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

Congratulations to the 2021 Strobel Volunteer Awards nominees!

2020 was a year like no other, full of incredible acts of service in response to multiple disasters and great community need. Thank you to the amazing volunteers nominated for the 35th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards. Read on for a full list of nominees in each category.

What’s next: We’ll announce the finalists on June 1, and the public will be able to vote for their favorite stories of service between June 1-15.

Save the date for the celebration: Join Hands On Nashville on Thursday, July 1, when we’ll announce the award recipients on our website and social channels. Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any important announcements!

Capacity-building Volunteer 

Recognizes individuals who provided significant operational or administrative support in 2020 to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization, or developed an innovative approach to significantly improve an existing program.

  • Jena Altstatt 
  • Corrie Anderson 
  • Colin Dudley and the team at CGI 
  • Julia Eidt 
  • Linda Emerson 
  • Lindsay Harte 
  • Suzanne Hartness 
  • Micah Lacher 
  • Chimen Mayi 
  • Dianne McNeese 
  • Dr. Paula Pendergrass 
  • Allison Quintanilla Plattsmier 
  • Sunny Spyridon 
  • Turnip Green Creative Reuse
  • Charlie Tygard 
  • Julie Williams 
  • Jesse Wilmoth 

Group Volunteer Service 

Recognizes any group of two or more individuals who volunteered together in 2020 for a specific issue or cause. Some group examples are faith-based, civic, membership, and corporate.   

  • 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee 
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Kappa Lambda Omega Chapter 
  • Bell Garden Chicken Tenders  
  • The Bridge Builder Program  
  • Caterpillar Financial 
  • Charlotte Heights Church of Christ volunteer group 
  • Cheatham Place Volunteers 
  • Designed Conveyor Systems 
  • Encompass Health Hospice 
  • Exotic Avian Sanctuary of Tennessee volunteers 
  • FreeStore Volunteers 
  • Katie and Eric Hogue 
  • International Coaching Federation Tennessee Chapter 
  • Jackson National Life Insurance Company 
  • Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church 
  • Junior League Nashville 
  • Savannah McBride and Kara Weller 
  • Trish Marshall and Michel Magnin 
  • McGavock Coalition 
  • Nashville Diaper Connection’s Friday Crew 
  • Nashville First Baptist Church  
  • Open Table Nashville’s Winter Canvassing Team 
  • The Progressive Group Of Insurance Companies 
  • Rotary Clubs of Murfreesboro (Murfreesboro Noon Rotary, Murfreesboro Breakfast Rotary, and Smyrna Rotary) 
  • The Students of CiViL 
  • Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association (TSRA) 
  • Tony, Lisa, Kyle, Brittany and Wake Tate 
  • Top Buttons Nashville 
  • Williamson Social Justice Alliance Vulnerable Families   

Disaster Relief Volunteer 

Recognizes those who made a significant contribution to helping Nashville recover from the tornado, pandemic, or bombing in 2020. 

  • Maria Amado 
  • Karen Brown 
  • Daniel Craig 
  • David Flow 
  • Stephie Goings 
  • Howard’s Crew 
  • Joany Johnson 
  • Debbie Linn 
  • Cindy Manley 
  • Nashville Noticias Volunteer Group 
  • Nashville Office of Emergency Management Emergency Support Unit 
  • Ben Piñon 
  • Nicholas Renfroe 
  • Madison Thorn 
  • The Blessing Wave  
  • Charlotte E. Thomas West 
  • Marissa Wynn 

Social Justice Impact Volunteer

Recognizes individuals whose volunteer work in 2020 was centered on dismantling or calling out systemic injustice or oppression and lifting up disenfranchised communities.  

  • Tony Armani 
  • Jackie Arnold 
  • Mary Avent 
  • Ishika Devgan 
  • Calea Davis 
  • Stacy Downey
  • The Equity Alliance
  • Jasmine Symone Franklin 
  • Mary Langford 
  • Greta McClain 
  • Makayla N McCree 
  • Meredith McKinney 
  • Nashville Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition 
  • Donna Pack 
  • Kimberly Pointer 
  • Keenan Robinson 
  • Serving Souls NGO 
  • Kenneth Stewart 
  • Parangkush Subedi 
  • Richard “Dick” Tennent 

Direct Service Volunteer — Youth  

Recognizes individuals who contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources in 2020 to help the community. Volunteers ages 5-20 are eligible for this award.  

  • Hannah Bodoh 
  • Laura Enciso 
  • Sydnee Floyd 
  • Ian Hooper 
  • Violet Melendez 
  • Savannah Nimitz 
  • Emini Offutt 
  • Rachel Siciliano 
  • Darrell Walker 

Direct Service Volunteer — Adult 

Recognizes individuals who contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources in 2020 to help the community. Volunteers ages 21-49 are eligible for this award.  

  • Melissa Alexander 
  • Nadia Ali 
  • Maria Amado 
  • Sandra Amstutz 
  • Jessica Azor 
  • Ryan Bailey 
  • Michael Taylor Bick 
  • Deanna Bowman 
  • Anita Cochran 
  • Abishai Collingsworth  
  • Becky Conway 
  • Natalie Dillard 
  • Angela Ellis
  • Teaka Jackson 
  • Jason King 
  • Emily Ladyman 
  • Cameron Mahone 
  • Laneisha Matthews 
  • Jami Oakley 
  • Elizabeth Graham Pistole 
  • Samantha Pita 
  • Allison Quintanilla Plattsmier 
  • Laura Prechel  
  • Savanna Starko 
  • Natalie Thompson 
  • Vibhav Veldore 
  • Kenya Watkins 
  • Eric Werner 
  • Erica Williams 

Direct Service Volunteer — Older Adult

Recognizes individuals who contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources in 2020 to help the community. Volunteers ages 50 and up are eligible for this award. 

  • Dennis Caffrey 
  • Bobby Cain 
  • Melissa Callaway 
  • Mrs. Joan Campbell 
  • Gil Chilton 
  • Mary Lou Durham 
  • Tony Eagen 
  • Kathy Felts 
  • Elois Freeman 
  • Michael Gray 
  • Walt Grooms 
  • Kathy Halbrooks 
  • Donna Hasty 
  • Hans-Willi Honegger 
  • Eva Ledezma Jimenez 
  • Barbara Kaye 
  • Stephen Kohl 
  • Victor Legerton 
  • Kathryn L. Mitchem 
  • Michelle Putnam 
  • Andreas Ritchie 
  • Dr. Ellen K. Slicker 
  • Kim Tierney
  • Tom Wallace 

Volunteers clean up flood-damaged homes as long-term recovery efforts continue

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Volunteers moved furniture and debris at three houses in South Nashville on Saturday, May 1, continuing cleanup efforts begun weeks ago after thunderstorms and devastating flooding. More than 7 inches of rain fell March 27-28, resulting in flash floods that led to multiple deaths, devastated neighborhoods, and hundreds of displaced residents.

“Nashvillians have shown tremendous resiliency and support for one another over the past year,” said Mayor John Cooper. “The residents whose lives were upended by recent flooding are looking at a long road to recovery. But with community support, survivors will get the help they need to recover and rebuild.”

Residents from nearly 500 houses have reported the need for assistance with demolishing damaged walls and floors, removing debris, and moving furniture. Volunteers recruited by Hands On Nashville (HON) have spent more than 3,200 hours canvassing, cleaning up debris, mucking and gutting houses, and distributing food and supplies.

“We are truly grateful to the volunteers and organizations helping these survivors recover,” said HON President & CEO Lori Shinton, who chairs the Nashville VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). “But the reality is a lot of people who need help haven’t gotten it yet. So sustained community involvement is absolutely critical.”

HON and other members of Nashville VOAD — a coalition of more than 50 nonprofits, government departments, and community organizations that work together to provide survivor support in the aftermath of disaster — are collaborating to meet the needs of survivors through supply distribution, cleanup work, case management, and more. Saturday’s volunteer cleanup event was held in collaboration with disaster-relief organizations and Nashville VOAD members including Inspiritus, Team Rubicon, Rebuilding Together Nashville and Westminster Home Connection. The Community Resource Center and HON supplied PPE, tools and other equipment for the projects.

“The flood in South Nashville has impacted the Hispanic community in ways that most people don’t see or fully understand,” said Diane Janbakhsh, founder and CEO of the Hispanic Family Foundation. “The families that were affected don’t have access to the resources necessary to rebuild and move on, and subsequently fall through the cracks when it comes to disaster recovery.”

Janbakhsh chairs the Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG) for the flood, and said she aims to foster a better understanding of the needs of immigrant communities within the group.

“The trust that the Hispanic community has in the Hispanic Family Foundation and our commitment to them creates a unique opportunity to serve them more effectively and opens the door to trust in LTRG’s mission to help and serve all families affected by disasters regardless of race, sex, language, or religion,” Janbakhsh said.

Continue reading Volunteers clean up flood-damaged homes as long-term recovery efforts continue

Happy National Volunteer Week!

It’s National Volunteer Week! And while Hands On Nashville celebrates volunteers every day of the year, we want to mark this occasion by sharing a very special and sincere THANK YOU with the volunteers who have given so much of themselves to help their neighbors.

“We are living in a moment that calls for hope and light and love.  Hope for our futures, light to see our way forward, and love for one another.  Volunteers provide all three.  Service — the act of looking out for one another — is part of who we are as a Nation.  Our commitment to service reflects our understanding that we can best meet our challenges when we join together.  This week, we recognize the enduring contributions of our Nation’s volunteers and encourage more Americans to join their ranks.”

Read more from the Presidential Proclamation on National Volunteer Week 2021 here.

And visit hon.org to find a volunteer project!

    

Thank you for loving Nashville.

Last Saturday we said there was a need and volunteers showed up. Because of you, many residents in South Nashville are a step closer to recovering from recent flooding that devastated so many neighborhoods. Thank you!

On April 3, 350 volunteers cleaned up at around 90 houses. They hauled supplies with their pickup trucks and helped other volunteers find parking and get checked in. They translated languages to help keep the communication flowing. They also handed out more than 400 boxes of food, 420 flood buckets, and 100 hygiene kits to families in need.

And thank you to the many partners that helped put the day of service together: the Nashville Office of Emergency Management, American Red Cross, Conexión Américas, WeGo, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Community Resource Center, Nashville Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Metro Parks and Recreation, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.

There’s still LOTS more work to be done in South Nashville, and we need your help. Find a project here:

Nashville VOAD Members Partnering for Large Community Cleanup from Weekend Flooding Saturday, April 3

NASHVILLE, TN – April 2, 2021 – Nashville Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) is a collaboration of nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations from across the city that step in to help Davidson County recover when disaster strikes.

In response to the near record flooding from this past weekend, Nashville VOAD members will be working together in South Nashville to help clean up storm damage and provide much needed resources and supplies to the community between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, April 3rd. More than 7 inches of rain fell between March 27-28, causing flash flooding that resulted in multiple deaths, devastated neighborhoods, and displaced residents – the second worst flood event in Nashville history.

With plans to canvas and assist over 800 flood-damaged homes on Saturday, the Nashville VOAD wants to bring awareness, and help, to those affected.

“We know that this year has been filled with disaster after disaster to our community, but Nashville has always stood up to help our neighbors. It is now time to stand up for the people of South Nashville and help restore their hope, their lives and their homes. We are calling on all of our neighbors here in Nashville to join us to make sure that happens,” states Lori Shinton, Chair of Nashville VOAD and CEO of Hands On Nashville.

Volunteer spots are still available for the event, and anyone can sign up at HON.org.

Several Nashville VOAD members will be participating in the event on Saturday:

Hands On Nashville will coordinate hundreds of volunteers who will spread out into the community to canvass neighborhoods to determine needs, clean up debris, and conduct drywall demolition in affected homes.

Community Resource Center (CRC) is providing all the materials for the community clean up event.  From muck buckets to hygiene kits and tools for cleanout, the CRC has been the leader on the front lines providing materials in the Nashville area for disaster clean up and relief support.

