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Hands On Nashville meets community needs through volunteerism. Join us at HON.org

Resolve to Serve Stories: Begin Anew of Middle Tennessee

Only one in 300 children living in a low-income neighborhood owns an age-appropriate book. One.

While completing her undergraduate studies at Belmont, Casey Enright was moved by this statistic – and in response, she founded The Word Wagon, a nonprofit that promotes childhood literacy by providing reading opportunities and reading materials for children who lack access to books. To reach its target audience, The Word Wagon partners with Begin Anew, which serves men and women in Middle Tennessee living in poverty.

With a mobile library in tow, Casey reads to all of the  children while their parents attend Begin Anew’s adult education classes. The Word Wagon enhances Begin Anew’s Program by allowing each child to take home a bundle of books to read with his or her parents, allowing Begin Anew’s ESL students to bond with their children as they continue to learn the English language and practice reading at home.

As The Word Wagon and Begin Anew work together, both organizations find new ways to fulfill their missions through partnership. In October, at The Church at Woodbine’s Fall Fiesta, supported by Begin Anew, Casey set up the Word Wagon on a remarkably cold day. Her enthusiasm, despite the weather, engaged several new families in the community who came to the event, establishing meaningful community relationships while promoting literacy. Said Begin Anew Program Director Charlotte Hanson, “Casey’s work has a great impact on building connections between our ministry and the neighborhood.”

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Casey Enright, Founder and Executive Director of The Word Wagon

“Taking a leap of faith to launch The Word Wagon was the scariest “yes,” but the best “yes” I could have ever said!” said Casey. We couldn’t agree more – thank you for your service, Casey!

Begin Anew empowers individuals to overcome the obstacles caused by poverty by providing education, mentoring, and resources. The faith-based educational program and missional, life-changing community is composed of more than 250 champions (volunteers) and a ministry staff. Each volunteer dedicates their time and energy to offer mercy and care. Browse all volunteer opportunities with Begin Anew here.

Photos courtesy of The Word Wagon.

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Resolve to Serve Stories: YMCA of Middle Tennessee

“Many mentors show up wanting to make an impact on a child’s life,” said Larry, a volunteer for YMCA of Middle Tennessee’s Reach and Rise Program. “My role is to share positive encouragement as a mentee finds his own direction.”

During most of his professional career, Larry called the shots. After retiring from nearly 20 years in an executive position, he became a volunteer youth mentor in the YMCA of Middle Tennessee’s Reach and Rise Program. Larry quickly took a backseat approach, giving his mentee the space to articulate needs and drive their connection.

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Larry, mentor at YMCA’s Reach & Rise Program 

Cassanora Lampley, Reach and Rise Program Director at the YMCA, said this dynamic is common among mentor-mentee relationships. “Mentors enter the program expecting that youth will benefit from their influence, but our adult participants truly learn and grow,” she said. Mentors like Larry meet with their mentees once per week for a year, with additional activities taking place in group settings. Together, the pairs work to progress toward mentees’ physical, academic, emotional, and/or spiritual goals.

In one partnership, Larry’s mentee entered the program when his mother hoped to introduce positive male role models into his life. Their age difference was significant – Larry in his 60s, his mentee in his teens – but the two recognized common interests, such as a love of playing musical instruments, which began to set the tone for their outings.

Larry represents a portion of the Reach and Rise Program’s core volunteers: retired professionals who seek meaningful ways to spend their time. Young professionals looking to give back are also centric to the program.

Volunteering for Reach and Rise is a long-term engagement, and approximately 80 percent of participants connect to the opportunity through Hands On Nashville. “If it weren’t for our partnership with HON, we likely wouldn’t have the consistent volunteer engagement that drives our work,” said Lampley. Due to such engagement, the program helps youth gain perspective and support for pressures and challenges in their lives, while providing motivation for mentees to reach their greatest potential.

The YMCA strives to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all. In that Christian principles are caring and inclusive, the Y respects various expressions of religion and serves people from all faith traditions and perspectives. Browse all volunteer opportunities with the YMCA.

2018 Strobel Volunteer Award nominees and Nashville in Harmony began the ceremony with a celebration of service.

Hands On Nashville Announces 2018 Strobel Volunteer Award Recipients

April 25, 2018 – Middle Tennesseans were honored for their volunteerism at Hands On Nashville’s 32nd Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, presented by Advance Financial Foundation.

