Category Archives: Youth Volunteers / Youth Volunteer Corps Program

Check out this summer’s family-friendly volunteer opportunities

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Whether you’re a parent looking for a wholesome (and free!) way for your kiddos to pass the time this summer, or you’re a teen looking for a way to beef up your resumé before applying for college, we’re here to connect you to volunteer opportunities at lots of great Nashville organizations. Click the title of each opportunity to learn more and sign up.

Look for ways to give back to your community year-round on our calendar.

Be a Blood Services Donor Ambassador
American Red Cross—Nashville Area Chapter
Minimum age:
13
When: Ongoing

Help save lives while honing your customer-service skills. Volunteers will promote blood donation and ensure long-term commitment for regular blood donations.

Make reading easy as a Librarian’s Assistant
Nashville Public Library (multiple locations)
Minimum age: 13
When: Ongoing

Volunteers enable the thousands of patrons who visit the library’s 21 locations each day to read, conduct research, and continue learning. Plus volunteers get easy access to the library’s amazing collections. And air conditioning!

Organize, sort, and support at the Family Store
The Salvation Army
Minimum age: 16, or 14 with an adult
When: Ongoing

The Salvation Army Family Store is looking for volunteers to hang and organize clothing, sort items in the warehouse, and assist cashiers with wrapping purchases. Bonus: Close proximity to amazing thrift finds!

Get your hands dirty to feed hungry families
Second Harvest Food Bank
Minimum age: 18, or 8 with an adult
When: Ongoing

Farm to Families volunteers support local food producers by helping care for a wide variety of crops and other plants. In return, Second Harvest partner farms donate a portion of the bounty to people who need fresh, healthy food. Volunteer projects vary and may include weeding, mulching, composting, harvesting, or gleaning. Green thumbs not required!

Cultivate professional skills on the Teen Team
Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Minimum age: 17, or 13 with an adult
When: Ongoing

This youth-oriented team enables volunteers to develop their leadership, professionalism, customer service, and problem-solving skills in a fun environment. Volunteers assist staff with hands-on, fun programs and greet museum guests.

Connect with elderly residents as a wheelchair escort 
McKendree Village Inc.
Minimum age: 18, or 13 with an adult
When: Sundays and Wednesdays, multiple dates available

Cheery, physically active volunteers are needed to help push residents in wheelchairs to chapel services. This is a great opportunity to enrich the lives of older residents and build meaningful one-on-one relationships.

Beautify the Radnor Lake Area
Radnor Lake State Natural Area
Minimum age: 13, or 10 with an adult
When: Fridays, multiple dates

Every hand helps keep the Radnor Lake area beautiful for Nashville residents, visitors, and wildlife. Volunteers are needed to build out and mulch trails, remove invasive plants, clean up streams, and more. Projects happen rain or shine.

Nashville Dolphins
Minimum age: 16, or 13 with an adult
When: Thursdays through July

Stay dry while helping swimmers stay safe! Volunteers stay on deck and assist the heacd coach to help guide swimmers and ensure that they are having fun. No swim team or swim coach experience is required.

Help Musicians Corner Concert guests have a great time
The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park
Minimum age: 16, or 14 with an adult
When: Fridays and Saturdays through June (with some Thursdays)

Hear great music while helping put on a culturally rich event. Volunteers work alongside interns and full-time staff to assist with giving audience surveys, monitoring the parking lots, staffing merchandise stations, and working water and beverage stations. Volunteers will receive training and assignments on site.

Grow and harvest while learning about gardening
Bellevue Edible Learning Lab Inc.
Minimum age: 16, or 4 with an adult
When: Saturdays

The Bell Garden serves as a teaching and learning lab for volunteers, students of Bellevue Middle Prep, and the community! Volunteers can do a variety of things, including sow seeds and harvest plants, water and weed, work in the greenhouse, tend the chicken flock, can and preserve fruits and veggies. The garden runs on volunteer power, and no experience is necessary.

Make meals to nourish those fighting cancer
The Heimerdinger Foundation
Minimum age: 19, or 13 with an adult
When: Ongoing

Members of the Heimerdinger Foundation’s volunteer kitchen crew are involved in the meal-making process — from prep to delivery. Volunteers should exhibit positive energy, be dependable, and be willing to work as a team.

HON Community Partners: Do YOU have family-friendly volunteer opportunities that aren’t featured here? Let us know so we can add them!

 

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2016 Summer Camp Recap: Health & Wellness!

Hands On Nashville’s second week of Summer Camp was full of more projects, friendships, and fun!

From learning about healthy eating, to discussing stress management, to talking through best practices for living an overall healthy lifestyle, the group explored issues of health and wellness over the five day camp. Each afternoon, campers participated in service-learning projects at a different organization working to improve the health and wellness of our community and its individuals.

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Hospital Hospitality House Service Project

At Hospital Hospitality House, an organization that provides low-cost accommodations to patients and families facing medical crisis, campers helped with outdoor beautification projects like weeding, picking up trash, clearing rocks away from pathways, and sprucing up the courtyards. Tasks like these can seem small, but they are a big help to organizations that rely on volunteers to help them continue to do the work they do!

