The 2022 theme of preparedness is “A Lasting Legacy.”
The life you’ve built is worth protecting, preparing for disasters is the best way to create a lasting legacy for you and your family.
Here’s four steps Ready.gov recommends:
Build a Kit
An emergency kit should have everything you need to survive for several days. Keeping your kit stocked with necessities like food, water, and medical care can make the difference in the face of a disaster. Consider unique needs of your family. Include supplies that might be needed by pets, older adults, and those with disabilities in the event of the emergency. Don’t forget to include:
Non-perishable food and water that can last several days.
Disasters can happen anywhere, any time. That’s why it’s important you’re prepared. Do you have a plan for yourself, your pets, and your family? Consider the specific needs you might have in an emergency.
Consider any special needs your family might have.
Store important documents and information in a safe place. Items like passports, birth certificates, maps and electronics should be put in a flood-safe place like a high shelf or upper floor in resealable, water-tight plastic bags to help waterproof them. Store important documents like insurance policies digitally. Make sure you put important phone numbers somewhere besides just your cell phone.
Verify your home is fully insured for the disaster risks in your area.Talk to your insurance agent to ensure there are no gaps in your coverage, but also remember you should shop around to get the best rate. Ask about discounts that may be available and consider increasing the deductibles to reduce your premiums.
It’s never too early for your little ones to feel safe. Whether it’s knowing their phone number, guardian’s names, or address; or for teens to know how to call for help or their home’s evacuation routes — there’s steps you can take today. Every member of the family can prepare.
Ready Kids has tools and information to help before, during, and after disasters.
Davidson County students are heading back to school next week, and our education partners could use your help! Mentor students, lead field trips, or organize classrooms — there are all kinds of ways to help! Keep scrolling for just a few of our suggestions, and learn how you can help make this school year the best one yet!
Visit preschoolers at a local child development center and read them stories! This quick volunteer opportunity only takes about 30 minutes. Volunteers can spend a quick visit with the kids, or read for multiple classes.
Pick a topic surrounding elementary-level reading, middle school STEAM classes, or high school career readiness and preparation, and using your cell phone create a short, informative video for students! Videos can be between five and 15 minutes, and be simple and fun. Help PENCIL keep students engaged through virtual learning.
Attend orientation with The Land Trust for Tennessee to begin hosting field trips when kids visit the farm! Volunteers will lead activities stations about trees, the history of the farm, gardening, the animals, and how to compost.
NMAAM volunteers will assist with chaperoning school-age students during field trips to the museum. Volunteers will engage with students and support logistics, group management, and enforcing safety protocols. Field trip support volunteers may help with facilitating school lunches and providing cleanup after.
FiftyForward is looking for adult volunteers age 55 and older to assist with their Friends Learning in Pairs (FLIP) tutoring program. Volunteers will serve as tutors and lunch buddies at partner schools and are an important part of helping students succeed. FLIP tutors serve once or twice a week for approximately two hours at a time, meeting one-on-one with up to four students.
Volunteer as a children’s program volunteer and help children with their homework when needed; oversee playtime and facilitate enrichment activities, and lead bible study programming. Volunteers are needed at the Franklin and Nashville locations.
The Accelerating Scholars program is recruiting community volunteers to tutor more than 7,000 MNPS students who need a little extra help and personalized support, especially in elementary reading or middle school and high school math. Volunteers provide support in three, 30-minute-long virtual tutoring sessions every week during the fall semester beginning September 19.
Help the YWCA with cleaning, maintaining the grounds, storage organization, donation sorting, and more! The YWCA helps families leave abusive households and start new lives. We provide free HiSET education to men and women and mentor middle & high school girls and boys in some of Nashville’s toughest neighborhoods.
Begin Anew is looking for volunteers to commit to a one-hour weekly tutoring session with adult learners preparing to take their GED! Subjects include math, reading, writing, social studies, and science. Instruction is offered one-on-one or in small groups.
Learn techniques for growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and other common vegetables, install drip irrigation, sow and harvest the plants, and more at Glencliff High School. All produce is harvested and distributed to local families or marketed and sold by students as part of their school-based enterprise. Proceeds benefit activities and trips for the school’s FFA chapter.
Virtually tutor young readers who are currently reading below their grade level. Volunteers will work with children in kindergarten through fifth grade to improve their literacy and comprehension skills. The YMCA offers a straightforward training process to ensure volunteers are ready to get reading.
Use die-cut machines to create flashcards and other resources for teachers to use this coming school year. PENCIL provides a free resource center for teachers to shop and help stock their classrooms for a year of learning.
