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!
YOU ROCK! Thank you for choosing to get involved in Hands On Nashville Day 2013, our city’s biggest day of volunteerism that benefits Metro Schools. To sign up as an individual, you’ll need to follow a few simple steps, all outlined below. If you’d rather sign up a team, read about how to do that here. If someone is going to invite you to be a part of their team, you will receive email instructions telling you what to do.
Once you find the school you want and click SIGN UP, you will receive an email confirmation with additional details about exactly where to go on Sept. 21, etc.
3. Donate at least $25 to Hands On Nashville, and receive an AWESOME thank-you gift: a limited edition Hatch Show Print event t-shirt. > Make your gift here. This event is also Hands On Nashville’s biggest fundraiser of the year. During registration, all participants will be asked to make a $25 donation to support Hands On Nashville’s work to connect volunteers to community needs. All who make a minimum $25 donation will receive a special thank-you gift: a limited edition Hatch Show Print event t-shirt. Hands On Nashville leverages every $1 donation from this event into $5 of volunteers service that meets critical community needs. Donations are encouraged, but not required. Regardless of ability to donate, we encourage everyone to participate in Hands On Nashville Day!
4. Tell your friends.
Please spread the word about this awesome, uplifting community event! Whether your preferred mode of communication is Facebook, Twitter, email, or carrier pigeon, you can inspire others to Be the Change. (Please be sure to tag us — www.facebook.com/HONashville, @HONashville — and use #HONDay13 as the Twitter hashtag).
Jackson Oglesby, a recent MLK Magnet High School graduate, has been a youth volunteer leader for the past year, leading a weekly four-hour tutoring project with Backfield In Motion.
The first time I volunteered with Backfield in Motion, a local mentoring program, I was in awe. When I initially signed up to mentor 80-plus middle school-aged boys, I prepared myself for craziness. Reflecting on my own middle school experience, I expected to walk into a chaotic room.
To my surprise, upon my first hour working with the kids, I discovered that these boys were not only incredibly polite, but also extremely eager to learn. Seeing how they acted in a classroom environment, I realized that they were more mature than a lot of my high school classmates!
After three years of dedication to Backfield in Motion, I can say that these are some of the best kids I have ever seen. Every Saturday the boys came in prepared and ready to participate. They cleaned up after themselves and were extremely respectful in the classroom. In the course of the three years I volunteered with Backfield, there were few instances where I witnessed a crazy classroom. For the most part, these kids were the perfect students. In fact, most Saturdays, I was the one who felt unprepared. It was a major challenge to re-learn a lot of the course material I hadn’t studied since my own middle school days.
Inside and outside of the classroom, the kids treated me with as much respect as one of their teachers. Not only did they listen to me when I offered individual help, but they also included me in personal conversations outside of the classroom. Volunteering with Backfield not only gave me a new-found respect for teachers, but also helped me to realize how beneficial and essential programs like Backfield are to making positive changes in the community.