The award recipients are as follows:

  • Cheri Ferrari – Capacity-building Volunteer Award
  • Operation Song – Civic Volunteer Group Award
  • Media Star Promotions – Corporate Volunteerism Award
  • Leeana Edwards – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages five to 20)
  • Sean Druffel – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 21 to 49)
  • Anthony J. Viglietti – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 50+)

More than 600 volunteers and community members attended the luncheon and ceremony at Music City Center. The annual event recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the community, and celebrates the life of Mary Catherine Strobel, a Nashvillian with an outstanding dedication to service.

2018 Strobel Volunteer Award nominees and Nashville in Harmony began the ceremony with a celebration of service.
2018 Strobel Volunteer Award nominees and Nashville in Harmony began the ceremony with a celebration of service.

Nashville in Harmony opened the awards ceremony with a choir performance in recognition of the award nominees and finalists. Great-granddaughter of Mary Catherine Strobel, Veronica Pierce, shared an invocation prior to the meal; Charles Strobel, son of Mary Catherine Strobel and founding director of Room In The Inn, closed the ceremony with remarks about his mother’s legacy and the value of service.

“Hands On Nashville’s inspiration for the Strobel Volunteer Awards is to tell the stories of volunteers like Mary Catherine Strobel,” said Lori Shinton, President and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “We are honored to create a space to recognize their work, their impact, and be reminded of the many opportunities we all have to support each other as volunteers.”

Community members submitted 126 nominations for the 2018 Strobel Volunteer Awards.

Charles Strobel, son of Mary Catherine Strobel and founding director of Room in the Inn
Charles Strobel, son of Mary Catherine Strobel and founding director of Room in the Inn, shared closing remarks at the ceremony.

“In our nation and our community, there are major needs and ordinary needs. Most of them go without asking. One of the most distinguishing marks about Mama is that she anticipated the needs of so many, and so do the volunteers we honor today,” said Charles Strobel, son of Mary Catherine Strobel and founding director of Room in the Inn. “It’s our family’s great joy to be part of this tribute.”

Following is a list of award recipients for each category and a brief description of the volunteer work for which they are recognized.

David Fox, Managing Partner at MP&F Public Relations; Cheri Ferrari; Lori Shinton, President and CEO of Hands On Nashville
David Fox, Managing Partner at MP&F Public Relations; Cheri Ferrari; Lori Shinton, President and CEO of Hands On Nashville

Cheri Ferrari received the 2018 Capacity-building Volunteer Award for her work with The Nashville Food Project. The award honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.

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Mark Deutschmann, CEO of Village Real Estate; Bob Regan; Lori Shinton

Operation Song, which pairs musicians with veterans and active-duty military to write songs through partnership, received the 2018 Civic Volunteer Group Award. The category honors representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or non-corporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue.

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Ashley Bostic, Director of Culture and Community Giving at Change Healthcare; Media Star Promotions; Lori Shinton

Media Star Promotions received the 2018 Corporate Volunteerism Award in honor of its ongoing service to The Nashville Food Project. The award pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact.

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Stephen Francescon, Community Relations Manager at Piedmont Natural Gas; Leeana Edwards; Lori Shinton

The Direct Service Volunteer Awards recognize individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy and/or resources to support an agency’s constituents. Leeana Edwards, a volunteer at Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Alvin C. York VA Medical Center, received the 2018 award for the category honoring nominees of ages five to 20.

Jennifer Simpkins, Factory Conformance Analyst at U.S. Smokeless Tobacco; Sean Druffel; Lori Shinton
Jennifer Simpkins, Factory Conformance Analyst at U.S. Smokeless Tobacco; Sean Druffel; Lori Shinton

Sean Druffel, longtime Habitat for Humanity ReStore volunteer, received the 2018 Direct Service Volunteer Award for ages 21 to 49.

Susannah Berry, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Jackson National Life Insurance; Anthony J. Viglietti; Lori Shinton
Susannah Berry, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at Jackson National Life Insurance; Anthony J. Viglietti; Lori Shinton

Anthony J. Viglietti, a volunteer with Nashville Cherry Blossom Fesitval and Friends of Riverside Drive, received the 2018 Direct Service Volunteer Award for ages 50 plus. Viglietti led the effort to plant more than 1,000 Japanese cherry trees throughout Nashville’s streets and public spaces.

All photos are credit of Kerry Woo Photography.

For More Information

Please contact Jessica Moog at Hands On Nashville: (615) 298-1108 ext. 415; jessica@hon.org.

