine not being able to fill out a job application or communicate with your doctor. Imagine never having a chance for a better job or job promotion. Imagine not being able to help your chil

dren with their homework or not being able to attend a parent-teacher conference. Imagine having to rely on someone to pay your bills for you because you can’t read them. Imagine the feeling of your children asking for a bedtime story, and you are unable to read to them.

Imagine yourself changing someone’s life.

Last year, the Nashville Adult Literacy Council (NALC) worked with hundreds of volunteers to help nearly 1,700 adults learn reading, writing, conversational skills and information about U.S. citizenship. Most of the agency’s volunteers do not come from a professional teaching background. Through NALC’s training, individuals become one-on-one tutors who help adults in Nashville become successful, thriving parts of the community.

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Julie Kramer, ELL Specialist at NALC, manages the one-on-one tutoring program for adult immigrants. She draws from her own personal experience as an example of what volunteering for NALC means.

“I worked in the corporate travel industry for 30 years, but wanted to find a meaningful volunteer opportunity that would directly benefit someone,” says Julie. “I never thought of myself as a teacher and never thought I’d be teaching anybody anything, but I decided to get outside of my comfort zone to help someone in the Nashville community. I was pretty unsure of myself in the beginning.”

Julie’s first student was a biology teacher from Egypt, who was working in hotel housekeeping at the time. As the student gained proficiency with his English skills, he became more confident and landed a job in a biology lab. Though Julie met with her student in Antioch, Julie lived in Bellevue and worked near Nashville International Airport.

One in eight Nashville adults is functionally illiterate, and 12 percent of Nashville’s population was born outside of the United States. With more than 100 people on NALC’s waiting list, the need for one-on-one tutors is great, especially in the Antioch and south Nashville areas of the city.

Julie says, “I felt like this was the most rewarding volunteer experience I had ever had, so much so that I decided to change careers to work with adult immigrants who were learning English. I knew I had found my calling right away.” Now, she manages the program.

It wasn’t just Julie’s calling. The entire Nashville Adult Literacy Council staff began their work as volunteer tutors, many after careers in completely different fields.

Consider stepping outside of your neighborhood and meeting someone you would never come in contact with in your everyday life. NALC has trained accountants, IT professionals, college students, FBI investigators, doctors, project managers, waiters, scientists, homemakers, and healthcare workers to help adults learn to read and improve English skills.

Over and over, volunteers state they get more out of the experience than the learners. Participants enjoy the experience while making a huge difference in someone’s life.

The Nashville Adult Literacy Council is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to teaching reading to U.S.-born adults and English skills to adult immigrants. The agency’s vision is for all to learn and for all to help build a community of adults empowered through literacy. Browse all volunteer opportunities with NALC and visit the agency’s website for upcoming volunteer training dates.

Resolve to Serve Stories: Preston Taylor Ministries

Every day, Hands On Nashville’s community partners and volunteer community build stronger communities through service. HON celebrates these partners through Resolve to Serve Stories. We’re inspired by their work, their missions and their dedication – and invite you to get involved.

The night before Preston Taylor Ministries’ annual Nativity Store, staff members were putting in late hours to set up the space. Maggie Tucker, owner of the local children’s boutique Magpies, stopped by to drop off donations.

“She walked in and she could tell what was going on,” said Bethany Jones, Site Director Mt. Nebo and Volunteer Coordinator at Preston Taylor Ministries (PTM). “She took off her coat and asked: ‘What can I do?’”

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At its core, Preston Taylor Ministries focuses on building relationships. Through tutoring, mentoring and events, the agency helps empower children and youth. For example, PTM’s Nativity Store serves more than 300 children per year. Parents are invited to shop from donations of clothes, toys and games, while children play with games and crafts in the space. Volunteers help engage children, maintain the store and wrap gifts.

The day before the Nativity Store, PTM hosted a separate holiday shopping event and gift-wrapping party for 90 youth. Magpies served as a 2017 event sponsor, and Tucker arrived as staff worked to transition the space. “She stayed for several hours to help set up,” said Jones. “She had great ideas and was encouraging to be around. What more could you want, when you have several people inexperienced in retail, and someone who owns a retail store walks in?”