American Red Cross will provide snacks and drinks for the volunteers, as well as clean-up kits for survivors.

The Salvation Army will provide a hot lunch for survivors.

Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee will provide 500 food boxes for survivors.

Legal Aid Society of Middle TN and the Cumberlands will be providing legal information for canvassing around hiring contractors, renters’ rights, recovering important documents and filing insurance claims. 

Catholic Charities and Conexión Américas will be providing Spanish translators to accompany volunteers into the community as they work with residents.

Individuals needing assistance recovering from the storm can go to https://nashvilleresponds.com/assistance/ and fill out the form. For individuals requiring help to request assistance or those who do not have access to a computer, a Crisis Line has been activated and language translation services are available. Calls can be made 24 hours a day at 615-244-7444. A case worker will follow-up within 24 to 48 hours of your call or form submission.

Flood survivors requiring assistance with storm drain clearing, street side debris removal, or other city-related services can call 311 or go to https://hub.nashville.gov. Those impacted also can report damage with the Office of Emergency Management at  https://maps.nashville.gov/NERVE/

To find additional information on survivor resources, volunteer opportunities, and a list of items needed or to make a gift to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s  Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund to support the organizations assisting survivors, visit https://nashvilleresponds.com/flood-resources/.

About Nashville VOAD

The purpose of the Nashville VOAD is to strengthen area-wide disaster coordination and preparedness by sharing programs, policies, information, and engaging in joint planning, education, and training. During times of active disaster, it provides a single point of coordination for all organizations seeking to assist survivors in our community so that needs are met in the fastest most efficient manner possible.

Volunteers needed to respond to recent flash flooding

More than 7 inches of rain fell between March 27-28, driving flash flooding in many areas across Middle Tennessee. The floods resulted in several deaths as well as devastation of homes and businesses. Hands On Nashville is working with with Nashville’s Office of Emergency Management to safely deploy volunteers to areas in need of help. Volunteer opportunities will be posted to the link below with the hashtag #NashvilleFlooding. We anticipate more projects will be posted over the coming the days and weeks. Follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter for the latest updates!

We are so grateful for the outpouring of support and generosity this community shows in times of need. 

Resources for survivors

Strobel Volunteer Awards nominations open April 1!

We’re so excited to once again celebrate the amazing contributions of Middle Tennessee volunteers during the 35th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards. Nominations will be open April 1-16, 2021. 

Here are three things you need to know about this year’s awards, which are presented by Jackson National Life Insurance Company

1. The awards are totally online this year and all finalists will be featured on hon.org for a month. There will be a fun public voting component to spread their amazing stories of service far and wide. 

2. Prize money! Each award recipient will receive a $1,000 gift card from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to give to the charity of their choice. Finalists will receive $250 CFMT gift cards to donate to the charity of their choice. 

3. New categories! We’ve updated the categories a little bit to reflect the challenges of 2020 and the dedicated volunteers who rose to meet them. The two new categories are:

  • Social Justice Impact Volunteer Award  
    Recognizes individuals whose volunteer work in 2020 was centered on dismantling or calling out systemic injustice and oppression and lifting up disenfranchised communities.  
  • Disaster Relief Volunteer Award  
    Recognizes individuals who made a significant contribution to helping Nashville recover from the tornado, pandemic, or bombing in 2020. 

Think of all the incredible people you know who go above and beyond to help others, and consider thanking them by nominating them for a Strobel Award!

Join the 2021-2022 HON AmeriCorps cohort

Applications are officially open for our upcoming cohort! The 2021-2022 Program Year runs from August 2021 to July 2022. AmeriCorps members spend a year at a local nonprofit, government department, or civic agency, where they build program capacity and receive skills and professional development training, an education award, a living stipend, and more. 

Nashville is powered by people of all ages, races, ethnicities, skin tones, sexes, genders, sexualities, religions, abilities, and socioeconomic statuses engaging in service together. This is a city where YOU matter and YOU make a difference. Join us as we tackle the community’s most pressing challenges through service by becoming a Hands On Nashville AmeriCorps Program member.

