NASHVILLE, Tenn. – More than 1,600 volunteers participated in today’s Hands On Nashville Day, the community’s largest annual day of service benefiting Metro Nashville Public Schools.
This year marks the 24th anniversary of the organization’s signature volunteer event, which resulted in approximately 4,800 donated hours of service. Volunteers completed projects to enhance and support the learning environments for students in 31 schools district-wide. Each year, Hands On Nashville brings residents of Middle Tennessee together to support the places where children learn and play.
“One of the most meaningful and actionable ways to support our students is to volunteer within a school,” said Interim Director of Metro Schools Chris Henson. “Over the summer I asked everyone in Nashville to visit a school and take action to help it in some way. Today well over a thousand citizens answered that call. It’s the perfect way to get to know your neighborhood schools and show the students and teachers that they are supported from all sides. These volunteers set a strong example for our students that the community is committed to their success. ”
This year, the organization added three new volunteer projects promoting health and wellness, including building and enhancing school gardens, painting murals that promote healthy lifestyles and wellness, and applying window weatherstripping to classrooms to improve comfort and energy-efficiency. In total, volunteers completed 22 gardens projects, created 21 murals, and finished energy-efficiency improvement projects in 16 schools. These activities reflect Hands On Nashville’s day-to-day programming efforts in home energy savings, urban agriculture and in support of public education.
In addition, volunteers painted classrooms, mulched playgrounds, and completed curriculum-enhancing projects driven by school needs. At Margaret Allen Middle Prep, for example, volunteers created a sensory garden in the front of the school for its students.
“Bright and positive learning environments are important for student achievement,” said J.E. Moss Elementary Principal Carl Anthony Febles. “When volunteers serve in our schools, they make a real investment in our students, teachers and community. Each and every one of the volunteers who helped build a garden, paint a hallway, and make energy improvements in our school today has made a tremendous impact on the student-experience for the young people who will walk in the doors Monday morning. For that, we are grateful.”
For the eighth consecutive year, The Grainger Foundation, an independent, private foundation, served as lead partner of Hands On Nashville Day and provided a grant to support the multitude of improvement projects in dozens of Metro Schools. To further the cause, a team of 50 Grainger employees completed a host of improvement projects at J.E. Moss Elementary.
“Our team is proud to work together and apply our skills to support Middle Tennessee classrooms and this annual day that unites our community in service to schools,” said Shelly Mayes, a Grainger Market Manager who spearheaded this initiative for local employees. “At Grainger, we understand the impact volunteerism can have to address critical issues facing the Middle Tennessee community and are proud to supply our volunteers to this effort.”
According to Independent Sector research, the time volunteers donated made an estimated $110,736 economic impact, saving Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools significant resources. Hands On Nashville has partnered with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools on this event for 14 years.
“Hands On Nashville is committed to engaging passionate volunteers to support the spaces, places, and people who educate Nashville’s youth,” said Brian N. Williams, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Today, Nashville’s volunteers again proved their commitment to building a strong community within this city and we appreciate all of their efforts. Now, we encourage every individual who joined us today, as well as those who could not, to continue finding ways to make a difference for others.”
For More Information:
Hands On Nashville – Kealie Williams, (615) 298-1108; firstname.lastname@example.org
McNeely Pigott & Fox – Maddie Taylor, (615) 259-4000; email@example.com
About Hands On Nashville
Hands On Nashville (HON) works to address critical issues facing the Middle Tennessee community through volunteer-centric programming. Annually, HON connects thousands of volunteers to service opportunities supporting area nonprofits as well as its programs in urban agriculture, home energy savings, youth leadership development and support of public education.
Hands On Nashville challenges everyone to find a way to make a difference. For more information, visit HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.
Special Thanks to the Hands On Nashville Day 2015 Partners: