AmeriCorps Q&A: Natalie Hurd, Environmental AmeriCorps Member

Last August, Hands On Nashville welcomed a new class of AmeriCorps members to serve on our environmental, youth and education, and corporate teams. With the team now halfway through the service year, they’re sharing their experiences, lessons learned and favorite memories.

Natalie Hurd has been working with Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings and Environmental Restoration programs. Natalie leads volunteers in installing energy-efficient retrofits in low-income homes and oversees Volunteer Leaders for environmental restoration projects.

Is there a community project in the past six months that particularly resonated with you? Why?

I’ve had the opportunity to work with many wonderful volunteers and homeowners through HON’s Home Energy Savings (HES) program. One of my favorite projects was with a high school group volunteering in a young family’s home. The children in the home were eager to meet everyone, and the volunteers had a great time including them, so it made for a fun day. Getting the work done is always a goal, but I think that one-on-one interaction is what makes projects special.

Have any AmeriCorps moments challenged the way you thought about a particular issue, or affected how you will approach similar situations in the future?

I came into HES and environmental restoration with a background in environmental policy, so I viewed both programs with that frame of mind. I realized early on that each volunteer has unique motivations for lending a hand, and those reasons are often different than mine. I’ve learned to broaden my project orientations to speak to a varied audience, and that has helped me view the issues my programs address in a multifaceted way.

Can you share some advice for someone who is considering AmeriCorps or nonprofit work?

In any role, I think it’s important to be flexible. The best nonprofits respond to changing community needs, so your role may evolve over time. No matter how you day-to-day duties change during your term, it’s helpful to maintain a big-picture view of what you would like to get out of your AmeriCorps experience, and how your skills can benefit your organization.

What is your favorite place to spend a Sunday afternoon in Nashville?

I love spending the afternoon exploring the many hiking trails nearby, especially in Percy Warner Park or Radnor Lake. On rainy days, I like trying out new coffee shops or breakfast spots.

What do you like most about working in the Hands On Nashville office?

Everyone in the office is friendly and supportive, and our team dynamic reflects that. I also think it’s fun to see everyone working on different projects and then coming together to share what we’re doing – it is a cool reminder of all the awesome work Hands On Nashville and our nonprofit partners are doing in the community.

Read more about AmeriCorps experiences at Hands On Nashville.

AmeriCorps Q&A: Anna Byrne, Youth & Education AmeriCorps Member

By Natalie Hurd, Environmental AmeriCorps Member

Last August, Hands On Nashville welcomed a new class of AmeriCorps members to serve on our environmental, youth and education, and corporate teams. With the members nearing the end of the service year, they’re sharing their experiences, lessons learned and favorite memories.

Throughout her term, Anna Byrne has been working with Nashville neighborhood stakeholders to identify volunteer engagement opportunities supporting youth and education. Anna assesses neighborhood needs to help find volunteer-focused solutions.

What has been the most rewarding part of your AmeriCorps term so far?

All of the connections I have made in the nonprofit community, and the confidence I have found in my career path and myself. I start graduate school soon to pursue a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW) degree, and because of my experience with HON, I feel confident on that path.

How does your term so far compare to your expectations when first joining?

I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I have learned and been able to do outside of my job description. I didn’t expect to get to do so many different types of work and I have really enjoyed that part of the job.

Can you share some advice for someone who is considering AmeriCorps or nonprofit work?

Service is a great way to learn about the nonprofit world, and AmeriCorps provides one avenue of getting that experience. AmeriCorps is a commitment to service, and service means that you are making a sacrifice—in my experience, that sacrifice has been well worth it. If you decide that you want to serve through AmeriCorps, then you will likely need to have support financially, whether that means working multiple jobs or having family to back you up.

What is your favorite place to spend a Sunday afternoon in Nashville?

Volunteer Trail with my dog, Atlas.

What do you like most about working at Hands On Nashville?

The work environment at HON has been one of my favorite parts of my year of service. Everyone here is so authentic and supportive. I don’t think I have ever felt so comfortable in a workplace.

Interested in serving with AmeriCorps? Hands On Nashville is hiring through July 24.

Four local nonprofits honored for excellent volunteer management programs

The Adventure Science Center, Monroe Harding, NeedLink Nashville and the Sexual Assault Center were recognized for Excellence in Volunteer Engagement (EVE) certification today at the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM). EVE is a unique cross-sector partnership between CNM, Hands On Nashville (HON), and the Mayor’s Office, recognizing Middle Tennessee nonprofits with excellence volunteer management programs.

IMG_3465.JPG
Stephanie McCullough, director of community engagement at the office of Mayor Megan Barry; Tari Hughes; Lori Shinton; and the Spring 2017 EVE class.

“Volunteers are critical to the success of so many nonprofits, and that is why it is so important for nonprofits to put processes for best-practice volunteer management in place. I am proud that CNM partners with HON and the Mayor’s Office to recognize such achievement in our local nonprofits,” said CNM President and CEO Tari Hughes.

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, 68 organizations are currently EVE certified.