Following her involvement with the Nativity Store, Maggie Tucker became a long-term volunteer with PTM’s Lunchmate Mentoring program. As Jones shared, PTM offers volunteer opportunities to fit any schedule, but mentors tend to stay involved with the agency for longer periods of time.

“We have a lot of volunteers who might, for example, know how to play chess, and begin leading a chess club at our after-school program,” said Jones. “Through the Lunchmate program, we’ve had kids who begin in the second grade, then graduate to our middle school and high school programs, and remain in touch with their mentors.”

Whether she’s working on the Nativity Store or showing up each week as a Lunchmate Mentor, volunteers like Maggie help PTM fulfill its mission in the community. Thank you, PTM staff and volunteers, for all you do!

Preston Taylor Ministries (PTM) empowers children and youth to discover and live their God-inspired dreams, develop a love for learning, and build joy-filled friendships. Browse all opportunities to volunteer with PTM.

Building Houses; Building Communities: Why the Jones Company Commits to Giving Back

There’s a world of difference between a string of homes and a community. The Jones Company sees that line each day. Founded in 1927, the home-building organization has a 90-year history of watching neighborhoods grow and change.

Bob Jones, the company’s founder, had a dedication to philanthropy that lives on in the organization today. By prioritizing energy efficiency in new homes and actively volunteering with local nonprofits, the Jones Company works to build stronger communities, in addition to new homes.

2017 was the Jones Company’s 90th year in business. To celebrate, employees participated in volunteer projects throughout the year. Serving with Second Harvest Food Bank, Operation Stand Down Tennessee, Safe Haven Family Shelter and Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings (HES) program, Jones Company volunteers from every department – from sales to purchasing, accounting to construction – worked to meet needs related to housing and well being for residents in the community we all share.

“We wouldn’t have been in business this long without an attitude of thankfulness – for our customers, our business and our neighbors. Giving back is part of that,” said Bridget Thompson, director of marketing at The Jones Company. “It’s amazing what a group of volunteers can accomplish when they share their talents and resources.”

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HES projects are a natural fit for The Jones Company, as HON’s work to cut utility costs for neighbors living on low incomes mirrors the Jones Company’s initiative to employ energy conservation in all new homes. Such efforts are also a priority for Jones Company customers. “Affordable housing doesn’t just mean getting into a house and making a monthly payment – it’s also the upkeep,” said Thompson.

For Jones Company employees, volunteering as a group also offers the chance to step out of daily roles and take a break. During one Second Harvest project, Jones teammates got a kick out of seeing their colleagues, construction workers nearly always wearing work clothes, wearing hairnets, shelling peas and having fun.

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In today’s business world, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become less of an option and more of a requirement. According to Deloitte, 70 percent of millennials are influenced by a company’s CSR practices when considering taking a job. For Jones Company, however, building community simply comes with the territory.

Thank you, Jones Company, for spending your 90th year in service!

Learn how to increase your team’s corporate social responsibility.

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement awarded to 7 Nashville nonprofits

Nashville, Tenn. – October 24, 2017 – Dismas House of NashvilleFannie Battle Day Home for Children, Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, Inc., Make-A-Wish Middle Tennessee, Nashville Humane Association, Nashville Wine Auction and Project C.U.R.E. were recognized today for Excellence in Volunteer Engagement (EVE) certification at the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM). Through EVE, a partnership between CNM, Hands On Nashville (HON) and the Mayor’s Office, Middle Tennessee nonprofits with outstanding volunteer management programs are recognized and celebrated.

“EVE not only recognizes the nonprofits and volunteers doing incredible work in our city, but also the strong, productive relationships that grow from putting excellent management strategies in place,” said Tari Hughes, president and CEO of CNM.

EVE certification is awarded twice annually to nonprofits that adhere to volunteer management best practices, including conducting volunteer orientations and including a volunteer program component in the organization’s strategic plan. A nonprofit’s certification lasts two years and is then eligible for renewal. In total, 61 organizations are currently EVE certified.

