Category Archives: Volunteers who inspire us

Hands On Nashville announces the 2018 Strobel Volunteer Award nominees

Congratulations to the incredible volunteers nominated for the 2018 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Categories and nominees are listed below.

Save the date for the award ceremony: Join Hands On Nashville on Wednesday, April 25 to celebrate volunteerism in our community.

Capacity-building Volunteer

Honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization, or developed an innovative approach to significantly improve an existing program.

  • Anna-Vija McClain
  • Carroll Kimball
  • Cheri Ferrari
  • Don Cornwell
  • Eddie Pearson
  • Gerald Davis
  • Heather Hicks
  • Helen Miles
  • Jane Baxter
  • Janet Kuhn
  • Jeff Parrish
  • Jen Robinson
  • Joe Christopher
  • Joey Hatch
  • John O’Shea
  • Kay Kretsch
  • Laneisha Coburn
  • Laura Beth Hyman
  • Laura Da Fonte
  • Leigh and Bear Barnes
  • Michael Gray
  • Mona Binda
  • Phil Holt
  • Rachel Petty
  • Robbie Williams
  • Robin Puryear
  • Samantha Perez
  • Terry Demars
  • Trish Sanders

Corporate Volunteerism

Pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact. 

  • Asurion
  • Bank Director
  • Bridgestone Americas
  • Cigna
  • Dell Nashville
  • Deloitte
  • Ingram Marine Group
  • Jackson National Life Insurance Company
  • LifePoint Health
  • Mars Petcare
  • Media Star Promotions
  • Nashville Predators
  • Nissan North America
  • Geodis
  • Publix Super Markets
  • Steve Ward and Associates
  • Two Men and a Truck
  • United Parcel Service (UPS)

Civic Volunteer Group

Recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or non-corporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue. 

  • Beta Upsilon Chi
  • Cooper Trooper Foundation
  • Covenant Baptist Church Women
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Nashville Alumnae Chapter
  • Education Equal Opportunity Group
  • First Baptist Church Goodlettsville, Women’s Ministry
  • Greater Nashville Realtors
  • Junior League of Nashville
  • Murfreesboro Young Professionals
  • Music City Community Court
  • NHA Silver Socializers
  • Operation Song
  • Perenity
  • Royal Hills Neighborhood Organization
  • The Oak Hill School
  • Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., Nashville Capitol City Chapter

Direct Service Volunteer (ages five to 20)

Recognizes individuals who have contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources to help an agency’s constituents.

  • Allison Heard
  • Caroline Kreh
  • Carter Hyde
  • Gitanjali Rao
  • Gracie Stambaugh
  • Leanna Edwards
  • Margot May
  • Melina Nguyen
  • Nora Ryan
  • Sam Strang
  • Sidney Starling
  • Vince Dick

Direct Service Volunteer (ages 21 to 49)

  • Andy Morris
  • Arville Knight
  • Brittany Taussig
  • Casey Enright
  • Charlotte Avant
  • Jennifer Radcliffe
  • Jill Heyman
  • Josiah Holland
  • Julie Hornsby
  • Lesley Patterson-Marx
  • Paige Cruse
  • Robyn Saunders
  • Sean Druffel
  • Talisha Robertson
  • Tim Slate
  • Victoria Driver

Direct Service Volunteer (ages 50 plus)

  • Amelia Workman
  • Andy Womack
  • Anthony J. Viglietti
  • Bette Christofersen
  • Bill and Mary Jean Murphy
  • Brenda Hix
  • Carolyn Nash
  • Catherine Thornburg
  • Charlotte Swor
  • Don Cornwell
  • Donice Kaufman-Stewart
  • Ed Batsel
  • Geri Franske
  • Gordon Dunaway
  • Harold Pinney
  • James Hogge
  • Janie Busbee
  • Janie Luna
  • Jean Styron
  • Jen Robinson
  • Joyce Page
  • Karen Catron
  • Kathy Shaw
  • Ken Watford
  • Larry Christian
  • Lela Hollabaugh
  • Marilyn Bagford
  • Mary Beth Pacsi
  • Mary Buckner
  • Nancy Mally
  • Pam Cavala
  • Pat McDougal
  • Patricia Wright
  • Saralu Lunn
  • Warren White

Building Houses; Building Communities: Why the Jones Company Commits to Giving Back

There’s a world of difference between a string of homes and a community. The Jones Company sees that line each day. Founded in 1927, the home-building organization has a 90-year history of watching neighborhoods grow and change.

