YVC Summer Camp Week #2 – Hunger & Homelessness

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Campers sorting food to fight hunger at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee during week two of the 2015 YVC Summer Camp.

During week two of Hands On Nashville’s YVC Summer Camp, a group of 12 teens spent their week learning about the impacts and issues of hunger and homelessness. Through interactive discussions, documentary film viewings, and hands-on service projects, campers spent time learning and thinking about root causes and researched opportunities to positively impact these issues. Continue reading YVC Summer Camp Week #2 – Hunger & Homelessness

Reaching My True Potential: A Reflection of AmeriCorps Service

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Ashleigh Barker refurbishing a bicycle during Hands On Nashville’s 2015 YVC Spring Break at Oasis Center.

Ashleigh Barker reflects on a year as a Hands On Nashville AmeriCorps Member.

For the last year, Ashleigh Barker has served as Hands On Nashville’s YVC Outreach AmeriCorps Member. In this role, Ashleigh has poured her heart and energy into connecting Nashville youth and teens, many of whom attend Metro Nashville Public Schools, to meaningful service opportunities designed to help them grow as leaders in their own right. From guiding a team of Youth Volunteer Corps interns who develop and lead their own service projects at area nonprofits, to facilitating a dynamic service-learning Summer Camp educating young Nashvillians in multiple issue areas, to creating social-networking content and the regular youth newsletter, Ashleigh has made a lasting impact in the lives of youth leaders, and those they benefit.

During her final week at Hands On Nashville, Ashleigh offered this reflection of her time as an AmeriCorps Member. Continue reading Reaching My True Potential: A Reflection of AmeriCorps Service

YVC Summer Camp Week #1 Engages Teens in Sustainability and Service-Learning

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YVC Summer Camp participants volunteering at Bell Garden during Environment week, which occurred June 8-12.

As Nashville prepared for the Country Music Association’s annual four-day Music Festival, the high-school students attending HON’s first week-long Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Summer Camp of 2015 gained new appreciation for sustainable living as a form of community outreach. Organized by YVC AmeriCorps Member Ashleigh Barker, and led by Stephanie, a Hands On Nashville Summer Youth Leader, youth spent the mornings building new knowledge of climate issues, food systems (local and global), and sustainable living practices through fun and engaging group-learning activities. Continue reading YVC Summer Camp Week #1 Engages Teens in Sustainability and Service-Learning

Introducing Hands On Nashville’s 2015 Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns!

Urban Ag 2015 Teaching_web_group As Crop City 2015 kicks off at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm, we’d like to introduce you to a fantastic group of young people who will be leading the six-week, farm-to-table program for Nashville youth. These outstanding Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns will lead a curriculum that positively impacts knowledge, skills, and behaviors about healthy eating and nutrition. From leading gardening activities to preparing healthy snacks to leading games that teach about the food system, each will be play a leading role in the success of the program. Before the fun began, we caught up with each leader about why they wanted to be part of Crop City this summer. Continue reading Introducing Hands On Nashville’s 2015 Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns!

Introducing the 2015 Summer Youth Leaders!

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Hands On Nashville’s 2015 Summer Youth Leaders! From left to right: Margaret, Stephanie, Shira, and Yavin.

This June and July, Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps is inviting teens to spend a week of summer vacation exploring issues facing our community. Each weeklong session focuses on a different issue area – environment, hunger and homelessness, health and wellness and youth education – and is designed to encourage a deeper understanding of our community through hands-on service learning experiences.

These four Summer Youth Leaders have stepped up to guide this initiative and are using their leadership skills to do good this summer. Please join us in welcoming them! Continue reading Introducing the 2015 Summer Youth Leaders!

Home Energy Savings Homeowner Spotlight: Ms. Brooks

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Ms. Brooks and Hands On Nashville Volunteers following a Home Energy Savings Project in April 2015.

Ms. Brooks, now retired, is an avid churchgoer, a proud new grandmother, and a homeowner in East Nashville.

Before volunteers completed a Home Energy Savings project in her home this April, Ms. Brooks was paying as high as $400 per month for her energy bill alone. Shortly after her project was completed, Ms. Brooks called Hands On Nashville with good news.

“I’m so satisfied with the work you guys did!,” she said. “Thank you for the [energy-efficient] light bulbs! Thank you for my new fire extinguisher, the smoke alarms, all my attic insulation! Thank you, thank you, thank you! … I walked in the house and could immediately tell a big difference!” Continue reading Home Energy Savings Homeowner Spotlight: Ms. Brooks

Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Lamers

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Hands On Nashville volunteer Alex Lamers planting trees at Meigs Middle Magnet School during the fall 2014.