“Nonprofits rely on volunteers for day-to-day support, as well as long-term capacity building,” said HON President and CEO Lori Shinton. “Our EVE-certified partners expertly engage volunteers to support their respective missions while empowering individuals to build stronger communities.

The next round of EVE applications will be accepted in the spring via http://www.hon.org/EVE. Any nonprofit agency in Davidson County may apply.

View the full list of EVE-certified nonprofits.

Why Nashville Public Library’s volunteers keep coming back

There’s no limit to what dedicated volunteers can accomplish in a day. Some projects require a longer time commitment, however – days, weeks or even months. The Nashville Public Library (NPL) knows this divide well, as 90 percent of its volunteer opportunities require long-term support.

NPL recognizes an annual “Volunteer of the Year” to help thank dedicated community members for their work. Long-term volunteer Julia Jones was awarded the title in 2017.

Julia
Julia Jones, NPL Volunteer of the Year 2017

Jones’ nomination highlights both her commitment to service and her valued role at the library:

“At the core of everything Julia does is her kindness, devotion, sensitivity, free-spiritedness, and a wonderful sense of humor. She warmly welcomes each and every guest at story time and other children’s events, addressing the children and their parents by name and showing genuine interest in them. She sings, she dances, she laughs, and in so doing, encourages the children and their caregivers to sing and dance and laugh. She encourages participants to explore the collection, recommends materials, and helps them locate those items in the library. She walks them to the door, helps them carry personal belongings, and makes patrons feel they are part of a big, Donelson family.”

– Kathryn Shaw, Donelson Branch Library Volunteer Leader

NPL lists all long-term volunteer opportunities on hon.org, and many volunteers and staff members recruit friends and family through word of mouth, adding to the sense of community among those who support the library.

“We feel such a sense of gratitude for people coming together in the community to help the library. It’s really humbling,” said Amy Pierce, volunteer services supervisor at Nashville Public Library. With long-term volunteer support, the library can offer unique services, such as the Talking Library – a program with two staffers and more than 70 volunteers, through which vision-impaired patrons can listen to volunteers read newspapers, books and more.

Volunteers must provide background checks before working at NPL, and using the library system requires training. Initially, library staff implemented the 50-hour rule to help conserve resources. However, long-term volunteering creates a sense of support and fulfillment over time.

“We work with volunteers and staff to find times that work, and allow volunteers to continue on a schedule,” said Amy Pierce, volunteer services supervisor at Nashville Public Library. “We require all volunteers to commit 50 hours of service. Often, they hit a rhythm and keep going. Many volunteers have been with us for years; last year, a volunteer hit more than 10,000 hours.”

What could your organization accomplish with a fleet of long-term volunteers?

Post your long-term opportunities on hon.org and find out today.

Harpeth Presbyterian Church Comes Together to Support Nashville Youth

“Rewarding.” That’s the word Brent Grunfeld, longtime supporter of the youth group at Harpeth Presbyterian Church (Harpeth Pres.), used to describe the church’s involvement with ReCYCLE for Kids 2017.

Harpeth Pres. is a small but mighty congregation in Brentwood, TN. After going on a mission trip to Mobile, Alabama last year, the youth group wanted to make a difference closer to home. While in Alabama, youth group members learned that people experiencing homelessness needed bikes to get around the city – and they were pleased to find out that local organizations exist to meet that need. Coming home, the group wondered if Nashville had resources in place to connect community members with bikes.

ReCYCLE For Kids: a volunteer-powered initiative that collects, restores and connects bicycles with youth in underserved neighborhoods. Between 2012 and 2017, ReCYCLE engaged 1,600 volunteers and connected nearly 1,000 youth with bicycles.

harpeth2A portion of bikes collected by Harpeth Pres.

After meeting with Hands On Nashville about ReCYCLE For Kids, Harpeth Pres. members had no idea how much their involvement would grow. What started as a youth-group project to donate and collect bikes turned into a congregationwide effort to make the biggest impact possible. Initially, the church donated 54 bikes, but they didn’t want to stop there.