“Hands On Nashville celebrates the dedication it takes to transform volunteer support into capacity,” said HON President and CEO Lori Shinton. “We’re thrilled to support our partners as they engage volunteers to fulfill their missions.”

 

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

View the full list of EVE-certified nonprofits.

Hands On Nashville Announces 2017 Strobel Award Recipients

Middle Tennesseans were honored on Wednesday, April 21, for outstanding volunteer work at Hands On Nashville’s 31st annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, presented by Advance Financial.

  • Laura Little – Capacity-building Volunteer Award
  • Brentwood Baptist Church – Medical Dental Unit – Civic Volunteer Group Award
  • FYKES Realty Group – Corporate Volunteerism Award
  • Olivia Wright – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages five to 20)
  • Terry Key – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 21 to 49)
  • Lillian Schklar – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 50 plus)

More than 600 volunteers and agency representatives attended the luncheon and ceremony at the Music City Center downtown. The annual event recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the community.

StCeciliaAcademyChoir
The St. Cecilia Academy Choir

This year’s awards ceremony kicked off with a choir performance by St. Cecilia Academy Choir to recognize the award nominees and finalists. Great-granddaughter and namesake of Mary Catherine Strobel, Mary Catherine Pyburn, recited the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, a favorite of her great-grandmother. Charles Strobel, son of Mary Catherine Strobel and founding director of Room In The Inn, closed the ceremony with remarks about the event’s significance and an eloquent remembrance of his mother’s legacy.

StrobelFamily
Family of Mary Catherine Strobel

“The Hands On Nashville team is once again energized by the spirit of service at the Strobel Awards,” said Lori Shinton, President and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Strangers don’t exist at that luncheon. There is a seemingly unending line of new friends wanting to hear more about you and thank you for your service.”

Community members submitted 126 nominations for the 2017 Strobel Volunteer Awards.

“Volunteerism is a key component of our business culture and a key part of being a Nashvillian,” said Tina Hodges, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Experience Officer at Advance Financial. “Our employees are offered volunteer time and we hear about their incredible experiences all year long. The Strobel Awards celebrate stories like theirs and those of our fellow Nashville volunteers in such a special way.”

strobel awards 2017-135
Terry Key, Direct Service Volunteer Award (ages 21 to 49) recipient

“This is probably one of the best awards I could ever imagine receiving,” said Terry Key, recipient of the Direct Service Volunteer Award (ages 21 to 49). “I get a chance to make a difference and work with people who are making a difference. I’m going to show this to all the kids in the bike club and tell them, ‘No matter where you’re from, you can make a difference!’”

Following is a list of award recipients for each category and a brief description of the volunteer work for which they are recognized.

The Capacity-building Volunteer Award honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.

strobel awards 2017-162
Joanne Pulles, vice president of community relations at HCA; Laura Little; Lori Shinton, CEO and president of Hands On Nashville

 

Laura Little received the 2017 Capacity-building Volunteer Award for her work with 18 different nonprofits around Nashville, which includes facilitating donations for Nurses for Newborns, the Department of Children’s Services, The Nashville Food Project and more. Laura anticipates when organizations have upcoming needs for food or supplies, and notices when they’re storing something that might better suit another cause. 

The Civic Volunteer Group Award recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or non-corporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue.

strobel awards 2017-163
Jennifer Simpkins of U.S. Smokeless Tobacco; Amy Fairchild, Medical Dental Unit coordinator; Lori Shinton

Brentwood Baptist Church – Medical Dental Unit received the 2017 Civic Volunteer Group Award. The MDU is a mobile facility that offers free healthcare services, and welcomes people from all backgrounds. Its volunteers, who include medical and dental professionals, as well as church members, provide healing, restorative, compassionate care.

The Corporate Volunteerism Award pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact.

strobel awards 2017-164
Julia McAndrews, senior HR director of Change Healthcare; Tiffany Fykes, team leader and realtor at FYKES Realty Group; Lori Shinton

FYKES Realty Group is the 2017 recipient of the Corporate Volunteerism Award for its work with Open Table Nashville, which works with individuals facing homelessness. Twice a month, the FYKES team joins Open Table Nashville to set up a resource shelter so unhoused neighbors can enjoy good meals, warm beds and showers, while getting help with housing, paperwork, medical needs and haircuts.

The Direct Service Volunteer Awards recognize individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy and/or resources to support an agency’s constituents.

strobel awards 2017-165
Mark McNeely, founding partner of MP&F Public Relations; Olivia Wright; Lori Shinton

Olivia Wright received the Direct Service Volunteer Award in the ages five to 20 category for her work with Tennessee H.U.G.S., or Help Us Give Shoes, an organization she started with she was only nine years old. Now 17, Olivia started the program to help children meet basic needs and ensure their ability to get an education. The idea has transformed into an international organization: H.U.G.S. has delivered more than 100,000 pairs of shoes to 13 countries and six continents.

