Congratulations to these three finalists in the Direct Service—Adult category of the 37th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 15 at the button below!
Volunteers with multiple area organizations
Amelia Young is a volunteer who lends her time and talents to a number of organizations around the Nashville area, including Shower Up, The Bridge, Zeal Church, Nashville Rescue Mission, Mission 615, and The Laundry Project. With these organizations, Amelia helps to provide showers to unhoused people, run cameras at church, provide free laundry services to low-income communities, organize game days and Bible lessons for two low-income neighborhoods with Zeal, feed the unhoused and low-income, and prepare food boxes, and spends time serving and fellowshipping with residents at the Nashville Rescue Mission.
Amelia is described as a kind and loving soul, and many individuals in the community are vocal about the compassion that Amelia shows to everyone. Her leadership and joyful commitment to the Nashville community have encouraged other young people to serve. Amelia consistently builds relationships with people by volunteering multiple times a week.
“Amelia’s service in the Nashville community has been an inspiration for those around her, but especially for me,” shared Amelia’s nominator. “She is teaching me what it is to truly serve, not only with her time but with her heart.”
Volunteers with MOVE Inclusive Dance
Emily Bratton is a volunteer at MOVE Inclusive Dance, an organization that strives to teach life skills to individuals of all ability levels through dance. As a volunteer at MOVE Inclusive Dance, Emily has played a crucial role in creating an environment that makes one student, Nathan, who is non-verbal, feel comfortable. She is known to show up and serve at MOVE even when it might be extremely challenging or messy but continues to do so with a positive attitude and patience. She constantly is looking at how to connect with others and generously give donations and continues to serve as a one-on-one buddy with Nathan.
At MOVE Inclusive Dance, Emily not only creates relationships with Nathan, but also helps connect other organizations with MOVE in order to ensure they are serving as many people in the community as possible. Last month, Emily took the initiative to find an $85,000 grant opportunity that MOVE Inclusive was awarded, which allowed them to hire their first full-time employee. In all, she has logged more than 1,000 hours in all capacities – board, volunteer, event support and advisement.
“For a child with special needs, consistency is incredibly important, and Emily has been that consistent person for Nathan – always there, and ready to cheer him on, every step of the way,” shared Emily’s nominator. “Because of her partnership with MOVE, and Nate specifically, he has been able to accomplish things we never knew he could.”
Volunteers with Open Table Nashville
Hugh Trimble is an active volunteer of Open Table Nashville (OTN), and his efforts with this organization have been fully aligned with their mission to have a relational, rather than transactional, approach to those who are unhoused. Hugh spends time with OTN by accompanying outreach workers and passing out water bottles, camping supplies, Narcan and fresh meals from Patchwork Nashville. He also has led OTN’s winter canvassing efforts, in which volunteers go around the downtown area on nights that Metro’s Emergency Overflow Shelter opens. Hugh educates people about their options for finding shelter, offers rides to the shelter and distributes warming supplies.
Hugh has also contributed not only his time, but a number of his personal resources. He has used his car and gas to transport people to medical appointments, the Emergency Room and winter shelters. Hugh continues to help those by sharing sit-down meals with people experiencing homelessness and personally donates supplies to bolster the winter canvassing efforts. He has also utilized his musical talents to make a difference in the lives of people he serves. Earlier this year, he went above and beyond to put on a concert so one of the Nashville Rescue Mission residents could showcase their talents. Proceeds from the event went directly to the resident so they could have access to food and supplies.
“Hugh helps us foster a sense of community that prides itself on collective care, radical empathy, justice and dignity,” said his nominator. “He also shows a deep attunement to people’s emotional and spiritual states, and he listens to people’s stories, offering a listening ear rather than a rushed solution. Hugh’s heart goes out to people, and he truly views people as fellow human beings.”
To see a full list of the nominees for the 37th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.