“Rewarding.” That’s the word Brent Grunfeld, longtime supporter of the youth group at Harpeth Presbyterian Church (Harpeth Pres.), used to describe the church’s involvement with ReCYCLE for Kids 2017.
Harpeth Pres. is a small but mighty congregation in Brentwood, TN. After going on a mission trip to Mobile, Alabama last year, the youth group wanted to make a difference closer to home. While in Alabama, youth group members learned that people experiencing homelessness needed bikes to get around the city – and they were pleased to find out that local organizations exist to meet that need. Coming home, the group wondered if Nashville had resources in place to connect community members with bikes.
ReCYCLE For Kids: a volunteer-powered initiative that collects, restores and connects bicycles with youth in underserved neighborhoods. Between 2012 and 2017, ReCYCLE engaged 1,600 volunteers and connected nearly 1,000 youth with bicycles.
A portion of bikes collected by Harpeth Pres.
After meeting with Hands On Nashville about ReCYCLE For Kids, Harpeth Pres. members had no idea how much their involvement would grow. What started as a youth-group project to donate and collect bikes turned into a congregationwide effort to make the biggest impact possible. Initially, the church donated 54 bikes, but they didn’t want to stop there.
“Our entire congregation came together and got behind supporting the program,” said Grunfeld. “It was amazing, the camaraderie and fellowship; we had eight-to-10 year olds and seniors going out of the way to help us figure out how to donate bikes. It created an environment that hadn’t really existed before.”
This newfound dedication led Harpeth Pres. to collect more than 110 bikes – accounting for nearly half of bikes delivered to community members at the ReCYCLE For Kids 2017 giveaway event.
Congregation members learning the ropes at a bike refurbishment project
The church’s enthusiasm was also apparent at its bike refurbishment project, which took place at Oasis Bike Workshop. “To have 32 people show up for refurbishment – they took over the Oasis Bike Workshop,” said Grunfeld. “Church members didn’t know what to expect. The next thing you knew, you had people who didn’t know anything about bikes fixing tires and brakes. The excitement was amazing when we left.”
Between the refurbishment and giveaway, nearly 50 people volunteered for ReCYCLE – not including the numerous people who helped in other various capacities.
After donating and collecting dozens of bikes, participating in a refurbishment and volunteering at the giveaway, Harpeth Pres. is already talking about keeping the momentum going. They look forward to working with other churches and increasing community member involvement in similar service projects.
To the entire congregation: ReCYCLE 2017 would not have been rewarding for us without your eagerness, excitement and support. From our team to yours, we are grateful.
NASHVILLE – September 23, 2017 – This morning, more than 1,000 volunteers came together for the 26th Annual Hands On Nashville Day, a citywide day of service supporting Metro Nashville Public Schools. At 15 schools, volunteers created inspirational murals, landscaped playgrounds, and painted hallways, gymnasiums and more.
“Today’s volunteers aren’t just sprucing up schools,” said Dennis Neal, executive director of the Facility and Grounds Maintenance Department at Metro Nashville Public Schools. “They’re showing support for the MNPS students and families who learn and grow in these spaces every day.”
Hands On Nashville partnered with numerous community organizations and businesses in support of the day of service. A team of employee volunteers from Altria, the presenting sponsor, completed projects at Cora Howe School. Nashville Tree Foundation and Cumberland River Compact also contributed support.
“Hands On Nashville Day helps us give back to the community in which we live and work,” said Altria’s Mark Czuba. “It’s powerful to see what we can accomplish as a team, especially as we focus on a cause as important as our local schools.”
Metro Public Works partnered with the event for the second year as part of Mayor Megan Barry’s Fall Green & Clean initiative, sponsoring 100 tree plantings. Funding was provided through a Community Partner Grant from Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful (KAB), a national nonprofit that inspires and educates people to improve and beautify community environments.
The Nashville Tree Foundation supported the event through the Green Shirt Volunteer program, which recognizes volunteers who have experience planting trees at NTF events or have related professional qualifications. Green Shirt Volunteers trained and supervised Hands On Nashville Day projects to ensure proper planting methods, and will do so for additional planting projects in the community.
“Hands On Nashville’s mission – to meet community needs through volunteerism – truly comes alive on this day,” said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Our team has the unique position to see the impact volunteers contribute to our city every day, and events like Hands On Nashville Day highlight this impact for our entire community.”
