Metro Nashville Public Schools serves 81,000 students and taking care of the places where these children learn and play is a big job. That’s where the Metro Schools Facility and Grounds Maintenance team comes in.
Not only are they responsible for 180 buildings (that’s 14 MILLION square feet of space!), but they also oversee 2,000 acres of campus. And on top of all this, they play a critical role in making Hands On Nashville Day happen each year. (This year’s Hands On Nashville Day Presented by Grainger takes place Saturday, Sept. 22. Read more and register here starting Sept. 4!)
Thomas W. Hatfield, Metro Schools director of facility and grounds maintenance, has been helping to coordinate Hands On Nashville Day for the past 20 years. A proud graduate of Metro Schools, he is perhaps the one person in Nashville who has been intimately involved in planning this day of service each year since the event’s inception in 1991.
Every year, Mr. Hatfield and his team put in many hours of work to help coordinate projects with schools, oversee the logistics of project supplies (mulch, paint, paintbrushes, wheelbarrows, drop cloths, and more), and be on call the morning of the event to field any last-minute supply needs.
When asked how much paint he thinks HON Day volunteers have gone through over the years, Mr. Hatfield responds with a proud laugh, “A bunch!” After looking back through his records, he shares a more exact number: nearly 21,000 gallons of paint.
One HON Day memory that stands out as particularly special to Mr. Hatfield? “The year we had the kick-off event at Greer Stadium. It was great to see all the volunteers in one place – the excitement was contagious.”
To all of the people who have volunteered for Hands On Nashville Day over the years, Mr. Hatfield says, “The one thing that I would say is ‘Thank you.’ Everyone who contributes makes a huge difference and the end results of this day are appreciated by all – including our students.”
Hands On Nashville would like to extend a special THANK YOU to Metro Schools and Mr. Hatfield for their continued partnership and support in making this inspiring community event possible.