About the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards

The Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards are named in memory of the late Mary Catherine Strobel, known for her extensive and charitable efforts toward improving the lives of Middle Tennessee’s homeless, impoverished and less fortunate populations. The annual awards ceremony celebrates her service and recognizes those who continue her legacy. View all nominees for the 2018 awards.

About Hands On Nashville

Hands On Nashville (HON) builds capacity for individuals and agencies to meet needs through service. Its programs connect volunteers to opportunities supporting 100+ nonprofits, schools, and other civic organizations; help these partners reimagine volunteer potential; and bring awareness to the challenges facing the people and places in our community. For more information, visit HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.

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Resolve to Serve Stories: SCORE 

A teacher stands in front of you; a coach stands behind you; a mentor stands beside you.

Mentorship, and the above interpretation, was on Nick Taras’ mind as he prepared to retire. His more-than-40-year career in food distribution took him from cleaning floors at his grandfather’s business to running Nashville’s SYSCO branch. As he moved toward his next chapter, he sought to align his passion for food service with giving back to the community.

Teaming up with SCORE, which pairs business mentors with entrepreneurs and small businesses, Nick began “walking beside” his mentees on their journeys to business success. He watches their awareness and understanding develop while working collaboratively to move toward their goals.

“Certain mentees stand out to me for different reasons,” said Nick. “Not because they built monster companies, but because they built their awareness, understood the process and connected with customers. I’ve worked with immigrants launching businesses while speaking English as a second language, individuals trying to reinvent themselves with second or third careers, mentees who saved headaches and money by realizing a new business idea wasn’t the right fit, co-mentor partnerships – each opportunity has been unique.”

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SCORE hosts training and networking sessions for mentors.

“Nick has a natural way of relating to clients at all levels and helping them reach pragmatic business decisions,” said Lisa O’Dell, a senior Nashville SCORE mentor. “His can-do and upbeat attitude engages clients and helps keep them positive, even when working through the most difficult issues.”

Navigating the transition to retirement can be daunting. Volunteering can serve as an ideal bridge, allowing individuals to use and build professional skills while enjoying a flexible schedule and the satisfaction of helping others.

“Since I’ve gotten into the retirement world, it’s amazing how many of my friends who are thinking about retirement want to engage in conversation about it,” said Nick. “I was fortunate to have people in my life who provided examples I could learn from. This made for a great transition – after planning my exit strategy for two years, I had options ready to go.”

For those considering the transition to retirement, long-term volunteering opportunities can help individuals find their passion in service. By leveraging professional experience or building new skills while serving the community, volunteers build unmatched capacity for community organizations.

SCORE fosters vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education. The Nashville chapter serves the 30 counties that comprise Middle Tennessee, providing workshops and one-on-one mentoring. 

Browse all long-term and skilled volunteer opportunities with HON partners.

Middle Tennesseeans honored as 2018 Strobel Volunteer Award finalists

Congratulations to the finalists for the 2018 Strobel Volunteer Awards! Those recognized, and the community organizations with which they serve, are noted below.

Capacity-building Volunteer

Honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization, or developed an innovative approach to significantly improve an existing program.

  • Cheri Ferrari, The Nashville Food Project
  • Joey Hatch, YWCA Nashville
  • John O’Shea, Room In The Inn

Civic Volunteer Group

Recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or non-corporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue. 

  • Delta Signma Theta Alumnae, MNPS Scholarship Support
  • NHA: Silver Socializers, Nashville Humane Society
  • Operation Song, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

Corporate Volunteerism

Pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact. 

  • Media Star Promotions, The Nashville Food Project
  • Deloitte, PENCIL
  • Steve Ward and Associates, Preston Taylor Ministries

Direct Service Volunteer (ages five to 20)

Recognizes individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources to help an agency’s constituents.

  • Leanna Edwards, Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
  • Allison Heard, Saddle Up!
  • Sam Strang, Pro-bono Music and Entertainment for Various Nonprofits

Direct Service Volunteer (ages 21 to 49)

  • Paige Cruse, Alive Hospice
  • Sean Druffel, Habitat for Humanity
  • Jill Heyman, Oasis Center

Direct Service Volunteer (ages 50 plus)

  • Janie Busbee, Mother to Mother, Inc.
  • Dr. Catherine Thornburg, Siloam Health
  • Anthony J. Viglietti, Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival/Friends of Riverside Drive

Reserve your seat for the Strobel Volunteer Awards ceremony on April 25!

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Resolve to Serve Stories: Nashville Clean Water Project

Walk around nearly any Nashville neighborhood, and you’ll see how the area earned its “It City” nickname. New construction and increased traffic are daily symptoms of a growing population. Unfortunately, increasing pollution levels in Middle Tennessee waterways are also a result.