Throughout Hands On Nashville’s 26 years, more than 26,000 volunteers have engaged in 75,000 hours of Hands On Nashville Day service, creating an economic impact valued at nearly $2 million, according to Independent Sector research.
To support Hands On Nashville’s work, please consider purchasing a commemorative HON Day 2017 t-shirt. $20 of the $26 t-shirt price goes directly to Hands On Nashville. Learn more at http://www.hon.org/honday.
Hands On Nashville’s fifth annual initiative delivers bikes to youth in need
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – July 31, 2017 – More than 200 local youth and 100 volunteers participated in Hands On Nashville’s ReCYCLE for Kids bike giveaway on July 29, 2017, presented by Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®). Since its inception in 2012, more than 1,200 youth have received bicycles through ReCYCLE.
The volunteer-powered initiative includes three phases: bike donations, refurbishments and today’s giveaway event. The giveaway took place at Coleman Park Community Center, connecting Nashvillians with new and like-new bicycles, new helmets, locks and interactive safety training.
The Oasis Center hosted ReCYCLE refurbishments for the fifth consecutive year. Volunteers fixed and replaced tires, adjusted cables and hubs, checked brake pads and shifters, replaced parts, and cleaned and polished bikes.
Support from local schools, faith-based organizations, businesses and Metro Parks and Recreation is fundamental to ReCYCLE for Kids’ success. Individuals from Montgomery Bell Academy, Harpeth Hall School and Harpeth Presbyterian Church hosted bike drives. Employees from event sponsors Change Healthcare, Cummins, Ted R. Sanders Moving & Warehouse, Inc. and Jackson participated in refurbishment efforts.
What the community is saying about ReCYCLE for Kids:
“Keeping kids active during the summer is a priority for Metro Parks,” said Stevon Neloms, superintendent of community programs for the Metro Parks and Recreation Department. “Our partnership with Hands On Nashville is a creative way to engage toward that goal and benefit kids who may not otherwise have access to bike resources.”
“Bikes are not only forms of transportation, they’re also a means of empowerment,” said Dan Furbish, founder and manager of the Oasis Bike Workshop. “Our doors are open to all who develop a passion for biking and its positive effects on Nashville.”
“Jackson is committed to enhancing children’s lives in our community,” said Susannah Berry, corporate social responsibility manager at Jackson. “Each year, ReCYCLE is a special opportunity for our team to come together and serve.”
“Service can take many forms,” said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “ReCYCLE For Kids offers volunteers the opportunity to engage in any way that resonates with them.”
About Hands On Nashville
Hands On Nashville (HON) works to meet community needs through volunteerism. For more information, visit HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.
“Volunteers are critical to the success of so many nonprofits, and that is why it is so important for nonprofits to put processes for best-practice volunteer management in place. I am proud that CNM partners with HON and the Mayor’s Office to recognize such achievement in our local nonprofits,” said CNM President and CEO Tari Hughes.
EVE certification is awarded twice annually to nonprofits that adhere to volunteer management best practices, including conducting volunteer orientations and including a volunteer program component in the organization’s strategic plan. A nonprofit’s certification lasts two years and is then eligible for renewal. In total, 68 organizations are currently EVE certified.
“Hands On Nashville celebrates the dedication it takes to transform volunteer support into capacity,” said HON President and CEO Lori Shinton. “We’re thrilled to support our partners as they engage volunteers to fulfill their missions.”
The next round of EVE applications will be accepted in the fall via http://www.hon.org/EVE. Any nonprofit agency in Davidson County may apply.
Middle Tennesseans were honored on Wednesday, April 21, for outstanding volunteer work at Hands On Nashville’s 31st annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, presented by Advance Financial.
Laura Little – Capacity-building Volunteer Award
Brentwood Baptist Church – Medical Dental Unit – Civic Volunteer Group Award
FYKES Realty Group – Corporate Volunteerism Award
Olivia Wright – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages five to 20)
Terry Key – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 21 to 49)
Lillian Schklar – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 50 plus)
More than 600 volunteers and agency representatives attended the luncheon and ceremony at the Music City Center downtown. The annual event recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the community.
This year’s awards ceremony kicked off with a choir performance by St. Cecilia Academy Choir to recognize the award nominees and finalists. Great-granddaughter and namesake of Mary Catherine Strobel, Mary Catherine Pyburn, recited the Peace Prayer of St. Francis, a favorite of her great-grandmother. Charles Strobel, son of Mary Catherine Strobel and founding director of Room In The Inn, closed the ceremony with remarks about the event’s significance and an eloquent remembrance of his mother’s legacy.