“Our entire congregation came together and got behind supporting the program,” said Grunfeld. “It was amazing, the camaraderie and fellowship; we had eight-to-10 year olds and seniors going out of the way to help us figure out how to donate bikes. It created an environment that hadn’t really existed before.”

This newfound dedication led Harpeth Pres. to collect more than 110 bikes – accounting for nearly half of bikes delivered to community members at the ReCYCLE For Kids 2017 giveaway event.

harpeth 3Congregation members learning the ropes at a bike refurbishment project

The church’s enthusiasm was also apparent at its bike refurbishment project, which took place at Oasis Bike Workshop. “To have 32 people show up for refurbishment – they took over the Oasis Bike Workshop,” said Grunfeld. “Church members didn’t know what to expect. The next thing you knew, you had people who didn’t know anything about bikes fixing tires and brakes. The excitement was amazing when we left.”

Between the refurbishment and giveaway, nearly 50 people volunteered for ReCYCLE – not including the numerous people who helped in other various capacities.

After donating and collecting dozens of bikes, participating in a refurbishment and volunteering at the giveaway, Harpeth Pres. is already talking about keeping the momentum going. They look forward to working with other churches and increasing community member involvement in similar service projects.

To the entire congregation: ReCYCLE 2017 would not have been rewarding for us without your eagerness, excitement and support. From our team to yours, we are grateful.

Read about this year’s ReCYCLE For Kids bike giveaway.

 

HON Day 2017: Altria Volunteers and the Value of Showing Up

At 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, HON Day volunteers started arriving at Metro Nashville Public School site. For many, the day was just beginning. However, a handful of employee volunteers from Altria had started their “days” the previous night. The volunteers had worked from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Instead of heading home, the group reported to Cora Howe School to lend a hand.

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Preparing to expand the school garden.

Altria has been a dedicated HON Day sponsor since 2012, serving as presenting sponsor for the past two years. The company’s participation in HON Day 2017 is a testament to the power of private organizations connecting with their communities – and the value of showing up and making a difference. With Altria’s 2017 support, more than 1,000 volunteers had the resources needed to make a difference at 15 MNPS schools. On top of that, Altria volunteers always show up with positive attitudes, roll up their sleeves and turn project resources into results.

This year, the Altria volunteer team brought massive energy, laughter and hard work to Cora Howe, despite the long hours and hot Nashville sun. Led by community partners Cumberland River Compact and Nashville Tree Foundation, volunteers helped build a rain garden and plant trees on school grounds.

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One of seven new trees at Cora Howe School.

“HON Day builds camaraderie within our team, and it’s so great to be helping schools,” said Altria’s Jennifer Simpkins. 2017 marked Simpkins’ second HON Day, and she was one of the volunteers who reported for duty after working through the night.

James Harvey and Robert Klein, training leader and plant manager at Altria (respectively), also shared why they’ve supported HON Days past and present. “When it comes down to it, we’re blessed and fortunate,” said Harvey. “Whenever we can give back – that’s the right thing to do. As a business and as a person, it matters.”

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Starting work on the new rain garden.

To the entire Altria team: thank you for your commitment to HON Day as not only the presenting sponsor, but a team of community members ready to pitch in and work for a shared cause.

View photos from Hands On Nashville Day 2017.

Hands On Nashville Day Mobilizes More Than 1,000 Volunteers at Metro Nashville Public Schools

NASHVILLE – September 23, 2017 – This morning, more than 1,000 volunteers came together for the 26th Annual Hands On Nashville Day, a citywide day of service supporting Metro Nashville Public Schools. At 15 schools, volunteers created inspirational murals, landscaped playgrounds, and painted hallways, gymnasiums and more.

“Today’s volunteers aren’t just sprucing up schools,” said Dennis Neal, executive director of the Facility and Grounds Maintenance Department at Metro Nashville Public Schools. “They’re showing support for the MNPS students and families who learn and grow in these spaces every day.”

