All posts by handsonnashville

About handsonnashville

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

Strobel Finalists 2022: Direct Service — Older Adult

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Direct Service—Older Adult category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 using the button below!

Carole Sergent

Carole Sergent
Volunteers with Tennessee Resettlement Aid, Nashville International Center for Empowerment, The Branch of Nashville, and individual refugee families

Carole Sergent was one of the few independent volunteers who saw a need and carved her own path to meet it. When the Afghan refugees began to arrive in Nashville, Sergent immediately acted by collecting donations needed for survival. Since then, she has recruited over 200 people who help to donate and deliver items to over 250 Afghan refugees who have arrived in the United States.  

When refugees began arriving in Nashville, official relief agencies were not fully staffed, which is when Sergent jumped in to provide crucial services to those in need. She began working with the Tennessee Resettlement Aid (TRA) to create a network of donors through word-of-mouth and social media to provide clothing, linens, household items, toiletries, toys, and more. The TRA now works alongside the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) to receive necessary information about new Afghan arrivals and volunteers. This system provides emergency boxes of food from The Branch of Nashville food bank to families two or three times per day.  

Through her service, Sergent has served many Afghans and has hundreds of success stories for providing resources and opportunity for refugees. She not only provides refugees with the items they need for survival, but has also helped them find schools for children, jobs, documentation needed for work, and even opened her home to those who need a place to do laundry.  “There are hundreds of success stories from Carole because she has created a huge volunteer network and is managing it to work efficiently and effectively. Every volunteer who has delivered emergency food or clothing or transportation can tell you a story that would make you cry,” shared a colleague of Sergent’s. 


Edward Arnell

Edward Arnell
Volunteers with Preston Taylor Ministries 

Edward Arnell has been a consistent and dependable face to many of the students at Preston Taylor Ministries. Serving the students of Mt. Nebo four days a week, Arnell has become not only a mentor to many of the students, but also a friend, tutor and spiritual adviser.  

Within Preston Taylor Ministries, many of the people who dedicate their time do not reflect the population of the surrounding neighborhood and the culture of the students. Arnell not only lives in the neighborhood but is also a volunteer of color. With Preston Taylor Ministries serving a majority African American population, students can relate and feel more connected to Arnell and his service. “When students see Mr. Edward serving, they can see themselves doing the same. This is what causes change in communities, people being inspired to be the difference,” shared a colleague of Arnell’s.  

He has become a role model and inspirational guide for many of the students at Preston Taylor Ministries by providing them with homework and reading tutoring that has allowed them to exponentially increase their grades in school. Arnell also provides meals to students once a week through his own income. His full-course meals with homemade desserts have become a favorite of the students at Mt. Nebo.  

As a deacon at Mt. Nebo, Arnell also acts as a spiritual adviser for the students at Preston Taylor Ministries. He is known to give truthful and inspiring advice to the students while also providing them with scripture that he encourages them to memorize and live out daily.   


Vera Coleman

Vera Coleman
Volunteers with FiftyForward 

As a National Community Engagement Partner for the All of Us Research Program, Vera Coleman joined the nonprofit organization FiftyForward to help advance precision medicine with the National Institutes of Health. 

As one of the All of Us Research Program’s first ambassadors, Coleman has been volunteering alongside the program since its launch in 2018. The newly founded program’s goal is to recruit 1 million volunteers from historically underrepresented communities in biomedical research to share their health information and transform the current one-size-fits-all health care system. Because of Coleman’s contribution, the All of Us Research Program has enrolled over 450,000 individuals so far, with over 80% of those representing historically underrepresented communities in biomedical research. The All of Us Research Program team helps staff community events and health fairs and speaks at in-person and virtual events. Vera has additionally gone the extra mile to sit on nationwide panel discussions on the need for diversity, including older adults, in medical research. The volunteer role requires a heavy amount of in-person interaction that requires a sense of trust from the potential program enrollees.

Coleman has been known to not only earn the trust of those enrollees, but also become a respected leader in her community as she is quick to address fears and concerns of those she’s created relationships with. She has been known to her team and program enrollees for her wisdom, expertise and compassion in her personal interactions.  

During the pandemic, Coleman continued her dedication and services to the All of Us Research Program as a virtual panelist on discussions of diversity and a podcast guest on FiftyForward’s new podcast, Squeeze the Day, where she discusses overcoming online barriers.   With a strong scientific background as the first African American woman in the field of research at Meharry University and Vanderbilt University, Coleman is a trusted source among many. “I’ve always believed in the merits of research. Now, I have an awesome opportunity to be involved in something that will prove beneficial not only for me, but for my family and community as well. The All of Us Research Program has become my passion,” she shared.


To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Strobel Finalists 2022: Capacity-building Volunteer

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Capacity-building Volunteer category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 at the button below!

Carole Purkey

Carole Purkey
Volunteers with WOW Transition House

Carole Purkey started volunteering with Women of Worth (WOW) Recovery Home in 2020. Through her work with WOW, she’s built relationships with many women who are transistioning out of incarceration and are looking for a fresh start, helping them make it to dentist and doctors’ appointments and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to celebrate their sobriety.

