Category Archives: Disaster Relief

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) updates for volunteers and public gatherings

UPDATE 10:46 p.m. Friday, July 3

Nashville transitioned back to a modified version of Phase Two today. Information about the specifics of the modified phase guidelines can be found here. Guidelines for group sizes remain largely the same — gatherings are capped at 25 people — but we encourage volunteers to wear masks, practice proper social distancing, be vigilant about hand washing, and conduct as much business outdoors as possible.

UPDATE 1:51 p.m. Friday, June 26

As the city of Nashville moves into Phase Three of Mayor Cooper’s Roadmap for Reopening Nashville, guidelines for volunteering and group size remain largely unchanged from Phase Two. 

We’ve added a COVID-19 section to our website at hon.org/covid19. There you will find the latest updates about volunteering, and opportunities to support disaster relief during this time.

UPDATE 3:47 p.m. Wednesday, June 10

Volunteer project guidelines and parameters are evolving as our city continues to move through the phases of reopening. Here are some things to know about volunteering during Phase Two of Mayor Cooper’s Roadmap for Reopening Nashville:

  • A wider variety of projects is available on hon.org, including park cleanups, community garden prep, and more. Check out our calendar to see what’s coming up.
  • The attendance cap on projects has been raised from 10 volunteers to 25, and we have asked our partners to only recruit for the number of volunteers they can accommodate while still heeding social distancing guidelines.
  • Our partner agencies are working to ensure that projects are safe for volunteers, staff, and the community. We have added a question regarding safety to the feedback survey we send out after every project, so if volunteers feel unsafe we can address those concerns on a project by project basis.
Thank you, volunteers, for all you’re doing to help meet needs in our community!
  

UPDATE 12:27 p.m. Tuesday, April 7

Volunteer Tennessee has issued helpful guidelines for those wanting to volunteer safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read and download them here.

UPDATE 12 p.m. Tuesday, March 17

The situation regarding COVID-19 precautions and how they affect tornado relief efforts is changing rapidly. HON continues to work with OEM and city health officials to evolve our disaster response efforts in real time.

Some measures we are taking to help keep community members safe:

— We are asking our partners to post only volunteer projects that pertain to meeting urgent needs in the community, which we are defining as food and shelter. We are collaborating with our partners and others in the community who are doing this work to identify how volunteers can best support them and be safe at this time, and will provide updates as we have actionable information that meets safety guidelines.

We are urging our partners to limit group sizes at projects to 10 people for the next 15 days, at which point we will evaluate whether this time period needs to be extended.

— We are continuing to ask volunteers who feel unwell to rest at home rather than attend projects.

— We encourage volunteers to use their own discretion when deciding whether to attend a volunteer project.

— We are working on identifying ways volunteers can help our partners remotely during this time.

UPDATE 7:06 p.m. Thursday, March 12

HON is working closely with OEM and the city as the COVID-19 situation evolves. As a result of the health department’s recommendations, we’re looking at a number of adjustments heading toward the weekend:

—  limiting the maximum number of volunteers at projects to 50

— stocking projects with hand sanitizer

— requesting that volunteers who feel like they’re getting sick rest at home instead of coming to projects

Please make sure you read the information at this link and continue to heed best practices regarding limiting contact with others, washing hands, etc.

Volunteers who feel unsure about exposure risk and would rather not chance it should feel free to go to their hon.org accounts and remove themselves from projects.

HON will continue to provide updates and evolve plans as needed in collaboration with the city of Nashville, OEM, and the health department.

Original post on Wednesday 3/11 at 12:25 p.m.:

As concerns grow about the spread of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and the Nashville Public Health Department have shared following information and resources:

Basics that are always best practice:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly (at least 20 seconds, with soap)
  • Don’t touch your face, especially with unwashed hands
  • Minimize hand-to-hand contact with others

Additional information:

New tornado recovery projects posted!

Photo Jun 24, 10 55 55 AM

Most tornado recovery volunteer projects were paused when COVID-19 hit Middle Tennessee in March, even though there was still much work to be done. Now that we’re in Phase 3 of the Mayor’s Roadmap for Reopening Nashville, projects are resuming and volunteers are very much needed to continue the recovery process! This Saturday, June 27, is looking to be a big day of tornado recovery-related activities. Here’s a roundup of what’s available. We’ll add to this list as more activities become available.

If you are personally still in need of support stemming from the tornado, please call the Tornado Recovery Hotline at 615-270-9255.

 

 

 

Show of Hands Week Day 7: Support volunteerism and HON during The #BigPayback

Between May 1-7, Hands On Nashville will highlight ways to stay connected and serve your neighbors even as our community honors social distancing guidelines. Check back here and on our social media channels to join in our #ShowOfHandsWeek: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

During the first week of March, 26,000 volunteers raised their hands in a massive show of support for their neighbors. Our city began its recovery: one brick, one meal, one neighborhood at a time.