TerryKey
Anna Altic, Village Fund community service representative at Village Real Estate; Terry Key; Lori Shinton; Elizabeth Moss

Terry Key is the 2017 recipient of the Direct Service Volunteer Award, ages 21 to 49 category, for his efforts with the Edgehill Bike Club. Terry started the club as a way to show kids in his neighborhood life outside Edgehill. Edgehill Bike Club works to give children bikes, teach them basic maintenance and encourage children to take control of their futures. Since 2013, Terry has helped give more than 1,000 bikes to kids, and is working to establish new bike clubs in other Nashville communities.

LillianStephen.jpg
Lillian Schklar; Stephen Francescon, community relations manager at Piedmont Natural Gas

Lillian Schklar received the 2017 Direct Service Volunteer Award in the ages 50-plus category for her tutoring work with FiftyForward’s Friends Learning in Pairs (FLIP) program. She is a fixture in the school where she tutors, having logged hundreds of service hours in more than a decade. She works not only to improve her students’ academic skills, but to develop loving friendships with them.

LillianSchklar
Lillian Schklar

For more information:

Jessica Moog, Hands On Nashville, (615) 298-1108, ext. 409, jessica@hon.org

Laura Huddleston, MP&F Public Relations, (615) 259-4000, lhuddleston@mpf.com

About the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards

The Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards are named in memory of the late Mary Catherine Strobel, known for her extensive and charitable efforts toward improving the lives of Middle Tennessee’s homeless, impoverished and less fortunate populations. The annual awards ceremony celebrates her service and recognizes those who continue her legacy.

About Hands On Nashville

Hands On Nashville (HON) works to address critical issues facing the Middle Tennessee community through volunteer-centric programming. For more information, visit HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.

Sponsors.png

Volunteers Honor Veterans Day through Service

111016_OSDTN Veterans Day Cummins_wm-14.jpgIn honor of Veterans Day, Hands On Nashville and a team of Cummins volunteers made energy-efficiency and home improvements to support Operation Stand Down Tennessee‘s Transitional Housing Program.  Continue reading Volunteers Honor Veterans Day through Service

Eight Nonprofits Achieve Excellence in Volunteer Engagement

102716_EVE Ceremony Rd 10-10.jpg

On Oct. 27, Mayor Barry joined Hands On Nashville and the Center Nonprofit Management to celebrate eight Davidson county nonprofits achieving Excellence in Volunteer Engagement.

The gathering marked the 10th round of EVE, which recognizes nonprofits leading high-quality volunteer management programs.

“Thank you for putting volunteers at the heart of your operations,” Mayor Barry said. “There’s nothing more special about Nashville – and Nashvillians – than our desire to help.”

Today, Park Center and Hope Clinic for Women achieved Excellence in Volunteer Engagement certification for the first time, while American Cancer Society – Nashville Chapter, Bellevue Edible Learning Lab, Nashville Sports Council, and Open Table Nashville renewed their certification. Hospital Hospitality House Nashville and Operation Stand Down Tennessee each achieved certification for a third time.

To be certified with EVE honors, nonprofits must meet certain volunteer management best practices, including a volunteer program component in the organization’s strategic plan and more. In total, 64 organizations are currently EVE-certified.

Excellence in Volunteer Engagement was co-founded by Hands On Nashville, Center for Nonprofit Management and Mayor Karl Dean in November 2011. In 2016, Mayor Megan Barry renewed this unique cross-sector partnership.

Congratulations to each of the organizations recognized! To learn, more visit HON.org/EVE.

 

 

Introducing Hands On Nashville’s 2016-2017 AmeriCorps Members!

092816_AmeriCorps-Team-Photo--1.jpgThis Fall, Hands On Nashville welcomed a class of AmeriCorps members to serve in key impact areas. From leading projects that enhance our environment, to harnessing the power of Nashville’s corporate volunteers, each of these individuals will support Hands On Nashville in its mission to meet community needs through volunteerism.

As Breanna, Peter, Anna and Natalie get settled into their terms, we asked them about the meaning of volunteerism, what drives them to serve, and few curve balls for good measure.
Continue reading Introducing Hands On Nashville’s 2016-2017 AmeriCorps Members!

Community Partnership Brings Public Art to Educational Spaces

083016_dollar-general-donelson-mural-14

This August,  Hands On Nashville and Dollar General joined the Nashville Public Library to unveil murals at six library branches, each of which were completed by Dollar General volunteers this summer! Continue reading Community Partnership Brings Public Art to Educational Spaces

Hands On Nashville Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Service Projects Benefiting 25 Schools.

Nearly 1,500 volunteers serve and celebrate on Hands On Nashville Day.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, nearly 1,500 volunteers lent their helping hands to local classrooms during Hands On Nashville Day, a community-service celebration supporting 25 Metro Nashville Public Schools. Continue reading Hands On Nashville Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Service Projects Benefiting 25 Schools.

Hands On Nashville Day Volunteer Spotlight: Stephanie Jensen

unknown-1

Hands On Nashville Day 2016 is made possible in part by generous supporters like Dell and their volunteers, like Stephanie Jensen. Stephanie plays a leading role in connecting its Nashville team to service opportunities. Continue reading Hands On Nashville Day Volunteer Spotlight: Stephanie Jensen