“The Hands On Nashville team is once again energized by the spirit of service at the Strobel Awards,” said Lori Shinton, President and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Strangers don’t exist at that luncheon. There is a seemingly unending line of new friends wanting to hear more about you and thank you for your service.”
Community members submitted 126 nominations for the 2017 Strobel Volunteer Awards.
“Volunteerism is a key component of our business culture and a key part of being a Nashvillian,” said Tina Hodges, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Experience Officer at Advance Financial. “Our employees are offered volunteer time and we hear about their incredible experiences all year long. The Strobel Awards celebrate stories like theirs and those of our fellow Nashville volunteers in such a special way.”
“This is probably one of the best awards I could ever imagine receiving,” said Terry Key, recipient of the Direct Service Volunteer Award (ages 21 to 49). “I get a chance to make a difference and work with people who are making a difference. I’m going to show this to all the kids in the bike club and tell them, ‘No matter where you’re from, you can make a difference!’”
Following is a list of award recipients for each category and a brief description of the volunteer work for which they are recognized.
The Capacity-building Volunteer Award honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.
Laura Little received the 2017 Capacity-building Volunteer Award for her work with 18 different nonprofits around Nashville, which includes facilitating donations for Nurses for Newborns, the Department of Children’s Services, The Nashville Food Project and more. Laura anticipates when organizations have upcoming needs for food or supplies, and notices when they’re storing something that might better suit another cause.
The Civic Volunteer Group Award recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or non-corporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue.
Brentwood Baptist Church – Medical Dental Unit received the 2017 Civic Volunteer Group Award. The MDU is a mobile facility that offers free healthcare services, and welcomes people from all backgrounds. Its volunteers, who include medical and dental professionals, as well as church members, provide healing, restorative, compassionate care.
The Corporate Volunteerism Award pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact.
FYKES Realty Group is the 2017 recipient of the Corporate Volunteerism Award for its work with Open Table Nashville, which works with individuals facing homelessness. Twice a month, the FYKES team joins Open Table Nashville to set up a resource shelter so unhoused neighbors can enjoy good meals, warm beds and showers, while getting help with housing, paperwork, medical needs and haircuts.
The Direct Service Volunteer Awards recognize individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy and/or resources to support an agency’s constituents.
Olivia Wright received the Direct Service Volunteer Award in the ages five to 20 category for her work with Tennessee H.U.G.S., or Help Us Give Shoes, an organization she started with she was only nine years old. Now 17, Olivia started the program to help children meet basic needs and ensure their ability to get an education. The idea has transformed into an international organization: H.U.G.S. has delivered more than 100,000 pairs of shoes to 13 countries and six continents.
Terry Key is the 2017 recipient of the Direct Service Volunteer Award, ages 21 to 49 category, for his efforts with the Edgehill Bike Club. Terry started the club as a way to show kids in his neighborhood life outside Edgehill. Edgehill Bike Club works to give children bikes, teach them basic maintenance and encourage children to take control of their futures. Since 2013, Terry has helped give more than 1,000 bikes to kids, and is working to establish new bike clubs in other Nashville communities.
Lillian Schklar received the 2017 Direct Service Volunteer Award in the ages 50-plus category for her tutoring work with FiftyForward’s Friends Learning in Pairs (FLIP) program. She is a fixture in the school where she tutors, having logged hundreds of service hours in more than a decade. She works not only to improve her students’ academic skills, but to develop loving friendships with them.
For more information:
Jessica Moog, Hands On Nashville, (615) 298-1108, ext. 409, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards are named in memory of the late Mary Catherine Strobel, known for her extensive and charitable efforts toward improving the lives of Middle Tennessee’s homeless, impoverished and less fortunate populations. The annual awards ceremony celebrates her service and recognizes those who continue her legacy.
About Hands On Nashville
Hands On Nashville (HON) works to address critical issues facing the Middle Tennessee community through volunteer-centric programming. For more information, visit HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.
To be certified with EVE honors, nonprofits must meet certain volunteer management best practices, including a volunteer program component in the organization’s strategic plan and more. In total, 64 organizations are currently EVE-certified.
Excellence in Volunteer Engagement was co-founded by Hands On Nashville, Center for Nonprofit Management and Mayor Karl Dean in November 2011. In 2016, Mayor Megan Barry renewed this unique cross-sector partnership.