Hands On Nashville partnered with numerous community organizations and businesses in support of the day of service. A team of employee volunteers from Altria, the presenting sponsor, completed projects at Cora Howe School. Nashville Tree Foundation and Cumberland River Compact also contributed support.

“Hands On Nashville Day helps us give back to the community in which we live and work,” said Altria’s Mark Czuba. “It’s powerful to see what we can accomplish as a team, especially as we focus on a cause as important as our local schools.”

Metro Public Works partnered with the event for the second year as part of Mayor Megan Barry’s Fall Green & Clean initiative, sponsoring 100 tree plantings. Funding was provided through a Community Partner Grant from Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful (KAB), a national nonprofit that inspires and educates people to improve and beautify community environments.

The Nashville Tree Foundation supported the event through the Green Shirt Volunteer program, which recognizes volunteers who have experience planting trees at NTF events or have related professional qualifications. Green Shirt Volunteers trained and supervised Hands On Nashville Day projects to ensure proper planting methods, and will do so for additional planting projects in the community.

“Hands On Nashville’s mission – to meet community needs through volunteerism – truly comes alive on this day,” said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Our team has the unique position to see the impact volunteers contribute to our city every day, and events like Hands On Nashville Day highlight this impact for our entire community.”

Throughout Hands On Nashville’s 26 years, more than 26,000 volunteers have engaged in 75,000 hours of Hands On Nashville Day service, creating an economic impact valued at nearly $2 million, according to Independent Sector research.

To support Hands On Nashville’s work, please consider purchasing a commemorative HON Day 2017 t-shirt. $20 of the $26 t-shirt price goes directly to Hands On Nashville. Learn more at http://www.hon.org/honday.

For More Information:

Hands On Nashville – Jessica Moog, (615) 298-1108 (o); (908) 240-3444 (c); jessica@hon.org

About Hands On Nashville

Hands On Nashville (HON) meets community needs through volunteerism.

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Dedicated volunteers preparing to paint at Cora Howe School.
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The Nashville Tree Foundation led volunteers in planting trees on school properties.
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Lonnell Matthews, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Community Engagement, pauses for the camera with one of HON Day’s youngest volunteers.

 

Sponsor Grid - HON Day 2017

Hi, Neighbor! Join us for Good Neighbor Day!

Hands On Nashville and the Neighborhoods Resource Center invite you to come and be recognized for the great work you do in our community as a volunteer.

Join us for Good Neighbor Day at the fifth annual Nashville Neighborhoods Celebration from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 30 in Elizabeth Park.

  • Enjoy local artists performing great music, poetry, and storytelling;
  • Taste wonderful food from around the world; and
  • Engage in a wide range of fun activities for people of all ages.

The event is free with plenty of free parking. MTA riders will discover easy access using route 42 – St. Cecilia / Cumberland.

 

Volunteers: Stand up and be recognized! 

At 2 p.m., we’ll pause to recognize and thank the festival’s volunteers, and their role as some of the 10,000 volunteers serving our community through Hands On Nashville. Share your story about the work you do to make our community a better place to live. Help inspire others to volunteer and make a difference.

Volunteers are good neighbors

“The Nashville Neighborhoods Celebration is inspired by the qualities of every great neighbor,” said Jim Hawk, executive director at the Neighborhoods Resource Center and organizer of Good Neighbor Day. “Hands On Nashville Volunteers are good neighbors, too!

If you believe being a Good Neighbor is important part of life—and I believe most volunteers do—then you’ll be in the right place!”

Volunteer opportunities

Of course, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities if you want to help make Good Neighbor Day a great day.

The Celebration’s volunteer needs are listed below. You might expect some opportunities, such as greeting folks, taking photos, setting up and breaking down. Others might come as a surprise – for example, the Celebration is recruiting more than a dozen kazoo players to provide a soundtrack for the competitions and parades.

Browse the list, click your favorite to sign up, and help the Neighborhoods Resource Center make the Nashville Neighborhoods Celebration the city’s most welcoming event!

For more information about Good Neighbor Day at the fifth annual Nashville Neighborhoods Celebration, or ADA accommodation, visit the event’s website or call (615) 782-8212.