WOW aims to serve the needs of women in recovery who are transitioning out of incarceration. Purkey was introduced to the organization through her church, Donelson Church of Christ, and has served as an active board member and volunteer since 2020. She’s spread the word about the organization throughout the community, gaining consistent financial support from several groups and individuals. By advocating for the organization to her church, Purkey expanded the capabilities of WOW with a roughly $60,000 property renovation in 2021 that opened the doors to their second recovery house, increasing their capacity from five beds to 11 beds.

“I was introduced to Women of Worth Recovery Home through a class at my church when we began providing dinner for their weekly community meeting,” Purkey said. “After meeting and getting to know them, they have become my friends and have shown me that they just want a second chance.”

Purkey knows each client by name as she volunteers to provide them with transportation to appointments and leads Bible studies with them. Several women even found transportation to her 70th birthday party.

Purkey has shown through her consistent work that she believes in the philosophy, purpose and goals of WOW. “This organization, under the direction of Kristy Pomeroy, gives women who need a support system after incarceration a safe, comfortable and loving environment as they find their path to independence.”


Sunny Fleming and her dog, Elise

Sunny Fleming
Volunteers with Friends of Shelby Park & Bottoms

When Sunny Fleming volunteered with Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms in the summer of 2021, she was able to use her expertise as a national solutions engineer to expand the maintenance capabilities of the nonprofit that maintains the park.

With 1,300 acres of space with varying biomes, the small, dedicated Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms maintenance crew has their work cut out for them in improving and protecting the park. With limited staffing, it was important that they find a way to monitor maintenance needs around the property.

Thanks to Fleming’s knowledge of ArcGIS, a geographical information system, she was able to create and set up a survey that enables park maintenance needs to be easily flagged on a map. She also took the time to train volunteers to use the survey, expediting the maintenance and improvement process.

Several members of the public were mobilized to document areas in the park in need of improvement, and Fleming trained members of the nonprofit to use the program to stay on top of maintenance needs.

Through Fleming’s efforts, Friends of Shelby Park and Bottoms can now track their progress on removing invasive species, which trails need maintenance and the urgency of the maintenance. She has volunteered many hours to train members of the nonprofit to use the ArcGIS software, increasing their capacity to maintain the sprawling park grounds for visitors to enjoy.


Susanne Shepherd Post

Susanne Shepherd Post
Founder of Shear Haven with YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee

As a hair stylist, Susanne Shepherd Post knows how easy it is to be a listening and supportive ear for her clients. As a survivor of domestic violence, she also knows that her job puts her in a position to recognize many of the signs of abuse. Many stylists, however, don’t know what to look for to determine whether their client is a victim of abuse.

Combining her career and her calling, Shepherd Post co-founded the Shear Haven initiative with YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee in 2017 to train cosmetologists to recognize their role in identifying and reporting domestic violence. Shepherd Post and YWCA advocated for legislation requiring all licensed beauty professionals in Tennessee to complete a domestic violence education course. Through a unique partnership with the Barbicide company, a short, online video was created and shared at no cost on the Barbicide website, paving the way for the legislation to pass unanimously in the Tennessee Senate and overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives.

Shepherd Post’s work with YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee has given the 124-year-old nonprofit a brand-new way to reach and assist women in need. To date, more than 40,000 cosmetologists have completed the Shear Haven training on the Barbicide website, giving them the tools they need to recognize and report domestic abuse. Included in that number are not only cosmetologists from Tennessee, but those stretching to various states and 101 countries. “I am deeply honored to be nominated,” Shepherd Post said. “I am inspired by the work of each of my fellow nominees, and I hope this helps shine a light on the amazing work the YWCA does in our community. Because of my experience as a domestic violence survivor, I feel a calling and a responsibility to spread awareness about the signs of domestic violence. I hope to help open a deeper conversation around the issue and believe that reducing the stigma and sharing resources can help save lives.”

To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Strobel Finalists 2022: Disaster Relief

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Disaster Relief category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 at the button below!

Hispanic Outreach Task Force
(Marcela Gomez)

Hispanic Outreach Task Force
Volunteers with Hands On Nashville, offers assistance to Latino community in need

In the aftermath of the March 2021 flood, south Nashville was in particular need of disaster relief. While there were many volunteer organizations making recovery efforts at the time, it was quickly realized that a task force of community members who could understand and navigate the cultural nuances of the largely Latino community was needed. This task force consisted of Diane Janbakhsh, Jennifer Novo, Veronica Selcedo, Wendy Silva, Karla Vazaquez and Veronica Zavaleta, all well-known and influential community members. The team immediately crafted a plan to reach members of the Latino community who were in need and let them know that relief was available.

Before the Hispanic Outreach Task Force was assembled, only a handful of Latino residents felt comfortable reaching out for help; after several outreach events and media pushes conducted by the team, over 300 requests for disaster relief from homeowners and renters in the area were received, allowing volunteers to mobilize and help residents. Without this task force, many members of the Latino community in south Nashville would not have had a trusted avenue to reach out for help with disaster recovery. Although the members of the task force didn’t expect any recognition for their work, they are honored to be nominated. “Offering the talents and skills life has given you for the service of others is an honor,” said Marcela Gomez, who was instrumental in assembling the task force. “You don’t volunteer with the mindset that you will get something back; you volunteer because you are grateful to be alive.”


Emergency Support Unit volunteers

Emergency Support Unit
Nashville Office of Emergency Management

During Nashville’s tremendous rainfall and historic flash flooding in March 2021, crews were quickly needed to help rescue residents who had been trapped in dangerous situations. That’s when the Emergency Support Unit (ESU), a team of roughly 30 community members ranging from CEOs to teachers, mobilized. This team volunteered their extensive training to help Nashvillians in need.

When Nashville started flooding, this team, several of whom are trained specifically in flood and swift-water response, put their skills to use and saved dozens of lives. The ESU conducted numerous home, vehicle and high-water rescues. When a Metro Nashville police officer was swept from his vehicle during the night and into rushing, debris-filled, 20-foot-deep water, the ESU team conducted an emergency rescue in the dark, saving the officer’s life.

“ESU volunteers are dedicated to serve their community and its citizens during their time of need during emergency and non-emergency incidents that affect our community,” said a representative from the Office of Emergency Management. “This is a great honor for us.”


Joe Gaines

Joe Gaines
Volunteers with Waverly Flood Survivors and Westminster Presbyterian Church

Joe Gaines has been an active disaster relief volunteer since Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005. He volunteered to help during Nashville’s 2010 flood, and after the 2020 tornadoes in Putnam and Davidson Counties. When flooding devastated Waverly, Tenn., Gaines’s actions were no different – he jumped in to help.

Since the August flooding, Gaines and his team have worked on 12 homes impacted by the storms. His team works on the most severely damaged homes, the ones many other teams walk away from. What makes Gaines’s work special is he recognizes these houses are more than damaged buildings, they’re people’s homes. When on site it’s a priority of his to introduce volunteers to the home owners to show just how important their work is.

“I feel that there is a call to help others in their time of need,” Gaines said. “I also enjoy hands-on labor and the fellowship of my fellow volunteers. My life has been rewarded by seeing the appreciation of those we help.”

Gaines is tireless, and works with a quiet determination and thorough knowledge of his skill set. After the attention has diverted from Waverly and the resources have dwindled, he’s remained dedicated to the flood victims. He continues to gather a crew two days a month to help those who have lost so much, and is often found working long after other volunteers have headed home.

He is the heart of his group, and the motivation to keep everyone positive throughout the day. He says he’s fortunate to work with his fellow members at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and continue their long tradition of service.

To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Strobel Finalists 2022: Group Volunteer Service

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Group Volunteer Service category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 at the button below!

Come To The Table
(Jennifer Ray and Gloria Damron)

Come to the Table
Volunteers who founded an initiative to feed the hungry while offering physical, emotional and spiritual support.

Come to the Table Tennessee is a faith-based nonprofit community organization established in January 2019 by Jennifer Ray and Gloria Damron, out of the desire to feed the hungry while offering physical, emotional and spiritual support. Each week, Jennifer and Gloria serve a free hot meal at Damron’s Restaurant to anyone in need — children, the elderly and all ages in between. Since 2019, they have grown Come to the Table by recruiting new volunteers to the cause, who now serve between 95 and 150 guests weekly. 

What sets this organization apart is not just feeding the hungry and meeting basic needs. These women and the other volunteers strive to meet emotional needs as well, lending an ear, offering friendship free of judgment, and providing a community where people can eat, talk and laugh – filling a void that too often goes unnoticed in the lives of the hungry. As their colleague explains: “These two ladies are committed to lessening the burden of hunger in our town. There are other food sources in town, but the difference in this one is not only do they strive to feed those who are hungry but they also minister to them through non-judgmental friendship and caring.”

“[Gloria] and I began the ministry in January 2019, hoping to feed the hungry in our community a hot meal one night each week. Together we are making a difference in the lives of 100-plus each week,” Jennifer said.  We laugh together, pray together and share life together. It is about more than feeding their bodies; it is about feeding their souls and sharing hope with them.”

 


Connect Us Outreach Ministry
(Mary Yarbrough and Kathy Morrison)

Connect Us Outreach Ministry Volunteers: Frank Brooks, Mary Yarbrough, and Evang. Kathy Morrison
Volunteers who serve locally to provide food boxes, clothing, and household goods for those in need.

For years, Frank Brooks, Mary Yarbrough and Evang. Kathy Morrison have volunteered at Connect Us Outreach Ministry, a locally owned outreach center that provides hands-on work to make a difference in the lives of those across the Nashville community. 

Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Frank, Mary and Kathy have risen above the call of duty, diligently preparing and distributing food boxes, clothing and household goods for those in need, distributing masks and sack lunches to homeless populations throughout the city, and providing necessary supplies to tornado victims. They have embodied Connect Us Outreach Ministry’s core mission each day, treating all whom they serve with grace regardless of religion. For those with needs that outstrip the Ministry’s resources, Frank, Mary and Kathy have worked tirelessly to connect them with the necessary resources through other organizations. 

This trio has dedicated their lives to serving the community. This past summer, Frank tragically passed away, a significant loss for the Ministry, his fellow volunteers and the city. In a true testament to his love for this community, Frank spent his last day assisting Kathy and Mary with food box assembly. To this day, Kathy and Mary continue to volunteer with Connect Us, and do so in Frank’s honor and memory. 

When asked about her nomination, Mary said, “I was drawn to this Ministry by the work of the director working with women that were homeless, in the jail system, and those in the community that are in need by providing clothing, food boxes and household goods when they find housing.”

 


Alameda Christian Church Ministry Volunteers

Congregation of Alameda Christian Church
Volunteers who serve with the Society of St. Andrew to coordinate and facilitate large-scale food distributions for communities in need.

The congregation of Alameda Christian Church has volunteered with the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) for five years, aiding the nonprofit in their efforts to provide healthy food, reduce food waste and forge community bonds by ensuring no one goes hungry. 

Alameda has striven to involve as many members of their congregation as possible, from youth groups to deacons. In the last two years, they have hosted three “crop drops,” which are large-scale events to distribute food boxes and thousands of pounds of freshly grown produce to those in need. In addition to hosting, they ensured the event was accessible for all, so that all volunteers, regardless of age or ability, were able to take part in dropping off the food, organizing food bags, and distributing to agencies and others in need. In total, their work to host the last three crop drops increased the amount of food shared in middle Tennessee by 76,000 pounds.

Through their diligence and dedication, Alameda has helped SoSA reach new, underserved areas of the Nashville community.

“We are a small church with a BIG heart. Our members are a diverse, inter-generational team of volunteers with a singular mission to put healthy, fresh, nutritious produce in the hands of those in need in the community,” said Alameda Christian Church representatives about their work. “We are blessed and grateful to volunteer with the Society of St. Andrew to be change agents making a difference in alleviating hunger issues in the community.”

To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Strobel Finalists 2022: Social Justice Impact

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Social Justice Impact category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 at the button below!

John Bull

John Bull
Volunteers with Open Table Nashville

John Bull is a longtime volunteer for Open Table Nashville (OTN), an interfaith, grassroots nonprofit that seeks to disrupt cycles of poverty, journey with the marginalized and provide education about issues of homelessness. Whether on the streets, in the woods, under bridges or in encampments, OTN meets Nashville’s homeless population where they are — and no one exemplifies this more than Bull , who assists with outreach efforts day in and day out. In his daily visits to encampments, Bull acts as the eyes and ears for OTN among the unhoused community, providing the supplies they need to survive outside, communicating when the overflow shelter is open, monitoring flood activity and transporting those in need of medical attention. On their own, these actions are vital to humanizing those impacted by homelessness, a population that has grown substantially over the years in number and need. However, to do it the way Bull does – tirelessly, daily and totally ingrained into his routine – is lifesaving. 

Bull ’s efforts extend beyond daily checks. In 2021 and for many years now, he has attended WeGO board meetings, city council meetings and other community meetings to better campaign for accessible resources for the unhoused, the decriminalization of homelessness and affordable housing. He is a one-of-a-kind volunteer who does the direct, daily work while also advocating for sustainable, systemic changes that our city needs.

“John makes a huge difference in so many people’s lives that just need someone to help them access the systems of care that currently are not accessible in our city,” his nominator shared. “They just need someone on their side, and John is this someone for so, so many of our unhoused friends. It is rare to have someone who shows up for our unhoused friends in the capacity he does — always advocating for our friends, never judging, all as an organic, authentic part of his own lifestyle.”

When asked about his nomination, Bull simply said: “We are all in this together.”


Linda McFadyen-Ketchum

Linda McFadyen-Ketchum
Volunteers with Moms Demand Action Tennessee

Linda McFadyen-Ketchum has given almost 50 years of volunteer service to the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee. As a full-time volunteer activist for national organization Moms Demand Action, she gives a voice and power to those who are impacted by gun violence. In 2013, McFadyen-Ketchum jump-started the organization of Tennessee’s ‘Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’ following the Sandy Hook massacre. Through determination and grassroots leadership, Linda helped grow from a Nashville chapter of five moms to a fully-fledged, nationally recognized organization that includes nine local groups statewide. 

Since founding the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action, McFadyen-Ketchum has devoted her life to achieving justice and peace for those impacted by gun violence. Her dedication extends to legislative efforts, such as educating lawmakers; testifying before the legislature; establishing a “State Legislative Rapid Response Team” in Middle Tennessee; and coordinating with other statewide organizations serving vulnerable populations affected by gun violence like Tennessee trauma surgeons, LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, the NAACP and racial justice organizations, foster care agencies, and suicide prevention organizations. Most importantly, however, Linda lifts up survivors: She invites survivors and families who have lost loved ones to meetings to offer respect and healing. 