Bob Jones, the company’s founder, had a dedication to philanthropy that lives on in the organization today. By prioritizing energy efficiency in new homes and actively volunteering with local nonprofits, the Jones Company works to build stronger communities, in addition to new homes.

2017 was the Jones Company’s 90th year in business. To celebrate, employees participated in volunteer projects throughout the year. Serving with Second Harvest Food Bank, Operation Stand Down Tennessee, Safe Haven Family Shelter and Hands On Nashville’s Home Energy Savings (HES) program, Jones Company volunteers from every department – from sales to purchasing, accounting to construction – worked to meet needs related to housing and well being for residents in the community we all share.

“We wouldn’t have been in business this long without an attitude of thankfulness – for our customers, our business and our neighbors. Giving back is part of that,” said Bridget Thompson, director of marketing at The Jones Company. “It’s amazing what a group of volunteers can accomplish when they share their talents and resources.”

Photo Jul 19, 9 32 06 AM.jpg

HES projects are a natural fit for The Jones Company, as HON’s work to cut utility costs for neighbors living on low incomes mirrors the Jones Company’s initiative to employ energy conservation in all new homes. Such efforts are also a priority for Jones Company customers. “Affordable housing doesn’t just mean getting into a house and making a monthly payment – it’s also the upkeep,” said Thompson.

For Jones Company employees, volunteering as a group also offers the chance to step out of daily roles and take a break. During one Second Harvest project, Jones teammates got a kick out of seeing their colleagues, construction workers nearly always wearing work clothes, wearing hairnets, shelling peas and having fun.

Photo Jul 13, 8 48 04 AM.jpg

In today’s business world, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become less of an option and more of a requirement. According to Deloitte, 70 percent of millennials are influenced by a company’s CSR practices when considering taking a job. For Jones Company, however, building community simply comes with the territory.

Thank you, Jones Company, for spending your 90th year in service!

Learn how to increase your team’s corporate social responsibility.

Why Nashville Public Library’s volunteers keep coming back

There’s no limit to what dedicated volunteers can accomplish in a day. Some projects require a longer time commitment, however – days, weeks or even months. The Nashville Public Library (NPL) knows this divide well, as 90 percent of its volunteer opportunities require long-term support.

NPL recognizes an annual “Volunteer of the Year” to help thank dedicated community members for their work. Long-term volunteer Julia Jones was awarded the title in 2017.

Julia Jones, NPL Volunteer of the Year 2017

Jones’ nomination highlights both her commitment to service and her valued role at the library:

“At the core of everything Julia does is her kindness, devotion, sensitivity, free-spiritedness, and a wonderful sense of humor. She warmly welcomes each and every guest at story time and other children’s events, addressing the children and their parents by name and showing genuine interest in them. She sings, she dances, she laughs, and in so doing, encourages the children and their caregivers to sing and dance and laugh. She encourages participants to explore the collection, recommends materials, and helps them locate those items in the library. She walks them to the door, helps them carry personal belongings, and makes patrons feel they are part of a big, Donelson family.”

– Kathryn Shaw, Donelson Branch Library Volunteer Leader

NPL lists all long-term volunteer opportunities on, and many volunteers and staff members recruit friends and family through word of mouth, adding to the sense of community among those who support the library.

“We feel such a sense of gratitude for people coming together in the community to help the library. It’s really humbling,” said Amy Pierce, volunteer services supervisor at Nashville Public Library. With long-term volunteer support, the library can offer unique services, such as the Talking Library – a program with two staffers and more than 70 volunteers, through which vision-impaired patrons can listen to volunteers read newspapers, books and more.

