Guest Post by Benjamin Hammond
It was a privilege to partner with Hands On Nashville in November and work alongside our motivational leader, Amy Maloney, Director of Corporate Relations for Hands On Nashville. Amy not only gave us a sense of urgency during the preparation leading up to the Extreme Nonprofit Makeover, but she also grounded every volunteer involved in the purpose of our mission. In crucial moments, she reminded us that all our efforts gave the East Nashville community hope in helping East Nashville Cooperative Ministry better able to supply emergency food, clothing, and cooking education to low-income families, at-risk youth and the homeless population.
The Extreme Makeover Day was amazing! The energy the Davita volunteers brought to the event was more than inspiring. They tackled the most tedious tasks with joy and determination. Without a doubt they accomplished skilled tasks with precision and left behind a fresh, bright, safe, functional facility and garden. It was a great feeling to be in the moment around such energy. The overwhelming feeling throughout the day was “I am exactly where I am supposed to be, today.”
Hands down the best memory of the week was working with a neighbor/client of the East Nashville Cooperative Ministry – Eric. On the first day Eric did not know how to use a measuring tape, had never seen a speed square and was gun shy (to say the least!) when it came to our framing gun. By the end of the week, Eric not only was working with his own pencil and speed square, he was making his own measurements and cuts, and finished building the fence around the garden alone with a framing gun! What an accomplishment – He is a great guy, a hardworker, and someone that is a joy to get to know.
In mid-November, hundreds of corporate and community volunteers descended on East Nashville Cooperative Ministry, a nonprofit that helps the elderly, poor, disabled, unemployed, and disadvantaged with emergency food assistance and access to clothing. They painted, hammered, cleaned, and planted, and it resulted in an incredible makeover for the organization’s facility. This project would not have been possible without the help of several volunteers who shared their time and professional expertise. Benjamin Hammond, owner of Hammond Contracts, was one of the skilled volunteers who played a critical role in making this project a success. Benjamin served as an integral leader for the highly skilled projects, including demolition and trim work, custom shelving for the food pantry, interior and exterior tables, and a 154-foot fence around the garden. Thank you to Benjamin for his time and talent, and for sharing his experiences via this post.
Interested in learning how you can share your professional or trade skills with the community? Visit Hands On Nashville’s skills-based volunteering webpage to find out.