“Linda’s exceptional volunteer work with Moms Demand Action Tennessee gives a voice and power to those who are impacted by gun violence and gun deaths in our city and state,” a colleague shared. “Many of those victims are African American children and their mothers and families, many deeply in need of a voice for their pain and loss.”

“Many [survivors] don’t have power or resources, and are especially vulnerable in the face of such grief. We lift up survivors by using our power and resources to assist them,” McFadyen-Ketchum said. “I am a survivor of gun violence and a retired public school teacher. The Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012 woke me up to the gun violence epidemic we Americans are living with now. We don’t have to live like this, and I am doing everything I can to save Tennesseans from gun death and injury.”


Veronica Zavaleta

Veronica Zavaleta
Volunteers with Hands On Nashville and Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition

A local and national community organizer and activist, Veronica Zavaleta has availed herself to Nashville’s immigrant community and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients since 2010. Amid changing legislation and uncertainty, she has gone above and beyond the call of duty, helping to coordinate an event to benefit Nashville’s Hispanic community impacted by the flood, recruiting other volunteers and organizing outreach to assist with everything from supplies to paperwork for immigration cases. 

Immigration issues hold a personal element for Zavaleta, yet she takes great personal risk each day to fight for the local immigrant community, one which has historically been ignored and underserved. Her selflessness is evident in the breadth and depth of her service — she not only gives her all to uplifting this community, but also recruits others to the same cause, amplifying her impact and maximizing the potential for change. In the words of a colleague, “What sets Veronica apart is that she goes beyond what is being asked of her. She is always an advocate at heart. For Veronica, anybody in need regardless of the reason needs to be addressed, and she ensures that happens.”

“I was called to serve in this world, and if I don’t serve, I don’t know what I would do,” said Zavaleta about her nomination. 

To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Congratulations to the 2022 Strobel Volunteer Awards nominees!

We’re so excited to announce the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! 2021 was full of incredible acts of service and responding thoughtfully and creatively to help meet our communities’ needs. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers nominated, and for those who took the time to nominate! Read on for a full list of nominees in each category.

What’s next: We’ll announce the finalists on April 1, and the public will be able to vote for their favorite stories of service between April 1-30.

Save the date for the celebration: Join Hands On Nashville on Friday, May 13, 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 2021 to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization, or developed an innovative approach to significantly improve an existing program.

  • Bob Teague
  • Brian Morris
  • Carole Purkey
  • Erin Samuelson
  • Holly Therrell
  • Jaclyn Mothupi
  • Jacobia Dowell
  • Kamilah Sanders
  • Kiersten DeVore
  • Kristen Adams
  • Leslie Hooper
  • Maddi Vowell
  • Marc Bussone
  • Maureen May
  • Nathan Webb
  • Sunny Fleming
  • Susanne Shepherd Post

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. 

  • Alamada Christian Church
  • Blair and Robin Gilley
  • Bridge Builders
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Nashville – First Impressions Unit
  • Co-Historians for the Cordell Hull Chapter of the United Nations Association
  • Come To the Table
  • Connect Us Outreach Ministry
  • Cross Point Church
  • Designed Conveyor Systems, LLC
  • Dr. Robert Stein’s Group
  • ELL Teachers: Brian Disney, Karen Disney, Lisa Mosley, Lu Smith, & Paula Stephens
  • Feeding Music City
  • FortyAU
  • Founding Members of the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee
  • Friends Life Community
  • Greater Nashville Chapter of National Charity League
  • GROW Enrichment
  • HCA Healthcare
  • Keith and Meryl Kraft
  • Legacy Mission Village
  • Melissa Kaiser and Chandler Anderson
  • My Friend’s House
  • Nashville Angels Volunteer Board Members
  • Open Hands Nashville
  • Patchwork
  • People Loving Nashville
  • The Greater Nashville Church
  • Tractor Supply Company

Disaster Relief Volunteer 

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

  • Anthony Lopez
  • Hispanic Outreach Task Force
  • Joe Gaines
  • Maria Elena Amado
  • Nashville OEM Emergency Support Unit
  • Sherry Nicholson
  • Tami Hilbert
  • Thomas Fortney
  • YAIPak Outreach

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. 

  • Amy Hodges Hamilton
  • Caitlyn Herrington
  • Dawn Warner
  • Jasmyn Cheatham
  • John Bull
  • Kathy Halbrooks
  • Khandi Marthel
  • Linda McFadyen-Ketchum
  • Maureen Organ
  • Rocio Zenon Honorato
  • Veronica Zavaleta

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.  

  • Anjali Babu
  • Bailey Bonde
  • Chandler Sheridan
  • Connor Parr
  • Cora Funk
  • JohnThomas Atema
  • LeeAaron Berks
  • Maddie McDaniel
  • Riya Narayan
  • Ronae Briley
  • Sarah Lowe
  • Shreya Priyadarshi
  • Sterling Gale Lekki
  • Sydnee Elizabeth Floyd

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.