One thing we know: We would do it all again in a heartbeat.  

But we know something else, too. The needs in our community didn’t begin with the tornado, or a flood, or any other disaster. And they won’t go away when disaster recovery efforts end.

And neither will we.

Today, during The #BigPayback, we ask you invest in Hands On Nashville and our vision for a city made #StrongerThroughService.

One brick, one meal, one volunteer at a time.

For 29 years, it’s been Hands On Nashville’s great honor to partner with countless individuals and agencies in the movement to make our city a better place to live and work. Thank you for joining us.

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES (MAY 7): Support volunteerism and Hands On Nashville during The Big Payback

For a week, we’ve been sharing creative and fun ways to stay connected to your neighbors through kindness and service. Today we’re asking for your help so that we can ensure a bright future for volunteerism in Middle Tennessee.

donate to hon button

#ShowOfHandsWeek Activities

While #ShowOfHandsWeek is officially coming to a close, you can revisit these activities and opportunities for inspiration any time!

FRIDAY, MAY 1: Raise your hand and tell us why you choose to be a helper

SATURDAY, MAY 2: Sign up to serve as a volunteer in May

SUNDAY, MAY 3: Bring color and hope to a neighbor with flowers 

MONDAY, MAY 4: Join the local mask-making effort

TUESDAY, MAY 5: Give thanks for those on the front lines

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6: Find a virtual volunteer opportunity

THURSDAY, MAY 7: Support volunteerism and Hands On Nashville via The Big Payback

 

Project Connect continues efforts to feed hungry families in North Nashville

When a tornado touched down March 3 and left a 60-mile path of devastation through Middle Tennessee,  Project Connect Nashville knew what it had to do: Serve hot meals to North Nashville residents whose neighborhoods had been badly damaged.

The day after the storm, PCN — whose mission is to build relationships with individuals stuck in a cycle of poverty and connect them to the faith community, living wage jobs, and stable housing — established a central command for recovery, food, and supplies distribution.

PCN employees Quanita Thomas and the Rev. Ella Clay were essential in startup operations. Clay offered the church at which she pastors, the Historic First Community Church at 1815 Knowles St., and Thomas assisted with making connections in the neighborhood, helping even though her own home was damaged by the storm.

PC_6
Volunteers feed those in North Nashville following the March 3 tornado. [Project Connect Nashville]
Volunteers immediately began tracking of the needs of the neighborhood’s residents: Who lived where, how many meals each house needed, and even whether a home had names to add to their ongoing prayer list. The first two weeks after the storm were the most demanding because many of the homes did not have power, said Laura Ingram, PCN’s North Nashville Location Manager.

“We have about 400 addresses of people who we try to feed multiple times a week,” Ingram said. Those residents include families and those whose mobility is limited, such as seniors and individuals with disabilities, who otherwise would not have been able to access food in the wake of the disaster.

PCN, in partnership with Just the Crumbs — a faith-based mobile food unit from Columbia, Miss. — now serves and delivers meals five days a week, and offers essential resources to the community two hours a day at its North Nashville Resource Center at 1811 Knowles Street.

PC_4 (1)
Just The Crumbs is a disaster relief ministry that has been aiding PCN with food distribution efforts in North Nashville. [Project Connect Nashville]
When COVID-19 got a foothold in Middle Tennessee two weeks after the tornado and more people began staying at home, Ingram says PCN’s volunteer numbers began to dwindle. But she and her colleagues continued their efforts.

“Serving people food was something we really felt we needed to keep doing as it’s too risky for the elderly and disabled to get out and shop for fresh foods,” Ingram says.

As a precaution, PCN is limiting volunteer groups to six people, who are asked to maintain a safe distance when delivering meals. The organization provides gloves, and volunteers are asked to bring their own masks if possible.

“These volunteers are invaluable to us because PCN feels it does take a village to love this wide variety of people and neighborhoods,” Ingram says. “It’s something we can’t do alone, but together we are able to check on everybody and make sure no one is falling through the cracks.”

The idea for Project Connect Nashville was birthed out of the 2010 flood, when PCN’s executive director, Alan Murdock, coordinated recovery in partnership with the East Nashville community through his garden center in Five Points. The organization has now opened campuses in South and North Nashville, and offers classes to provide knowledge, skills, and encouragement, while offering a faith community to support individuals through life’s joys and struggles.

To volunteer with Project Connect Nashville, sign up here. For a list of needed donations, click here.

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.”

89606135_10156553595441442_4762251259539357696_o
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.