Ready to get started? Click the buttons below!

11,689 vaccines in arms, all because of volunteers like you!

WOW. That’s about all we can say about the mass vaccination event on March 20. Hundreds of volunteers — including many medical professionals — helped vaccinate thousands at Nissan Stadium, Lee Chapel AME, and Music City Center on Saturday. It was an emotional day, but many volunteers said they would do it again in a heartbeat. In total, 11,689 people were vaccinated with the help of volunteers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Photographs by Madison Thorn, HON volunteer 

Six new GeekCause Starter Kits make it easy for nonprofits to tackle tech questions

Jason Shelton, HON’s Skilled Volunteerism Program Manager

This month Hands On Nashville’s GeekCause program launches its Starter Kit projects meant to help nonprofits get started assessing and maximizing their tech usage and skills. Jason Shelton, our Skilled Volunteerism Program Manager, answered some questions about the Starter Kits and how they can help any agency with any budget. 

Q: What are GeekCause Starter Kits and how do they differ from other projects?  

A: We came up with the idea for GeekCause Starter Kits because so many of our nonprofit community partners have no idea where to start when it comes to improving their engagement with technology. We wanted to give our partners an easy way to engage with the program and our incredible GeekCause volunteers, on topics we know every partner needs to be thinking about at regular intervals.  

We think Starter Kit projects will lead partners to ask better questions, which in turn will lead to more specific projects that will make a huge difference in each organization’s capacity to fulfill their missions. Less time spent fighting with tech that doesn’t work for you means more time engaging in direct service! 

Q: Why are these six specific types of projects in the Starter Kit menu?  

A: The Starter Kit covers the basics that every organization needs to be thinking about every few years. As your organization grows and your needs change, you probably find that the technology platforms that used to work well for you are starting to fall short.  

  • Do you have a complete picture of the hardware and software your organization is using? And a plan to replace/upgrade your tech? An IT Assessment is key to not getting caught off guard when your tech inevitably becomes out of date.  
  • Nonprofits are often easy targets for hackers and spammers looking to sow chaos. Have you had a security review recently? How are you protecting your data – especially your donor’s data?  
  • Maybe your website that was pretty great five years ago is looking a little dated, or just isn’t up to standards when it comes to performance and accessibility.  
  • Perhaps you’re looking for ways to present data for grants and funders but the process for getting it together is simply taking too many hours of staff time.  
  • And where does that data come from? Excel sheets and notebook paper might have been just fine when your organization was starting out, but now you’re wondering if there’s a database solution that’s right for your needs (and your budget!).  
  • Social media is key to staying engaged with the communities we serve, and it’s changing all the time. A social media strategy review will help you keep up.  

Q: Say an organization is interested in the Database/CRM Review Starter Kit. What will that process look and feel like for the organization? 

A: All GeekCause projects start with a consultation call. The nonprofit partner fills out a simple form on the hon.org site, and indicates that they want to do a Database/CRM Review. We’ll set up a call to talk through your organization’s needs, get a clear snapshot of the scope of the project, and get to work finding a GeekCause volunteer who’s a good fit for the project.  

Once the volunteer is on board we set up a kickoff call, and the volunteer and the nonprofit make a plan for their work. Volunteers vary widely in their availability, so having a plan for engagement is key to meeting everyone’s expectations and timeline. The volunteer then does a thorough review of current data tracking processes, assesses areas for possible improvement, and does the necessary research to come back with suggestions for solutions that fit the organization’s needs and budget.  

If that process leads to another project (like maybe having volunteer help to implement a new database solution and migrate old data into the new system), then we can talk about setting that up as a new, custom implementation project.  

Q: What if an organization isn’t sure whether the Starter Kit projects are a good fit for them? 

A: Send me an email and we can explore that! Starter Kit projects are really just that — a place to start. But if you’re ready for something more we’re excited to talk with you about that, too. Just choose Custom Project on the Consultation Request form, and tell us a little more about what you have in mind. We’ll go from there!