  • Amanda Fermstad
  • Amanda Healan
  • Bernard Britton
  • Beverly Stanton
  • Britta Roach
  • Brittany Parker Short
  • Cassandra Fecteau
  • Chuka Onuh
  • Crystal Clark-Chatman
  • Daniel Craig
  • Emily Bratton
  • Greg O’Loughlin
  • Jahnari Edwards
  • Jared Elzey
  • Jennifer Meadows
  • Jeremy Trujillo
  • Kari Leigh Ames
  • Kat Shaoul
  • Kevin McKellar
  • Kimberly Webb
  • Lina Londoño Tinsley
  • Liz Rogers
  • Maria Arvizu
  • Simone Lampkin
  • Walter Enrique Polanco Díaz

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. 

  • Alan Hulst
  • Angela McLoughlin
  • Biars Davis, Jr.
  • Bill Kaludis
  • Carole Sergent
  • Charles High
  • Dana Morrow
  • DeeDee Sudarshan
  • Doris Ann Hendrix
  • Edward Arnell
  • Edward Kothera
  • Jim Neely
  • Joan Clayton-Davis
  • Judy Meskell
  • Leigh Barnes
  • Lesa Prime
  • Linda McFadyen-Ketchum
  • Mark Brown
  • Mary Dionne
  • Maureen May
  • Michelle Giffen
  • Mike McAllister
  • Pierre Hunt
  • Robin Salyers
  • Ronny Lewis
  • Ruthann Getz
  • Sandra Frank
  • Sharon Berenfeld
  • Teresa “Terri” Smith
  • Teresa Barry
  • Tom Mulgrew
  • Vera Coleman
  • Vince Zaccardi
  • Walt Grooms
  • Yvonne Joosten

Thank you to our generous Strobel Volunteer Awards sponsors 

Sign up for Weed Wrangle and support our local green spaces!

Join Weed Wrangle’s nation-wide effort to save our native plants. On Saturday, March 5, 10 local parks and nature centers are gathering volunteers to pull weeds and keep the invasive plants at bay.

This important work needs to be done annually so that our native plant communities can keep up their hard work of helping control erosion, moderate floods, filter water, decrease water needed for landscaping, and sequester carbon to combat climate change.
Ready to get started?

Pick a location below and sign up! Interested in learning more? Click here.

Partner Spotlight: National Museum of African American Music

In honor of Black History Month we’re excited to spotlight The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM), which opened in downtown Nashville in September 2020.

NMAAM is the only museum dedicated to educating, preserving and celebrating more than 50 music genres and styles that were created, influenced and/or inspired by African Americans, including spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, R&B, and hip hop.

Using artifacts, objects, memorabilia, clothing and state-of-the-art technology, each of the museum galleries is designed to share a different narrative and a unique perspective on African American music and history.

The museum tells the story of how a distinct group of people used their artistry to impact and change the world. We are honored to partner with the museum, and to help meet their needs through volunteerism.

The National Museum of African American Music is the only museum dedicated to educating, preserving and celebrating more than 50 music genres and styles that were created, influenced and/or inspired by African Americans, including spirituals, blues, jazz, gospel, R&B, and hip hop. [NMAAAM Photo]

Mission: To educate the world, preserve the legacy, and celebrate the central role African Americans play in creating the American soundtrack.

Hours: The Museum is open 9 am. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Monday, 9AM-5PM.

  • The Museum is closed on Tuesdays.
  • Amplify, the Museum’s gift shop, is open 7 days a week, 10AM-5PM.

Tickets: Tours begin daily at 9 a.m. and occur every half hour.

  • A few notes about your visit to NMAAM: 
  • NMAAM uses timed tickets for tours (self-guided).
  • Estimated tour time is 90 minutes but guests may take as much time as they like to enjoy the galleries
  • When you receive your ticket confirmation, you will be prompted to print your ticket(s) or bring your e-ticket(s) on your phone the day of your visit which we strongly encourage you to do. If you do not bring your printed ticket(s) or e-ticket(s) you will have to come to the NMAAM ticket desk the day of your visit to pick-up your tickets which will delay your ability to begin your tour as scheduled.

Locals can visit free: Through the Nashville Public Library’s Community Passports program, two adults from Davidson County can receive free admission to NMAAM for one visit over a 7-day period. Library card holders can “check out” a passport online, and be placed on the waiting list for when they become available. Learn more here!

Volunteer opportunities: NMAAM offers long-term volunteer opportunities and date and time specific opportunities though the HON website. Click here to see their offerings!

Membership: A NMAAM membership offers special privileges throughout the entire year, including unlimited free admission, access to private exhibitions, discounts at our gift shop and much more! Members can receive customized experiences when viewing exhibitions that bring the American soundtrack to life. We’re devoted to providing members with intimate experiences that will leave them inspired beyond our walls. Additionally, your membership provides vital support for NMAAM’s rich programs, educational opportunities, and community partnerships. View membership options here!