Enter the Nashville Clean Water Project (NCWP). In 2017, the organization launched the Adopt-A-Storm-Drain Program, which includes an online database that maps the city’s thousands of storm drains. Individuals, local businesses, housing associations and any other Nashvillians can adopt location-specific storm drains. By committing to checking drains for debris, litter, construction site runoff and pollution, adopters help clean water flow into local lakes, rivers and streams while improving the region’s environmental health.

“The importance of the project inspired me,” said Jana DeLuna, a volunteer who adopted more than 30 storm drains in her Donelson neighborhood. “We all want clean water to use in our homes and offices – and every citizen can play a role in environmental preservation. It is super easy to take a walk with a trash bag and clean while I walk. The drains are in a short distance of my home, and I check them in the mornings on my day off.”

 

 

Mark Thein, executive director of NCWP, shared that one of the program’s top intentions is to help spread awareness about water quality and environmental health. “Our goal has been to reach new advocates,” said Thien. “99 percent of adopters were not previously engaged in Nashville’s clean water cause.”

For example, in two neighborhoods, housing associations (HOAs) stepped up to adopt 100 percent of local storm drains. Drain adoptions give HOAs and employers a quick way to engage in social responsibility without committing an unsustainable amount of time.

NCWP volunteers are advancing the way environmental fieldwork takes place. By adopting a storm drain near your home or place of work, spreading the word with friends and neighbors, or encouraging your neighborhood or housing association to get involved, it’s easy to help build a cleaner, greener future in Middle Tennessee.

The Nashville Clean Water Project provides residents and corporations across Middle Tennessee a platform to demonstrate environmental dedication and service commitments. To continue the conversation or set up a meeting with an HOA or community organization, reach out to the NCWP today

Hands On Nashville announces the 2018 Strobel Volunteer Award nominees

Congratulations to the incredible volunteers nominated for the 2018 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Categories and nominees are listed below.

Save the date for the award ceremony: Join Hands On Nashville on Wednesday, April 25 to celebrate volunteerism in our community.

Capacity-building Volunteer

Honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization, or developed an innovative approach to significantly improve an existing program.

  • Anna-Vija McClain
  • Carroll Kimball
  • Cheri Ferrari
  • Don Cornwell
  • Eddie Pearson
  • Gerald Davis
  • Heather Hicks
  • Helen Miles
  • Jane Baxter
  • Janet Kuhn
  • Jeff Parrish
  • Jen Robinson
  • Joe Christopher
  • Joey Hatch
  • John O’Shea
  • Kay Kretsch
  • Laneisha Coburn
  • Laura Beth Hyman
  • Laura Da Fonte
  • Leigh and Bear Barnes
  • Michael Gray
  • Mona Binda
  • Phil Holt
  • Rachel Petty
  • Robbie Williams
  • Robin Puryear
  • Samantha Perez
  • Terry Demars
  • Trish Sanders

Corporate Volunteerism

Pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact. 

  • Asurion
  • Bank Director
  • Bridgestone Americas
  • Cigna
  • Dell Nashville
  • Deloitte
  • Ingram Marine Group
  • Jackson National Life Insurance Company
  • LifePoint Health
  • Mars Petcare
  • Media Star Promotions
  • Nashville Predators
  • Nissan North America
  • Geodis
  • Publix Super Markets
  • Steve Ward and Associates
  • Two Men and a Truck
  • United Parcel Service (UPS)

Civic Volunteer Group

Recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or non-corporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue. 

  • Beta Upsilon Chi
  • Cooper Trooper Foundation
  • Covenant Baptist Church Women
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Nashville Alumnae Chapter
  • Education Equal Opportunity Group
  • First Baptist Church Goodlettsville, Women’s Ministry
  • Greater Nashville Realtors
  • Junior League of Nashville
  • Murfreesboro Young Professionals
  • Music City Community Court
  • NHA Silver Socializers
  • Operation Song
  • Perenity
  • Royal Hills Neighborhood Organization
  • The Oak Hill School
  • Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., Nashville Capitol City Chapter

Direct Service Volunteer (ages five to 20)

Recognizes individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources to help an agency’s constituents.

