Hands On Nashville Day 2016 is made possible in part by presenting sponsor, Altria, and their volunteers, like Mark Czuba. As a long-time Hands On Nashville volunteer, Mark leads volunteer recruitment for his team, and has volunteered at projects ranging from classroom builds to food sorting.
Leading up to Hands On Nashville Day, we spoke with Mark about why he volunteers with his family and his favorite memories from projects over the year.
How did you get started volunteering with Hands On Nashville?
I’ve been volunteering with Hands On Nashville for about five or six years now, and actually it was my workplace that got me involved. I was volunteering closer to home before…and now my kids look forward to working with you! We’ve volunteered at the parks and food banks… I bring my kids out to multiple projects, including Santa’s workshop….now my daughter is looking for opportunities all the time with Hands On Nashville.
You mentioned volunteering with your family. Why is that important for you?
All of the projects that I have been to have always been family oriented, and it’s a good experience as far as learning about how to give, and learning that other people don’t always have the things they have. It’s an opportunity for them to get to see that, and enjoy themselves while doing so…and Hands On Nashville always makes the experience fun.
Why do you think it’s important for teams to volunteer?
For one it’s a way that we get to bring new people out and get involved in the community — and we have gotten several new people out recently, which is great.
To hear them talk about the experience they have when they see for the first time who they are helping and how they are helping is what is important. We’ve been at projects where we have built a new playground in a park and we’ve seen kids playing on it before we even leave – that’s a pretty strong message to [everyone] that they can make a difference.
A lot of people like to give time and don’t know where to give it….and this actually opens that avenue up to them.
You’ve played a part in multiple Hands On Nashville projects over the years. Are there special community moments that happen when you out there?
I’ve seen it at every event I’ve been to. When we do Hands On Nashville Day we’ve seen some of the kids from the school there, and you see them get excited because they see their school get better. You see parents who are seeing the projects happen say, ”Wow, this is really making a difference,” and that they take greater pride in the school.
I’ve had clients of the Nashville Rescue Mission come up to us after we painted a mural tell us we have made their day better, just by being there… And when sorting food [at a food bank] … you can feel the thanks from the staff that you really did something there….
There’s one at every project.
Hands On Nashville Day is coming up soon! What are you looking forward to this year?
Well, we’re going to have a lot more work to do this year, so I’m looking forward to having a big showing from our team….We’re going to get out there, get it done, make our community better and have fun.
To learn more about Hands On Nashville Day, visit HON.org/honday.