The latest FEMA information regarding the Dec. 2021 storms

Earlier this week FEMA shared some updated messaging regarding applying for assistance, what types of assistance FEMA offers, deadlines to apply, and information on applying for Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans. For questions regarding this information, please visit fema.gov/disaster/4637.

These updates are accurate as of Feb. 17.

Latest news:

One Month Left to Apply for FEMA Assistance
Since the devestating December 2021 storms, more than $4.4 million in federal funds has been provided to residents to assist in their recovery. Survivors who still need to apply for FEMA assistance have until March 15, 2022, to do so.

Funding is available to residents in Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, Weakley, and Wilson counties.

Applying for FEMA assistance is free and easy. To start your claim, use any of the following options:

  • Go online to DisasterAssistance.gov.
  • Use the FEMA app, which can be easily downloaded to a smartphone.
  • Call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Specialists are available from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time, seven days a week. Multilingual services are available.
  • If you use a relay service, such as video relay service (VRS), captioned telephone service or others:
    • Update the “Current Phone” field using the relay service phone number
    • Add “Relay Service” to the Note box; provide FEMA with your number.

FEMA Housing Inspections
FEMA Housing Inspectors will make an appointment before visiting your property to assess damage. The inspector may call and confirm the last four digits of your FEMA application number and then schedule an appointment seven to 10 days from the date your initial application is submitted.

Over the past month, FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams have gone door-to-door in the 12 declared counties, interacting with 2,061 individuals to help them apply for assistance and to provide referrals to other resources.

NOTE: Apply Even If You Have Insurance
If your personal property or primary residence was damaged when a line of tornadoes touched down in middle and west Tennessee in December, consider applying for FEMA assistance even if you have insurance. Don’t wait until after you receive your insurance settlement to apply. First, file your insurance claim, then apply for FEMA. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits, but once you are in the agency’s application system, you can submit documentation on your insurance settlement or claim denial when you receive it, and any uncovered damages will be considered.

For nonprofits: FEMA continues to support state and local leaders to provide Public Assistance funding for storm-related emergency response and the restoration of infrastructure, damaged public facilities and certain private nonprofits, like houses of worship. To learn more, go to the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency “Active Disasters” page, and click on FEMA-4637.

Read the full FEMA press release here.

What FEMA Individual Assistance Does and Does Not Cover

Under a recently signed Major Disaster Declaration, homeowners and renters in Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, Weakley and Wilson counties whose primary residence and/or personal property was damaged or destroyed by the December

What is not eligible?

FEMA does not offer housing assistance for secondary homes; you may only receive FEMA assistance for disaster damage to your primary residence. Additionally, FEMA does not provide assistance to small businesses. Our partner, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), offers low interest disaster loans for that. Business owners, renters and homeowners may obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunication relay services), or by emailing DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Disaster loan applications can also be downloaded at sba.gov/disaster.

What FEMA may cover

Tornado survivors in middle and west Tennessee are eligible to apply for grants that cover temporary housing, repairs and other uninsured or underinsured losses. However, those who still have questions can speak with a FEMA representative at 800-621-3362 to learn how the agency can assist with their disaster recovery. Here is an abbreviated list of assistance available:

Temporary Housing Assistance: Funds for temporary housing, such as rental assistance or reimbursement for hotel costs, while you are unable to live in your home due to extreme tornado damage.

Lodging Expenses Reimbursement: Reimbursement of hotel expenses for homeowners or renters for short periods of time because they can’t access their disaster-damaged primary residence, or a utility outage makes the home unlivable.

Home Repair or Replacement: FEMA may assist with the replacement of, or repairs to, a disaster-damaged primary residence in certain circumstances. This assistance is not intended to restore your home to its pre-disaster condition. Instead, grants cover uninsured essentials like doors, windows, a roof, critical utilities, toilets and other necessities. The homeowner may apply for an SBA disaster loan to help with additional repairs beyond what FEMA may provide.
FEMA may also consider funding for hazard mitigation measures, such as roof, furnace, water heater, or main electrical panel mitigation, to help reduce the amount of damage to the home in future disasters, if those items

Other needs:
Financial assistance is available for necessary expenses and serious needs directly caused by the disaster, including:

  • Child-care expenses
  • Medical and dental expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Damage to essential household items; tools required for your job; necessary educational materials (computers, schoolbooks, supplies)
  • Fuel for the primary heat source (heating oil, gas)
  • Clean-up items (wet/dry vacuum, dehumidifier)
  • Damage to an essential vehicle
  • Moving and storage expenses caused by the disaster. This is moving and storage of essential household goods to prevent further damage, such as ongoing repairs, and returning property to the applicant’s primary residence.
  • Other necessary expenses or serious needs as determined by FEMA

Everyone Has the Right to Appeal a FEMA Determination
If you receive a determination letter advising you are ineligible for assistance or that your application is incomplete, do not be frustrated or discouraged. Instead, just read the entire letter to find out what’s needed for FEMA to continue processing your application. Many times, it’s a simple fix. You have 60 days from the date on your FEMA decision letter to submit a written appeal and supporting documentation.