  • Allison Heard
  • Caroline Kreh
  • Carter Hyde
  • Gitanjali Rao
  • Gracie Stambaugh
  • Leanna Edwards
  • Margot May
  • Melina Nguyen
  • Nora Ryan
  • Sam Strang
  • Sidney Starling
  • Vince Dick

Direct Service Volunteer (ages 21 to 49)

  • Andy Morris
  • Arville Knight
  • Brittany Taussig
  • Casey Enright
  • Charlotte Avant
  • Jennifer Radcliffe
  • Jill Heyman
  • Josiah Holland
  • Julie Hornsby
  • Lesley Patterson-Marx
  • Paige Cruse
  • Robyn Saunders
  • Sean Druffel
  • Talisha Robertson
  • Tim Slate
  • Victoria Driver

Direct Service Volunteer (ages 50 plus)

  • Amelia Workman
  • Andy Womack
  • Anthony J. Viglietti
  • Bette Christofersen
  • Bill and Mary Jean Murphy
  • Brenda Hix
  • Carolyn Nash
  • Catherine Thornburg
  • Charlotte Swor
  • Don Cornwell
  • Donice Kaufman-Stewart
  • Ed Batsel
  • Geri Franske
  • Gordon Dunaway
  • Harold Pinney
  • James Hogge
  • Janie Busbee
  • Janie Luna
  • Jean Styron
  • Jen Robinson
  • Joyce Page
  • Karen Catron
  • Kathy Shaw
  • Ken Watford
  • Larry Christian
  • Lela Hollabaugh
  • Marilyn Bagford
  • Mary Beth Pacsi
  • Mary Buckner
  • Nancy Mally
  • Pam Cavala
  • Pat McDougal
  • Patricia Wright
  • Saralu Lunn
  • Warren White

Resolve to Serve Stories: Nashville Adult Literacy Council

Every day, Hands On Nashville’s community partners and volunteer community build stronger communities through service. HON celebrates these partners through Resolve to Serve Stories. We’re inspired by their work, their missions and their dedication – and invite you to get involved.

Imagine not being able to read. Imagine not being able to speak or understand the English language. Imagine not being able to fill out a job application or communicate with your doctor. Imagine never having a chance for a better job or job promotion. Imagine not being able to help your children with their homework or not being able to attend a parent-teacher conference. Imagine having to rely on someone to pay your bills for you because you can’t read them. Imagine the feeling of your children asking for a bedtime story, and you are unable to read to them.

Imagine yourself changing someone’s life.

Last year, the Nashville Adult Literacy Council (NALC) worked with hundreds of volunteers to help nearly 1,700 adults learn reading, writing, conversational skills and information about U.S. citizenship. Most of the agency’s volunteers do not come from a professional teaching background. Through NALC’s training, individuals become one-on-one tutors who help adults in Nashville become successful, thriving parts of the community.

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Julie Kramer, ELL Specialist at NALC, manages the one-on-one tutoring program for adult immigrants. She draws from her own personal experience as an example of what volunteering for NALC means.

“I worked in the corporate travel industry for 30 years, but wanted to find a meaningful volunteer opportunity that would directly benefit someone,” says Julie. “I never thought of myself as a teacher and never thought I’d be teaching anybody anything, but I decided to get outside of my comfort zone to help someone in the Nashville community. I was pretty unsure of myself in the beginning.”

Julie’s first student was a biology teacher from Egypt, who was working in hotel housekeeping at the time. As the student gained proficiency with his English skills, he became more confident and landed a job in a biology lab. Though Julie met with her student in Antioch, Julie lived in Bellevue and worked near Nashville International Airport.

One in eight Nashville adults is functionally illiterate, and 12 percent of Nashville’s population was born outside of the United States. With more than 100 people on NALC’s waiting list, the need for one-on-one tutors is great, especially in the Antioch and south Nashville areas of the city.

Julie says, “I felt like this was the most rewarding volunteer experience I had ever had, so much so that I decided to change careers to work with adult immigrants who were learning English. I knew I had found my calling right away.” Now, she manages the program.

It wasn’t just Julie’s calling. The entire Nashville Adult Literacy Council staff began their work as volunteer tutors, many after careers in completely different fields.

Consider stepping outside of your neighborhood and meeting someone you would never come in contact with in your everyday life. NALC has trained accountants, IT professionals, college students, FBI investigators, doctors, project managers, waiters, scientists, homemakers, and healthcare workers to help adults learn to read and improve English skills.

Over and over, volunteers state they get more out of the experience than the learners. Participants enjoy the experience while making a huge difference in someone’s life.