Work with students on a weekly basis to build relationships and encourage them as they work through HSE (High School Equivalency) programs, learn English, or complete computer and job skills training. (Mentors also needed in Madison or Franklin!)
As we’ve learned from the March 2020 tornado, COVID-19 pandemic, March 2021 flooding, and hurricane warning earlier this month — disasters can strike unexpectedly.
There’s no better time than the present to prepare to protect, and keep you and your family safe during a disaster.
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. This year the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is using its public service campaign, Ready, to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement.
This year, Ready is promoting four key ways to be prepared:
(1) Stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses
(2) make a family emergency plan and
(3) build an emergency supply kit, and
(4) get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies.
There’s some easy, low cost ways to prepare for a disaster:
Start today by signing up for alerts, safe-guarding important documents, and taking other low cost and no cost preparedness actions to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies for you and your family.
For a full list of how you can get involved, click here.
Don’t forget to share your preparedness prep with us! We would love if you shared your kits, how you’re making a plan, or any other helpful information others should know with us by tagging us on social media @HONashville, and using the Ready hashtags, #BeReady and #PrepareToProtect!
People having thoughts of self-harm, or are having difficulty with interruptive and persistent thoughts that are interfering with the ability to work, go to school, or maintain relationships, can call the 24-hour TN Mental Health Crisis Line at 855-274-7471.
Contact NAMI Davidson County’s weekday Helpline for information on local mental health resources and free evidenced-based, peer-led support groups for people with mental health issues, and their family members at 615-891-4724 or go to namidavidson.org for information.
Hands On Nashville is very fortunate to partner with multiple organizations who specialize in mental health services. If you would like to volunteer with one of our mental health partners, click here.
January is recognized as National Mentoring Month, a time to take an uplifting look at the power of relationships. Mentoring amplifies change, one relationship at a time, and helps young people find and follow their passions.
Hands On Nashville is incredibly fortunate to partner with organizations that sponsor and nurture mentorship programs across Middle Tennessee. Here are just a few options for how volunteers can make a difference in someone else’s life:
BEGIN ANEW: Tutor students online to help them grow stronger with their education, and stronger in their faith. Begin Anew is a faith-based education program working to empower individuals to overcome obstacles created by poverty. They provide GED test prep, English as a second language classes, and computer and job-skills classes to adults, as well as mentoring and access to resources. SIGN UP HERE
DISMAS HOUSE: Work with adults transitioning out of the prison system to increase their educational and job-preparedness skills. Volunteers assist with preparation for college placement exams, academic support, resume and cover letter writing, internet navigation, and more. Dismas House‘s mission is to foster community awareness and understanding of the challenges and obstacles formerly incarcerated men face upon re-entry by providing a system for personal transformation and growth as they transition back into society. SIGN UP HERE
THE FAMILY CENTER: Practice healthy coping, social, and emotional skills with clients at The Family Center! Each year The Family Center helps more than 4,000 families by providing the support and tools they need to better themselves as parents and as people. SIGN UP HERE
THE NASHVILLE DOLPHINS: Assist with teaching special needs children to swim while instilling in them a sense of teamwork and accomplishment with the Nashville Dolphins. The Nashville Dolphins offer the physical and emotional benefits of swimming to people with special needs regardless of age, ability, or financial circumstances, and their programming is offered at no cost to participants. SIGN UP HERE
NASHVILLE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR EMPOWERMENT: Become a youth mentor and help students and their families navigate online learning platforms, develop and maintain learning schedules, offer homework assistance, and provide individualized support to English Learner students. It is the Nashville International Center for Empowerment‘s mission to ensure refugees and immigrants achieve their full potential now and for generations to come. SIGN UP HERE
PRESTON TAYLOR MINISTRIES: Volunteer with Preston Taylor Ministries’ after-school program, where you can work with children in kindergarten through fourth grade to help facilitate math and reading rotations, give assistance with homework, and provide instruction in enrichment activities. Preston Taylor Ministries is a mentoring program that offers several avenues for building life-changing relationships.SIGN UP HERE
SALVATION ARMY NASHVILLE: Volunteer music instructors are needed to assist in teaching future musicians! The Salvation Army offers music lessons two to three days a week, with a flexible schedule for volunteers. Drums, piano, and guitar players are immediately needed, but all other instrumentalists are encouraged to sign up. SIGN UP HERE
YOUTH VILLAGES: Offer guidance and support through one-on-one relationships with Youth Villages’ Mentoring Program. This opportunity provides young people receiving their services with positive adult role models. Some mentors choose to play catch at the park, get a burger and hang out, or even take a trip to the county fair. SIGN UP HERE
WATER WALKERS: The Water Walkers offer multiple mentorship opportunities with children. Options range from participating in after-school tutoring, having fun during recreational time, or supervising monthly indoor rock climbing adventures. Water Walkers is a water-sports and adventure-based education and mentoring nonprofit serving kids in Nashville. They use water sports and adventure to provide chances for kids to face fears, grow in confidence, and learn that they are capable of achieving the life they want for themselves. SIGN UP HERE
Here’s a tasty way to support Hands On Nashville’s Urban Agriculture Program: join our CSA(e) – Community Supported Agriculture education!