Key messages:

Tennessee Tornado Survivors: Avoid Contractor Fraud

  • Disasters often bring communities together but con artists, identity thieves and other criminals may target survivors working to rebuild after last December’s severe weather and tornadoes. The most common types of post-disaster fraud include phony housing inspectors, fraudulent building contractors, bogus pleas for disaster donations, fake offers of municipal or federal aid and charging for free services.
    • If you need help day or night, call the local police and the FEMA Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

Major Disaster Declaration Amended to Include FEMA Public Assistance

  • Thirteen Tennessee counties are now eligible to receive FEMA Public Assistance reimbursement funds to help communities repair and replace damaged infrastructure, public buildings and some facilities operated by private nonprofits, such as houses of worship. The PA declared counties are Cheatham, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Gibson, Henderson, Henry, Lake, Obion, Stewart, Sumner, and Weakley.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

What is a SBA loan? The SBA offers disaster assistance in the form of low interest loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations, homeowners, and renters located in regions affected by declared disasters. SBA also provides eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations with working capital to help overcome the economic injury of a declared disaster.

  • There is no cost to apply for a SBA disaster loan, or to accept the loan if approved. However, if FEMA refers you to SBA, you must apply before you can be considered for certain kinds of FEMA grant money. If you are not approved for a loan, FEMA may be able to provide grants to cover disaster related expenses for personal property, vehicle repair or replacement and/or moving and storage feed.
  • Homeowners may be eligible for a disaster loan up to $200,000 for primary residence structural repairs or rebuilding. SBA may also be able to help homeowners and renters with up to $40,000 to replace important personal property, including automobiles damaged or destroyed in the disaster.
  • Businesses and nonprofit organizations may be eligible to borrow up to $2 million for repair costs and disaster related working capital needs.


Read the full press release by FEMA here.

For more information on Tennessee’s disaster recovery, visit www.tn.gov/tema.html and www.fema.gov/disaster/4637. You may also follow FEMA on www.facebook.com/fema and Twitter @FEMARegion4.

Spread a little love this Valentine’s Day

We all know Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate your loved ones. But, instead of flowers and chocolates, we thought we would share a few ways you can show some love to your community with those you love. These opportunities are great for your friends, family, or that special someone!  

Check out our list here:  

Sort and bundle baby clothes with There With Care Middle Tennessee 
When: Ongoing 

Organize donations, bundle baby clothes, and help create grocery support care bags with There with Care. Spread love to new families in your community! 👶💗 

Sign up here: hon.org/opportunity/a0C5a00000eFqZGEA0 

Deliver Care Packages to Families at local Children’s Hospitals 
When: Ongoing 

There with Care Middle Tennessee is looking for volunteers to deliver care kits to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt and to The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial. Additional training and a background check is required. 

Sign up here: hon.org/opportunity/a0C5a00000eFqZaEAK 

Package hygiene kits with the Community Resource Center 
When: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14 

Everyone should have the ability to look and smell their best, especially on Valentine’s Day! Spend a few hours with a loved one packaging relief and hygiene kits at the CRC, which are delivered to eight counties across Middle Tennessee. 

Sign up here: hon.org/opportunity/a0C5a00000iO46lEAC 

Share a Hobby or Skill with the residents of Dismas House 
When: Ongoing 

Looking to show off a special skill with your significant other? Volunteering will surely impress them! You can share a hobby or skill together or individually with the residents of Dismas House. Activities can range from cooking a delicious meal together to singing, acting, or whatever your passion is! Activities can be shared in person or over Zoom.  

Sign up here: hon.org/opportunity/a0C1H00001omHQfUAM 
 
Food Delivery to Afghan Refugees with The Branch 
When: 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 14 

Explore Nashville with your Valentine while doing good for our neighbors in need! The Branch of Nashville is looking for volunteers to pick up pre-made boxes of food and deliver them to Afghan families at local apartment complexes. 

Sign up here: hon.org/opportunity/a0C5a00000iO3tAEAS 

Modify Homes for Children with Disabilities with Tucker’s House 
When: Ongoing 

Get your hands dirty with your Valentine by remodeling a home to meet specific needs for children with disabilities! Volunteers with construction experience are needed to help with demo, framing, trim, building ramps, and more. General volunteers are also needed to help with demolition, construction clean up, and painting.  

Sign up here: hon.org/opportunity/a0C1H00001asz6nUAA 

Be a friendly face and provide assistance to guests at FiftyForward  
When: 9 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays 

FiftyForward is looking for folks to assist with their adult day services! Volunteers will greet guests as they arrive, assist with meal services, and provide socialization and one-on-one support during activities. Show some love to the older adult community and warm your own heart in the process.  

Sign up here: hon.org/opportunity/a0C5a00000iO09CEAS