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

Volunteers Give Refurbished Bikes to Nashville Youth

200 Youth Benefit From Hands On Nashville’s Third ReCYCLE for Kids Giveaway 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Sunday, two hundred youth served by Metro Parks community centers took home “like-new” bicycles, and brand new helmets and locks as part of Hands On Nashville’s third ReCYCLE for Kids Giveaway event. Continue reading Volunteers Give Refurbished Bikes to Nashville Youth

Reflection: Chase Davenport, A Home Energy Savings VISTA

Chase Davenport
Thank you, Chase!

Chase Davenport joined Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings Program (HES) team in May 2014 as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Hailing from Humboldt, Tennessee, Chase earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Austin Peay State University in 2013 before embarking on this next chapter. The decision to serve as a VISTA, Chase said, felt like the right thing to do.

“I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life,” he said. “I’d been accepted into a Master’s program at American University in Washington, D.C., but something told me this opportunity with AmeriCorps and Hands On Nashville was important. Grad school could wait.”

Chase led many capacity-building efforts for the HES program during his term. He developed relationships with homeowners, scheduled energy audits, added insulation to homes, led 300 volunteers, and engaged the community and other nonprofits to expand the impact the projects could have on the quality of life for homeowners.

“I didn’t know how to do many of the standard tasks performed during HES,” Chase said of his start. “The challenging aspect of my term wasn’t learning a new trade; it was seeing week-to-week how Nashville homeowners who are elderly, veterans, or who have limited mobility, struggle financially to pay for things like medicine, food, transportation.”

With Hands On Nashville, Chase worked to make a difference for those community members. During Chase’s year of project leadership and community engagement, 50 homeowners received energy-efficiency upgrades. On average, homeowners experience $455 dollars in utility savings each year as result of this work.

In March, Chase was accepted to Teach for America, where he’ll be serving as a teacher with Metro Nashville Public Schools. “Really, it’s just another way I can help others. That’s what I feel strongly about, and that’s what I intend to continue doing.”

Chase’s term with Hands On Nashville ends this May. Thank you, Chase, for an outstanding year of service to Nashvillians as a Home Energy Savings VISTA – you truly made a difference. We wish you the best in your future endeavors!

Youth Spotlight: Solteria

Leeks
Participants in Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture curriculum create healthy dishes, like asparagus and leak salads.

Youth at Watkins Park Community Center participate in Hands On Nashville’s Urban Farm Curriculum every week. Many of the youth who participate have also joined Hands On Nashville for Crop City, a curriculum-based summer youth development program that positively impacts young people’s knowledge, skills, and behaviors about healthy eating and nutrition.  Many of the lessons the youth experience incorporate tangible analogies to help students better understand where food comes from and how it’s grown.

One youth, named Solteria, is especially involved in the curriculum. When asked about what she learned, she remembered a lesson that related the food system to shoe production. “I learned about food by learning about Nikes,” she said.

Solteria is also a great chef. She says her favorite dish she made with food fresh from the Urban Farm was an asparagus and leek salad. (Yum!). Solteria, we can’t wait to see you this summer at Crop City and look forward to seeing what healthy snack you create!

HON Earns Hall of Fame Status for Mayor’s Workplace Challenge

Mayor's Workplace Challenge 2015On April 10, 2015, Mayor Karl Dean recognized 20 workplaces for earning distinction in the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge Hall of Fame, including Hands On Nashville!

The Mayor’s Workplace Challenge encourages and recognizes places of work to excel in three areas that contribute to a high quality of life: being green, healthy and involved in the community. It is the first three-tiered challenge of its kind in the country, and other cities are replicating this initiative in their own communities.

 “I applaud the continued success of these workplaces in being environmentally friendly, promoting healthy choices among its employees and encouraging a culture of service through volunteerism,” Mayor Dean said. “The responses to the Workplace Challenge continue to be impressive and further exemplify why Nashville is such a great city to live and work.”

The third round of the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge concluded last month with total participation of over 235 workplaces representing more than 105,000 employees in Nashville.

Thank you, Mayor Dean, for this honor!

Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville Receives Top Honor

NASHVILLE NAMED ONE OF THE TOP YVC PROGRAMS IN NORTH AMERICA

Hands On Nashville's Youth Volunteer Corp was named a Gold Level Aff
Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps was named a 2015 Gold Level Affiliate. #hypedonhelp

Nashville, Tenn. – Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps was named a 2015 Gold Level YVC Affiliate, one of only nine throughout the U.S. and Canada. The youth service program, hosted by Hands On Nashville, offers volunteer opportunities for more than 800 youth who serve more than 4,000 volunteer hours every year. Continue reading Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville Receives Top Honor

Volunteer Spotlight: Daniel McDonell

Hands On Nashville Volunteer Daniel McDonald blowing insulation during a Home Energy Savings Project in January 2015.
Hands On Nashville Volunteer Daniel McDonell blowing insulation during a Home Energy Savings Project in January 2015.

It wasn’t long after Daniel McDonell moved to Nashville that he began volunteering. In his first year as a HON volunteer, Daniel has made a significant impact during sustainability-focused projects. We recently caught up with the Memphis native about his passion for the environment, favorite projects, and why he thinks volunteering is one way to keep the civic character of thriving town. Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Daniel McDonell

Hands On Nashville Announces 2015 Strobel Awards Recipients

Middle Tennessee Volunteers Recognized for Outstanding Community Service 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Middle Tennesseans were honored for outstanding volunteer work today at Hands On Nashville’s 29th annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards presented by HCA/TriStar Health.

  • Bob Bredensteiner– Capacity-building Volunteer Award
  • Julie Davis and Cheryl Hays – Volunteer Innovator Award
  • Conexión Américas’ Parents as Partners Facilitator Team – Civic Volunteer Group Award
  • Asurion – Corporate Volunteerism Award
  • Samantha Ponder – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Youth; ages 5-20 category)
  • Maurice Curry – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Adult; ages 21-49 category)
  • Amy Shever – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Adult 50+category)
  • Andy Myers– Hands On Nashville Volunteer of the Year Award (Adult)
  • Camryn Magsby– Hands On Nashville Volunteer of the Year Award (Youth)

Continue reading Hands On Nashville Announces 2015 Strobel Awards Recipients

Hands On Nashville Announces 2015 Strobel Volunteer Awards Finalists

Meet the 2015 Strobel Volunteer Awards Finalists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Hands On Nashville announced finalists for the 29th annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards presented by HCA/TriStar Health. The event recognizes outstanding Middle Tennessee volunteers who were nominated by the community in seven categories. Continue reading Hands On Nashville Announces 2015 Strobel Volunteer Awards Finalists

Mayor Announces City’s First Green Alley Project

Volunteers Needed to Plant Rain Gardens to Help Restore, Sustain the Health of Flood-Impacted Waterways.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean announced today that Nashville is undertaking its first Green Alley, a project where volunteers will plant rain gardens along alleyways to help restore and sustain the health of waterways that were damaged with debris and erosion during historic flooding in May, 2010. The project also makes alleyways more walkable and safe.

Renderings created by Landscape Solutions — LandscapeTN.com
Renderings created by Landscape Solutions — LandscapeTN.com

The project will take place in The Nations, which was one of the neighborhoods heavily impacted by the May 2010 flood, and will be completely free to participating households. Partners for Nashville’s first Green Alley Project include the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods and Impact Nashville, Hands On Nashville, Cumberland River Compact and Metro Water Services. Continue reading Mayor Announces City’s First Green Alley Project