The community’s generous support enables us to educate youth about healthy eating and
sustainable living. Every week throughout the year, our Urban Agriculture Program engages young people in service-learning based experiences at our Urban Farm to empower them to make healthy eating choices. These youth gain practical experience in growing their own food, and learn how to cook (and eat!) delicious, nutritious meals.
To support these efforts, we’re inviting individuals to make a financial donation to Hands On Nashville. As a gift for your support, you will receive a weekly box of fresh produce from our Urban Farm for two months, along with fun updates about what Nashville youth are learning and doing at our Urban Farm. Together, we can continue to grow healthy communities through youth education.
For more information, please contact Urban Farm Coordinator Adam Curtisadam@hon.org.
From June through July, these 2014 YVC Summer Youth Leaders will each facilitate a weeklong camp for their fellow high school volunteers that focuses on a specific issue, including homelessness, health and wellness, youth education, and the environment. Each camp is designed to encourage a deeper understanding of the issue and our community through hands-on service learning experiences.
After being selected through a highly competitive application process, these difference-makers completed a Hands On Nashville leadership training session to help them prepare to lead skill-building activities centered around service-learning. Please join us in welcoming these four inspiring leaders!
Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A: I would go to Europe.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in Nashville?
A: Attend Vanderbilt football games.
For the past two years, Father Ryan High School sophomore Ben Delevante has volunteered as a middle school basketball coach, assisted at Room In The Inn, and has helped raise money to fight cancer as a Relay for Life participant. “I’ve been fortunate enough in my life to have many great examples of volunteerism and leadership,” Ben says. “It’s important to help out those less fortunate in our community.”
As a coach and leader, Ben knows the importance of having a plan and motivating others to achieve a common goal. This summer, he hopes to further his teaching and leadership skills while learning more about our community needs. As a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, Ben will be channeling his energy for health and wellness to better the environment in our community. This summer, Ben will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including maintenance and upkeep of local parks, planting gardens, and providing energy upgrades to a local home.
CECILIA VON MANN, Hunger & Homelessness Week, June 23-27
A fun fact about Cecilia:
Q: If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A: India during the Holi Fest or Patagonia, Chile, to hike the mountains or hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
For Cecilia Von Mann, volunteering is one of the most important aspects of her life.
Cecilia, a junior at Father Ryan High School, is a long-time volunteer at Room In The Inn. From serving meals and registering guests to teaching art classes, Cecilia is passionate about helping those facing homelessness. In addition, Cecilia tutors refugee children each week, has led multiple retreats at her middle school, and has traveled across the globe to complete mission trips in cities from Honduras to South Carolina.
Cecilia is excited to put her summer to good use by helping others as a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, and hopes to learn more about hunger throughout the process. This summer, Cecilia will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including sorting perishable food items, serving lunch to women and children facing homelessness, and prepping survival kits.
EMILY THOMPSON, Health & Wellness Week, July 7-11
A few fun facts about Emily: Q: If you could eat only one type of food forever, what would it be?A: Pizza. All day every day. There is nothing better.
Q: If you could only listen to one CD/album forever, which one would it be?
A: Any Arctic Monkeys album other than A.M. Their older stuff is even better.
Emily Thompson, a junior at Merrol Hyde Magnet School, believes that time is the greatest gift you can give to someone. A Girl Scout since kindergarten, Emily learned the true value of volunteerism from a young age. Whether volunteering at Hands On Nashville, spearheading a clothing donation drive at her church to support those facing homelessness, or organizing a middle school dance to support Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Emily enjoys making a difference for others and leading by example.
As an aspiring pediatrician, Emily’s goal is to help improve access to proper healthcare and safety in the community. As a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader, Emily will lead campers in service-learning opportunities including sorting medical supplies for clinics overseas, boxing shoes for children abroad, and cooking lunch for people battling illnesses.
CONOR RORK, Youth Education Week, July 21-25
A few fun facts about Conor: Q: If you could only eat one type of food forever, what would it be?
A: Spaghetti with meat sauce. All day.
Q: If you could only listen to one CD/album forever, which one would it be?