“Don’t be afraid to try something new.”

These are the words Alex Lamers recalls using as encouragement when getting involved with Hands On Nashville more than a year ago. He says they still ring true today. Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Lamers

Guest Blog: TechnologyAdvice Volunteer Recap

Hands On Nashville is fortunate to work with inspired corporate groups looking to make a difference. Recently, TechnologyAdvice Media Relations Coordinator Jenna Elkins sent us this great recap of the volunteer efforts her team has led this year!

Giving is Ingrained in our Company Culture

At TechnologyAdvice, we are committed to serving the Nashville area, along with the people and local businesses that have helped us thrive. In fact, we’ve centered our entire company culture around giving – giving our all to our clients, our employees, and our community.

As of January 2015, we’ve ramped up our volunteer efforts in order to better serve our community and benefit our employees. Studies show that a culture of giving at the workplace enhances moods, encourages teamwork, and keeps employee churn low. As a small but rapidly growing business, volunteering allows us to build positive community relations by serving people from all walks of life and assisting with environmental projects that better our surrounding area.

Through the Hands On Nashville volunteer platform, we’ve connected with unique, and rewarding volunteer projects. It’s a simple system that allows us to seamlessly sign up team members for various activities. We’ve had wonderful experiences, and are looking forward to more!

Tree Planting with Hands On Nashville 

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Technology/Advice team planting trees with Hands On Nashville in March.

In March, a large group from TechnologyAdvice worked together to support Hands On Nashville in their efforts to plant more trees for a healthier city. Volunteers worked in a riparian zone in north Nashville, and around 200 trees were planted in just two hours! Cameron Graham, TechnologyAdvice Managing Editor, shares his tree planting experience:

“After we arrived on site we received a short, informative presentation about the importance of riparian zones and their effect in controlling run-off waters. Nashville has previously seen intense flooding in some areas, so these zones are crucial for ensuring that excess water can safely be absorbed into the ground.

Once we had been oriented and shown the proper techniques, we picked up our shovels and started planting. To ensure that each tree had a chance to successfully grow, we had to space them correctly and carefully cover them with soil. Everyone on the team had fun digging holes  and searching for areas which needed additional trees. During the event some of our team members also found a variety of wildlife.

Our team enjoyed the activity so much in fact that we finished well ahead of schedule. That gave us time to help collect some errant litter, and grab a few snacks after our hard work. While it might be a little while until we see the results of our efforts, the entire team had a great time actively contributing to the community and the Nashville ecosystem.”

Below are a few more experiences TechnologyAdvice has had through Hands On Nashville since January 2015:

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TechnologyAdvice team volunteering at American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in spring 2015.

Hope Lodge Game Night – American Cancer Society: Nine of our team members shared in some fun with the residents of the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge by playing rounds of bingo. Hope Lodge provides free temporary housing for cancer patients receiving outpatient treatment at Nashville hospitals.

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Technology/Advice team helping at The Nashville Food Project in spring 2015.

Meal Prep at The Nashville Food Project: Our team was feeling like iron chefs during this activity. We helped process donated and grown produce for the Nashville Food Project’s hot meal program. Our 11 volunteers chopped butternut squash, peeled sweet potatoes, made quesadillas, and more. We used many ingredients to make delicious hot meals for people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

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Technology/Advice team at Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E: Fourteen of our team members supported Project C.U.R.E., which collects new, surplus, and overstock medical supplies. We sorted all kinds of different medical supplies, and packed them in boxes, which were delivered to one of Project C.U.R.E’s targeted, developing countries.


Learn more about Hands On Nashville’s Corporate Partner Program:
Interested in a customized, team building opportunity to give back with your staff?
Contact tara@hon.org.
Share your story:
Want to share a volunteer experience with us? Let us know at contactus@hon.org.

 

Three ‘Excellence in Volunteer Engagement’ Recipients Renew Certification

 EVElogo-2015-201760 Nashville Nonprofits Now Recognized for High-Quality Volunteer Management 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today announced the nonprofit organizations that received renewal 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. Christian Community Services, Inc., Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and Sexual Assault Center each renewed their two-year certifications for the seventh round of EVE. Currently, there are 60 Nashville certified nonprofits. Continue reading Three ‘Excellence in Volunteer Engagement’ Recipients Renew Certification