Strobel Finalists 2023: Group Volunteer Service

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Group Volunteer Service category of the 37th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 15 at the button below!

Give Black, Give Back
Volunteers with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee

Kia Jarmon and Lisa Swift-Young have redefined the concepts of philanthropy and charity through their roles as co-chairs at Give Black, Give Back, a nine-member volunteer philanthropic initiative at The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. The organization’s mission is to motivate and involve Black philanthropists in efforts to maintain the vibrancy of communities of color.  

With Kia, Lisa and the entire advisory council leading the charge, Give Black, Give Back strives to achieve this by acting as a resource to amplify Black-led funds, encourage new collaborations between Black philanthropists, and provide access and education to the community at large to assist in bridging the racial gap. In the past year, through their work at Give Black, Give Back, Kia and Lisa alone have donated more than 264 hours of their time to local nonprofits and civic organizations. This initiative has managed to link the past, present and future of Black philanthropy together not only for Nashville but also across the state. The group also sheds light on topics and conversations that are usually avoided by the public, by creating a platform to document stories in their own words through online discussions titled “Changemakers.” The Changemakers platform honors exceptional people so that their truths and stories can be told and amplified. 

“Give Black, Give Back was and is a resource of information to the Black community!” A colleague said. “Kia, Lisa and the entire council’s work on Give Black, Give Back sets it apart to give voice to this valuable constituency in our beloved community. Give Black, Give Back was and is a resource of information to the Black community!” 

Ravenwood Girls Cotillion
Volunteers with The Next Door

More than 100 young women from Ravenwood Girls Cotillion have been consistently great volunteers for The Next Door nonprofit organization, a treatment program for women struggling with addiction, mental illness, trauma and/or incarceration. The volunteers from Ravenwood are deeply rooted in Next Door’s mission to educate people on the dangers of drugs and the growing epidemic of fentanyl. 

The girls constantly go out of their way to help this organization in any way they can, from cleaning out the organization’s closet to helping them raise over $30,000. They also interact with the clients and make them feel heard, seen and even loved. 

“This group could have chosen any nonprofit to work with,” a team member from The Next Door commented. “They have soaked up what they’ve learned with us and are applying it in their lives by sharing with their high school friends the dangers of drugs, the growing epidemic of fentanyl and also changing lives through their volunteering.” 

Trish Smith and Nancy Hopwood 
Volunteers with Agape Animal Rescue and Training Center

For 25 years, love and passion have driven Trish Smith and Nancy Hopwood to continuously volunteer with Agape Animal Rescue and Training Center. They dedicate their work to helping animals find their forever homes and last year helped connect 46 animals with families.  

Trish and Nancy are always the first ones to step up and fill in whenever they are needed. The dedication Trish and Nancy have for the dogs in Agape’s program, for the organization itself and for the people they touch in the community is unparalleled by any other.   

For example, Trish and Nancy had a significant influence on the adoption of Leo, a very special dog who was saved in 2022 during Hurricane Ian. He was rescued by Agape from a flooded shelter in Orange County, Fla., and traveled 13 hours to Nashville to start his new life. Trish and Nancy were by his side at every step of the adoption procedure. This is just one example of the many lives these women have impacted by volunteering at Agape Animal Rescue and Training Center.    

“Trish and Nancy were, and always have been, superstar volunteers,” claims their nominator. “These two women are invaluable to the Agape Animal Rescue and Training Center, and we are honored to have them on our team.” 

To see a full list of the nominees for the 37th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

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