A: El Camino, The Black Keys
University School of Nashville tenth grader Conor Rork has been an avid reader since age 4. This summer, Conor hopes to share his passion for education and the written word with his peers and community youth as a Hands On Nashville YVC Summer Youth Leader. “I’d like to pass on and share my love of reading with children,” Conor says. “I hope to make a difference in at least one child’s life through this opportunity.”
As a community volunteer, Conor has proudly served as a math tutor for youth at Edgehill Community Center and the Susan Gray School, organized musical activities at his church’s vacation bible school, and led Boy Scout Troup 31 in many service projects.
This summer, Conor will lead campers in service-learning opportunities such as assisting with enrichment activities for young kids, reading to children, and sorting books.
ISABEL JOHNSON-BANN, Youth Volunteer Corps Summer AmeriCorps Member
We’d like to extend a special thank-you to Youth Volunteer Corps Summer AmeriCorps Member Isabel Johnson-Bann. This summer, Isabel will oversee each week of Hands On Nashville’s YVC summer camp while facilitating fun, educational service-learning activities for youth participants. From 2007-2013, Isabel served as a highly active Youth Volunteer Corps volunteer in the Middle Tennessee community. She has completed numerous service projects benefiting our community’s youth, homeless and disabled populations, as well as the environment. Isabel is currently studying Animal Science at The University of Tennessee at Martin.
Several local high school students are coordinating coat drives at their schools, including Zack Grady, a senior at Hunters Lane High School.
“The coat drive is a small way we can reach out to the homeless community and show them we care,” said Grady. “It’s also a great opportunity to raise awareness around homelessness and to get more students involved in volunteering.”
In addition to giving the coats to the women and children, Hands On Nashville’s teen volunteers will spend Martin Luther King Day at the Rescue Mission and nearby Morgan Park Community Center getting to know each other and helping to facilitate enriching activities with the women and their children. These activities will include completing arts and craft projects; serving lunches; treating women and their children to haircuts – offered at no cost by salon professionals who will volunteer alongside the teens; and creating resumes. The teens will also have the opportunity to dialogue about the issues surrounding homelessness in Nashville.
This is the second year Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps has rallied the community around giving coats to help women and children experiencing homelessness during the winter season.
Interested in donating a coat?
New and pre-loved coats are accepted.
All coats should be clean.
This is a wonderful opportunity for families, individuals, or school groups to conduct a coat drive to support this effort.
Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps offers year-round service-learning opportunities to inspire and empower youth ages 11 to 18 to create meaningful community change. Learn more at www.hon.org/teen.
Dec. 3 is Giving Tuesday. Think the opposite of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a national day of giving, and we at Hands On Nashville are offering the Nashville community an easy way to help local kids — and feed your sweet tooth with local goodies — at our Bikes and Baked Goods bike drive.
Here’s how it works:
STEP 1) Dig through your garage, storage room, or attic.
STEP 2) Bring any bikes your kids have outgrown or no longer use to Hands On Nashville on Tuesday, Dec. 3, at lunchtime. Here are the details:
Here’s what will happen to the bikes you donate: Led by experts from the Oasis Center’s Bike Workshop, Hands On Nashville volunteers will fix them up over the next several months. In May, we’ll give the refurbished bikes to more than 400 underserved kids at a fun giveaway event that includes bike safety activities, a skills course, and free helmets for participants.
The need for tutors who can assist both youth and adult students in Middle Tennessee is greater than ever. Believe it or not, there are usually more than 100 tutoring opportunities listed on the HON website at any given time. But while such a large number of openings provides potential tutors with a nice variety from which to choose, it can be overwhelming for them as well.
With a new school year underway, Hands On Nashville welcomed 18 local nonprofits and more than 75 volunteers to its offices for the inaugural Back to School Tutor Fair on September 5.
The goal of the event was to connect potential volunteer tutors with the nonprofits who need them most and simplify the process that matches individuals with tutor openings. The gathering also provided an opportunity for Hands On Nashville and its nonprofit partners to address some of the common questions and concerns individuals have about tutoring in general.
Overall, the Back to School Tutor Fair was an enormous success. Individuals were able to meet a variety of nonprofits in a personal, face-to-face setting and learn about tutoring opportunities that they can fit into their busy schedules.
“It was fantastic to see such a large turnout for this important initiative,” said Kirsten Floyd, HON’s Nonprofit Program Manager, who helped organize the event. “Having nonprofits and potential tutors meet in person, rather than be connected over email, was a great way to start filling the many tutor openings available in the area.”
Hands On Nashville still has plenty of tutoring openings available throughout the Fall. If you missed the Back to School Tutor Fair but you’re interested in tutoring a local student, contact Kirsten directly, and she’ll help you out.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Back to School Tutor Fair!