Congratulations to each of the organizations recognized! To learn, more visit HON.org/EVE.
As part of Marine Week, hosted by the United States Marine Corps, Hands On Nashville had the honor of engaging two groups of service men and women in meaningful community-focused projects.
Home Energy Savings Project
Marine Week is designed to be a celebration of Community, Country and Corps – providing the American public the experience of directly connecting with hundreds of Marines. And for one Nashville homeowner, this direct connection occurred in a very real way.
On Sept. 8, a group of 12 Marines arrived at Ms.Galloway’s home, ready with a mission to make her home more energy efficient. After three hours of hard work, the results were transformational.
The group first helped move old family memories from attic , which had zero insulation prior to the project. After a team effort, volunteers sprayed 15 inches of insulation throughout the attic, which will make a significant impact on keeping the home comfortable.
The group also air-sealed windows, doors, and underneath sinks and cabinets. They added toilet tank banks, installed new light bulbs and smoke detectors, and even helped patch dry wall where air was escaping.
When the project was complete, the effort made a 21% percent improvement in the amount of air that was leaking from her home. On average, Home Energy Savings Projects save homeowners nearly $400 a year on their utility bills.
Hands On Nashville Urban Farm
On Saturday, Sept. 10, members of the US Marine Corps devoted much needed support at Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.
During their four hours of volunteerism, the Marines prepared the Urban Farm for fall vegetable planting. From mowing around orchards, to adding compost and soil to three garden field rows, to removing weeds and grasses in prepped garden rows, the Marines made tremendous headway in getting the Farm in shape for the colder months ahead.
Our most sincere thanks to each member of the Marine Corps who volunteered their time in support of Nashvillians during Marine Week. Your service to others is an inspiration.
To learn more about how you can get involved with the Home Energy Savings Program and Urban Farm, please visit HON.org.
This spring, Hands On Nashville volunteers donated and refurbished nearly 220 gently used bikes for Metro students and youth served by Metro Parks Community Centers. Saturday’s giveaway event at Coleman Park Community Center marked the culmination of a three-phase volunteer effort to support healthy youth lifestyle choices and access to community resources.
“Our summer and after-school programs are focused on keeping young people active to support healthy social and academic development,” said Coleman Center Facilities Manager Stevon Neloms. “Thanks to generous community volunteers, our kids now have another fun way to exercise and stay active here and at home.”
During the event, volunteers helped recipients select bikes, fit riders for new helmets, and led them through a series of bike-safety activities.
“Exercise and education are true building blocks for student achievement, and we’re thrilled that many of our families now have these resources,” said Paragon Mills Principal Dr. Maria Austria. “Our community has rallied together to show our students they care.”
Community partnerships played a key role in the successes leading up to the event. In May, Metro Parks Community Centers and Middle Tennessee YMCAs served as bike collection sites. For the fourth consecutive year, the Oasis Center led refurbishment efforts at its Bike Workshop, where volunteers cleaned bikes, replaced chains, repaired seats and more.
“At the Oasis Bike Workshop, teens learn about themselves and their communities through our bike building program,” said Oasis Bike Workshop Founder Dan Furbish. “Our hope is that today’s recipients develop a passion for biking now, and someday will join our program.”
Many ReCYCLE for Kids volunteers hailed from the Nashville business community, including Change Healthcare, Cummins, Regions and Ted Sanders Moving. Jackson celebrated its third year consecutive year as ReCYCLE’s presenting sponsor.
“One of Jackson’s core pillars is to enhance the lives of children in our community,” said Susannah Berry, corporate social responsibility specialist for Jackson. “Our team has truly united around ReCYCLE for kids, and its unique approach to empowering youth.”
Since its inception in 2012, ReCYCLE for Kids has made bike ownership a reality for nearly 1,000 youth living in underserved neighborhoods. The goal of the effort is to encourage the re-use and recycling of materials. Hands On Nashville plans to distribute remaining bikes to Nashville youth this summer.
“ReCYCLE for Kids is a testament to the value of creative community partnership and volunteerism,” said Hands On Nashville Interim Executive Director Lori Shinton, “This event is an uplifting example of what we can do as a community when we come together around a common goal.”
About Hands On Nashville
Hands On Nashville (HON) works to address critical issues facing the Middle Tennessee community through volunteer-centric programming. For more information, visit www.HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.