Volunteers must provide background checks before working at NPL, and using the library system requires training. Initially, library staff implemented the 50-hour rule to help conserve resources. However, long-term volunteering creates a sense of support and fulfillment over time.

“We work with volunteers and staff to find times that work, and allow volunteers to continue on a schedule,” said Amy Pierce, volunteer services supervisor at Nashville Public Library. “We require all volunteers to commit 50 hours of service. Often, they hit a rhythm and keep going. Many volunteers have been with us for years; last year, a volunteer hit more than 10,000 hours.”

What could your organization accomplish with a fleet of long-term volunteers?

Post your long-term opportunities on and find out today.

Guest Post: Reuniting in Service and Leadership at Cameron Middle School

image2Angel is a ninth grade student at LEAD Academy High School. She was among a group of 20 student leaders in the Cameron College Prep eighth grade class who planned and executed an extensive volunteer project with fellow students, Hands On Nashville, HCA, Teach For America and other community partners to revive the Cameron courtyard during the 2014-2015 school year.

On Saturday, Oct. 24, Angel will travel back to the courtyard with her peers to continue her service to Cameron on Make A Difference Day. Before the project, she shared her excitement with us. Continue reading Guest Post: Reuniting in Service and Leadership at Cameron Middle School

Reaching My True Potential: A Reflection of AmeriCorps Service

Ashleigh refurbishing
Ashleigh Barker refurbishing a bicycle during Hands On Nashville’s 2015 YVC Spring Break at Oasis Center.

Ashleigh Barker reflects on a year as a Hands On Nashville AmeriCorps Member.

For the last year, Ashleigh Barker has served as Hands On Nashville’s YVC Outreach AmeriCorps Member. In this role, Ashleigh has poured her heart and energy into connecting Nashville youth and teens, many of whom attend Metro Nashville Public Schools, to meaningful service opportunities designed to help them grow as leaders in their own right. From guiding a team of Youth Volunteer Corps interns who develop and lead their own service projects at area nonprofits, to facilitating a dynamic service-learning Summer Camp educating young Nashvillians in multiple issue areas, to creating social-networking content and the regular youth newsletter, Ashleigh has made a lasting impact in the lives of youth leaders, and those they benefit.

During her final week at Hands On Nashville, Ashleigh offered this reflection of her time as an AmeriCorps Member. Continue reading Reaching My True Potential: A Reflection of AmeriCorps Service

Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Lamers

Alex Lamers-2
Hands On Nashville volunteer Alex Lamers planting trees at Meigs Middle Magnet School during the fall 2014.

“Don’t be afraid to try something new.”

These are the words Alex Lamers recalls using as encouragement when getting involved with Hands On Nashville more than a year ago. He says they still ring true today. Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Lamers

Volunteer Spotlight: Daniel McDonell

Hands On Nashville Volunteer Daniel McDonald blowing insulation during a Home Energy Savings Project in January 2015.
Hands On Nashville Volunteer Daniel McDonell blowing insulation during a Home Energy Savings Project in January 2015.

It wasn’t long after Daniel McDonell moved to Nashville that he began volunteering. In his first year as a HON volunteer, Daniel has made a significant impact during sustainability-focused projects. We recently caught up with the Memphis native about his passion for the environment, favorite projects, and why he thinks volunteering is one way to keep the civic character of thriving town. Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Daniel McDonell

Volunteer Spotlight: Andy Myers

Hands On Nashville Volunteer, Andy Myers, volunteering at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.
Hands On Nashville volunteer, Andy Myers, volunteering at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm.

From helping edit curriculum taught to youth at the Hands On Nashville Urban Farm to leading volunteers in garden projects, Andy Myers has served with the Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Program for more than a year.

Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Andy Myers

Volunteer Spotlight: Jackie Hansom

Hands On Nashville Volunteer Jackie Hansom
Jackie Hamson (center) volunteering with friends on MLK Day of Service 2015.

From leading hundreds of volunteers on MLK Day to helping perform energy retrofits with the Home Energy Savings Program, Jackie Hansom has long been a standout Hands On Nashville volunteer! Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Jackie Hansom