Category Archives: COVID-19

For the Community Resource Center, volunteers are key to meeting critical needs

The days since a tornado tore through Middle Tennessee just over a month ago have been long and exhausting for Tina Doniger and Maria Amado, who serve as the executive director and board chair, respectively, of the Community Resource Center. The CRC, which regularly supplies basic essentials to agencies serving vulnerable populations in more than 24 counties, was activated following the storm to serve as Metro Nashville’s collection and distribution point for donations deployed to survivors throughout the region.

For Doniger and Amado, even though the days sometimes blur together, it’s the acts of kindness and generosity that stand out.

Amado shares the story of Levi, a 3-year-old boy who came to the center with his grandmother to drop off donations.

“Levi is about 3 and a half, 4 years old, and he is sucking his thumb,” Amado recalls, retrieving a sandwich bag of coins and dollar bills from across the room. “And he had emptied out his piggy bank. For the kids who lost their homes.”

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Joe Pollard, left, hands the keys of his newly donated truck to the Community Resource Center’s Maria Amado, center, and Tina Doniger, right.

Then there’s Joe Pollard, president of the Bank of Odessa, Mo., who, upon realizing the CRC didn’t have a box truck of their own, donated the one he had driven down to donate supplies. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that left Doniger and Amado speechless.

The stories of generosity add up — volunteers who came for two hours and stayed for two weeks, those who took time off from their own jobs to volunteer, those who donated knowledge and skills to help the CRC expand its reach — and take the shape of a community pulling together to make an impact far greater than could have been made by one or two individuals.

As COVID-19 sent shock waves through the region, complicating tornado relief efforts and compounding community needs, Doniger says the CRC has continued to evolve its disaster response to meet those rapidly shifting needs.

“The service we provide is essential for people moving forward,” says Doniger — who is the CRC’s sole paid employee. “There’s now even more added pressure on the people who have been serving, and more added pressure on us to find people to help.”

Keeping volunteers healthy is top of mind for Doniger, who says she provides every safety measure she can for volunteers. She provides gloves, masks, and disinfectant. Within the warehouse, volunteers stay apart, sorting their donations on their respective shelves. Donation drop-offs are now conducted without any person-to-person contact.

“The only way to keep going is for people to help us do the work,” Doniger said. “If we don’t continue doing what we do, we won’t be prepared to service the people. As long as we are healthy, and we can open this door, we are going to serve people no matter what.”

To aid the CRC in its mission of serving those in need, sign up to volunteer here.

A letter from our CEO regarding confirmed COVID-19 case

We received news today that a volunteer who served at Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church has been diagnosed with COVID-19; they volunteered there on several occasions during the initial tornado relief response and were last there Saturday, March 14.

Since COVID-19 can be spread from contact with contaminated surfaces, as well as person-to person, we are notifying all Hands On Nashville volunteers who registered to participate at Greater Heights from March 5, when they opened for tornado relief, to present. The church is ceasing volunteer activities at this time and will remain closed to volunteers for two weeks.

Please continue to closely monitor how you’re feeling and reach out to your medical provider with any concerns. The health and safety of our volunteers, community partners, and neighbors-in-need remains our priority as always, and most especially, during this difficult season.

With much gratitude,
Lori Shinton
Hands On Nashville President & CEO

COVID-19 Update: Staying Safer at Home

We’re writing to share some information regarding Mayor Cooper’s Safer at Home order from Sunday, March 22.

This order asks us to stay inside our homes and immediately limit outside interaction to essential activities only. (Think groceries, prescription refills, picking up take-out, and walking the dog.) On those occasions when you are out of your home for necessary tasks, stay at least six feet away from others.

This will further impact volunteer projects, so you may hear from us about additional cancellations and rescheduling.

Here’s the link to the full order and some information you need to know:

If you have lost your job or income due to layoffs associated with the COVID-19 crisis, you can find updated information about local job openings and opportunities here.

YOU CAN … 

  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others.
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies
  • Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

YOU SHOULD NOT … 

  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites.

For more information, please see the frequently-asked questions on the City of Nashville’s COVID-19 Response page

A letter from our CEO regarding unconfirmed COVID-19 case

In the spirit of being a good neighbor and out of an abundance of caution, we want to share some information we received about a volunteer who participated in recent tornado relief efforts.

We learned yesterday evening that an individual who served at the Hands On Nashville office, Community Resource Center, and at Shelby Bottoms between March 6 and March 13 is experiencing mild symptoms that have been associated with COVID-19 as of Sunday, March 15. This person has been in contact with their medical provider, who declined to recommend them for further testing. As a precaution, the individual is self-isolating for 14 days per the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.

Although this is not a confirmed case of COVID-19, we have a few things we’d like to share:

  • Volunteers are welcomeSince last Friday, we put extra precautions in place that allow you to take care of yourself while you’re helping take care of others. Upon hearing from the individual, we took additional steps to disinfect the buildings thoroughly and reach out to those who may have been in the same space as the person experiencing the symptoms.

Service is a key part of what will keep our community strong during this moment when many of our neighbors are faced with especially difficult challenges. With that top of mind, we will actively continue updating our policies in alignment with the best practices provided by the CDC and our local health officials. We need and we appreciate your continued support.

Lori Shinton
Hands On Nashville President & CEO