The Nashville Adult Literacy Council is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to teaching reading to U.S.-born adults and English skills to adult immigrants. The agency’s vision is for all to learn and for all to help build a community of adults empowered through literacy. Browse all volunteer opportunities with NALC and visit the agency’s website for upcoming volunteer training dates.

Resolve to Serve Stories: Preston Taylor Ministries

Every day, Hands On Nashville’s community partners and volunteer community build stronger communities through service. HON celebrates these partners through Resolve to Serve Stories. We’re inspired by their work, their missions and their dedication – and invite you to get involved.

The night before Preston Taylor Ministries’ annual Nativity Store, staff members were putting in late hours to set up the space. Maggie Tucker, owner of the local children’s boutique Magpies, stopped by to drop off donations.

“She walked in and she could tell what was going on,” said Bethany Jones, Site Director Mt. Nebo and Volunteer Coordinator at Preston Taylor Ministries (PTM). “She took off her coat and asked: ‘What can I do?’”

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At its core, Preston Taylor Ministries focuses on building relationships. Through tutoring, mentoring and events, the agency helps empower children and youth. For example, PTM’s Nativity Store serves more than 300 children per year. Parents are invited to shop from donations of clothes, toys and games, while children play with games and crafts in the space. Volunteers help engage children, maintain the store and wrap gifts.

The day before the Nativity Store, PTM hosted a separate holiday shopping event and gift-wrapping party for 90 youth. Magpies served as a 2017 event sponsor, and Tucker arrived as staff worked to transition the space. “She stayed for several hours to help set up,” said Jones. “She had great ideas and was encouraging to be around. What more could you want, when you have several people inexperienced in retail, and someone who owns a retail store walks in?”

Following her involvement with the Nativity Store, Maggie Tucker became a long-term volunteer with PTM’s Lunchmate Mentoring program. As Jones shared, PTM offers volunteer opportunities to fit any schedule, but mentors tend to stay involved with the agency for longer periods of time.

“We have a lot of volunteers who might, for example, know how to play chess, and begin leading a chess club at our after-school program,” said Jones. “Through the Lunchmate program, we’ve had kids who begin in the second grade, then graduate to our middle school and high school programs, and remain in touch with their mentors.”

Whether she’s working on the Nativity Store or showing up each week as a Lunchmate Mentor, volunteers like Maggie help PTM fulfill its mission in the community. Thank you, PTM staff and volunteers, for all you do!

Preston Taylor Ministries (PTM) empowers children and youth to discover and live their God-inspired dreams, develop a love for learning, and build joy-filled friendships. Browse all opportunities to volunteer with PTM.

Building Houses; Building Communities: Why the Jones Company Commits to Giving Back

There’s a world of difference between a string of homes and a community. The Jones Company sees that line each day. Founded in 1927, the home-building organization has a 90-year history of watching neighborhoods grow and change.

Bob Jones, the company’s founder, had a dedication to philanthropy that lives on in the organization today. By prioritizing energy efficiency in new homes and actively volunteering with local nonprofits, the Jones Company works to build stronger communities, in addition to new homes.

2017 was the Jones Company’s 90th year in business. To celebrate, employees participated in volunteer projects throughout the year. Serving with Second Harvest Food Bank, Operation Stand Down Tennessee, Safe Haven Family Shelter and Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings (HES) program, Jones Company volunteers from every department – from sales to purchasing, accounting to construction – worked to meet needs related to housing and well being for residents in the community we all share.

“We wouldn’t have been in business this long without an attitude of thankfulness – for our customers, our business and our neighbors. Giving back is part of that,” said Bridget Thompson, director of marketing at The Jones Company. “It’s amazing what a group of volunteers can accomplish when they share their talents and resources.”

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HES projects are a natural fit for The Jones Company, as HON’s work to cut utility costs for neighbors living on low incomes mirrors the Jones Company’s initiative to employ energy conservation in all new homes. Such efforts are also a priority for Jones Company customers. “Affordable housing doesn’t just mean getting into a house and making a monthly payment – it’s also the upkeep,” said Thompson.

For Jones Company employees, volunteering as a group also offers the chance to step out of daily roles and take a break. During one Second Harvest project, Jones teammates got a kick out of seeing their colleagues, construction workers nearly always wearing work clothes, wearing hairnets, shelling peas and having fun.

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In today’s business world, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become less of an option and more of a requirement. According to Deloitte, 70 percent of millennials are influenced by a company’s CSR practices when considering taking a job. For Jones Company, however, building community simply comes with the territory.

Thank you, Jones Company, for spending your 90th year in service!

Learn how to increase your team’s corporate social responsibility.