Before Hands On Nashville partnered with Change Healthcare volunteers to install acoustic paneling in the Kirkpatrick Community Center gymnasium in April, the reverberating noise level often became so loud it limited the programming and activities in the space.
Games became difficult to follow. Conversations and coaching lessons were strained.
Volunteer TiAndrea Watkins, who volunteered that day in April, knew all too well how the volume affected the programming –thats because she is also a dedicated coach at the center.
TiAndrea is part of a team of ten Change Healthcare employees and family members who spent a Tuesday afternoon working to improve the acoustics of the space, which she says has made a significant difference.
After the project wrapped up, we caught up with TiAndrea about what the center means to her, her memories of visiting the center as a child, and her experience supporting Kirkpatrick as a coach and a volunteer.
HON: How long have you been a coach at Kirkpatrick Community Center?
TW: This was my first year at Kirkpatrick as there Cheerleading Coach and Team Mom for the two boy’s basketball teams. I was actually given the task by Coach Dotson, one of the basketball coaches.
HON: Why do you give of your time to support Kirkpatrick Community Center?
TW: I knew that there was a need in my community; even if it’s coaching or volunteering at a project that was offered through my job. Anything to help the youth and the facilities that offer programs for them.
How did volunteering at Kirkpatrick Community Center with your colleagues make you feel?
To see the joy that they expressed to help was great! The feeling that I had to support the Center was awesome and this was a project that was much needed within the gym. The Kirkpatrick Center is a home away from home for a lot of children within the community… it’s the children that come there that I care so much for. As a child I too would visit [Kirkpatrick] community center during the summer. So to help in any way was my pleasure!
Did you notice a difference when you returned to the Center?
Yes, it was such a difference from when basketball season started with a gym full of kids… [Before] you really could not hear yourself think sometimes!
Why do you think it’s important for people to volunteer?
I think it is very important to help within your local community. Sometimes just volunteering can change your community and put a smile on someone’s face. Volunteering … kind of makes me think I’m leaving my name on something for other people to enjoy.
Do the youth that you coach know that you helped install the noise cancelling panels?
Unfortunately, all of my babies don’t know that I helped with the gym… I’m a ‘behind the scene’ person. I just like for them to enjoy it.
Thank you to TiAndrea and Change Healthcare for all of your efforts, and for turning up the volume on volunteerism in Middle Tennessee.
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