Disaster Relief Efforts: Ways to Help

Thank you, everyone, for your support and willingness to volunteer following the devastating tornadoes that moved through Nashville on March 3. This post contains information on resources on ways to help. If you are needing assistance, please click here.

Donate Money

  • Folks wanting to donate money can do so through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund.
  • To donate to Nashville’s COVID-19 Response Fund, click here.
  • Schools cannot accept monetary donations directly. If you are moved to give to a Metro school, please make checks payable to Metro Nashville Public Schools and mail your donation to MNPS, c/o Business Office, 2601 Bransford Ave.,
    Nashville, TN 37204. Please put “Tornado Relief” in the memo. More info on fundraising is available here
  • The Nashville USBG — a 501c3 not-for-profit team of hospitality educators — has organized a GoFundMe, with plans to direct donations toward service industry professionals in need of “assistance with medical bills, loss of employment or home damage, and funeral costs for the families of our community who have lost lives in last night’s natural disaster.”
  • To donate directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund, click here.
  • Tennessee Action for Hospitality has created a fund to support individual hospitality professionals who plan to continue their career in Tennessee when this crisis is over. The Tennessee Action for Hospitality Assistance Fund was created in partnership with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. To donate, click here. 
  • United Way of Greater Nashville, which is working with the Office of Emergency Management, is accepting donations for its Restore the Dream Fund which provides long-term disaster recovery.

Donate Food

Donate Blood

Donate Items

  • Donate Medical Supplies for Community Assessment System — The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. is asking local businesses to donate  latex gloves and masks to help with the city’s COVID-19 response. Donations can be taken to the Community Resource Center, 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210. Large donors should fill out a form at covid19.nashville.gov.
    Other needs:

    • Surgical face masks and N-95 masks
    • Isolation gowns
    • Disposable exam gloves
    • Sani-cloth wipes
    • Face shields
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Specimen bags
    • Red top viral tubes (lab supply)
    • Nasal swabs (lab supply)
    • Large trash cans.
  • The Community Resource Center  (218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210) is collecting items to distribute throughout affected areas. Visit the CRC’s Instagram feed to see their daily updates about most-needed items.
    • Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
    • Those dropping off donations are asked to stay in their vehicles and volunteers will come outside to remove your donations.
    •  You can donate using Venmo (Username: @CRCNashille) or through its website.
    • You can also order off of CRC’s Amazon wishlist, (Address is 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville TN, 37210 if it doesn’t populate.)
  • Little Scholars Child Development, 1206 Buchanan St, Nashville, TN 37208, is accepting donations to be packaged and redistributed in the North Nashville community.

Donate Time

  • If you would like to volunteer during this time, please know volunteer opportunities are limited, and only being scheduled for groups of 10 or less. For a full list of opportunities, please click 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

Nashville Tornado Relief Efforts: Things to Know

In this post, we will be updating information as it becomes available. To view our list of resources, click here. If you are looking to volunteer or donate to a disaster relief cause, click here. To view updated recommendations regarding volunteering and COVID-19, click here

4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25

Tornado Debris Collection Update from Metropolitan Nashville Department of Public Works:
MNDPW is temporarily pausing debris pick-up in tornado impacted areas for 2 weeks. The city would like to give residents in these areas an opportunity to get debris onto the curb, and will resume pickup on April 6, 2020. At that time, they will resume regular circulation through all impacted areas in an effort to remove all curbside tornado debris.

Regular brush pick up will continue as scheduled.
Don’t forget to follow the Tornado Debris Guidelines, available at http://bit.ly/DebrisGuidelines.

10:47 a.m. Thursday, March 19

The Red Cross is experiencing severe blood shortages right now due to canceled blood drives across the country. If you are able to donate blood, you can fulfill a critical need felt by our neighbors. Click here to learn more about the need and the measures the Red Cross is taking to protect donors from COVID-19 exposure. Then click here to schedule an appointment.

2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17

Hands On Nashville extends our thanks to hubNashville and more than a dozen local roofing professionals for their collaboration this past week in which more than 45 roofs were tarped by volunteers in response to the devastating March 3 tornado.

As of today, hubNashville and HON are no longer accepting requests for volunteer roof tarping.

hubNashville is available year-round, and is a one-stop shop to request Metro Nashville Davidson County services and information, available by calling 311, visiting hub.nashville.gov, or through the hubNashville 311 app.

Special thanks to:
Mr. Roof Nashville
Above All Roofing TN
Brothers In Business
A-Team Roofing
Reach Out WorldWide
Integrity Home Inspections
Roof It Forward
Centennial Services Roofing
Rhythm Roofing

1:58 p.m. Tuesday, March 17

The HON team continues to make adjustments to volunteer projects and recommendations in light of the rapidly shifting nature of COVID-19. Click here to read the latest.

Continue reading Nashville Tornado Relief Efforts: Things to Know