Soles4Souls Shoe Sorting Service Project

Soles4Souls is an international organization that provides shoes to those in need in the US, and in 127 countries around the world! During Health and Wellness Week, campers sorted more than 1,000 pairs of shoes that will reach those in need around the globe. Now that’s a good feeling!

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Cooking up something good.

What says health and wellness more than good food? Every day, campers worked together to prepare healthy lunches and snacks that honed their cooking skills as well as their taste buds.

Campers also took part in discussions on larger food security and access issues facing our communities, including the ease and accessibility of non-nutritious fast food, which can often seem like the best choice based on access and affordability.  During lunch, campers practiced basic cooking skills, took home step-by-step recipes, and learned from nutritionists about the different benefits that eating nutritious food can have on the body.

 

Bike Refurbishment Project at Oasis Center

For the second camp week in a row, we traveled to the Oasis Center’s Bike Workshop for a bike refurbishment project!  The Oasis Bike Workshop provides young people a place to go and fix their bikes, as well as learn how to maintain them. During the project, campers learned useful bike-fixing skills and refurbished bikes that will be donated to local students through Hands On Nashville’s ReCYCLE for Kids program this July.

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Pickles, anyone?

Thanks to Sally Rausch, our very own fermentation guru and YVC Urban Agriculture Education AmeriCorps Member, campers learned about health the benefits of naturally preserved foods, not to mention it is a good way to use excess produce from the garden! Each camper made their own jar of preservative-free pickles to take home and eat in a couple of weeks.

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Project C.U.R.E. service project.

Ever wonder what happens to excess or used medical equipment? During Health and Wellness week, campers sorted medical supplies at Project C.U.R.E., a nonprofit that collects donated medical supplies and distributes them all over the world to developing countries. The campers learned that these supplies can mean the difference between life and death and  experienced first-hand how saving materials from landfills can make a huge difference for the health and well-being of those in need.

Thank you, campers!

A big shout out to our volunteer leaders this week, Jackson and Dhara, as well as all of our speakers and project coordinators — we could not do it without you!

Looking to get involved? Sign up for a volunteer project at HON.org.

2016 Summer Camp Recap: Environment Week!

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On June 6, Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps launched its three-week summer camp with five days of service-learning focused around the environment!

After a week of volunteer leader training, two of our “Hyped on Help”ers, Abi and Hallie (pictured above), led their group in team building activities, participating in service projects, and end-of-day reflections. Every day of environment week brought new projects, new speakers, and new challenges. Overall, the campers learned about issues facing our global environment, and more specifically, how everyday actions can have a larger impact than we think on the world around us.

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During a visit to the Cumberland River Compact, a Nashville water conservation nonprofit, the campers learned how people affect their surrounding waters through an interactive watershed model. They learned about flood effects in urbanized areas, water contamination from various different sources, issues facing the Cumberland River, and the limitations of Earth’s water supply. On a smaller scale, campers learned personal tips and tricks for combating these issues.

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At the OASIS bike workshop, the campers were able to get hands on experience servicing and caring for a bike. Later in the day, they also learned the environmental importance of alternate methods of transportation, such as biking and walking, and the impact they can have on reducing carbon emissions in the environment. The bikes that the campers helped refurbish are part of  ReCYCLE for Kids, a larger project to recycle used bikes and distribute them to children living in underserved neighborhoods.

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Nothing says environment week like a stream cleanup! During a project at Coopers Creek, campers were able to remove eight bags of trash and cleaned about 1,056ft of natural waterway. The removal of debris from waterways improves the quality of the water as well as the habitats that depend on it!

2016 YVC Environment Camp-5A visit from Urban Green Lab gave campers an interactive look into sustainable concepts and how we can adapt to a more sustainable lifestyle. The new solar-powered Mobile Lab was an amazing tool for learning about energy use, waste, food production, water conservation and more! The campers especially loved the energy-saving, human-powered blender! Fruit smoothies on a hot summer day were the perfect cap to learning about sustainability. Thanks, Urban Green Lab, for bringing out your mobile lab!

2016 YVC Environment Camp-6To end the week, campers were given a small budget for Nashville’s recycled arts and crafts store, Smart Art, to pick out materials to create an upcycled art project. So much of what we use goes to waste, so an upcycle craft is the perfect way to visualize how something old can be turned into something new! Campers were able to craft while watching Dr. Seuss’s, The Lorax. We had some amazing projects but the winner of the upcycle challenge was Ava with her 100% recycled coat hanger! (Can you spot the eyeglasses?)

Thank you to all those who participated in this week, it would not have been the same without you!

To learn more about Hands On Nashville, and how you can volunteer, visit HON.org.

Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps Receives Top Honor

NASHVILLE NAMED OF THE TOP YVC PROGRAMS IN NORTH AMERICA

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Nashville, Tenn. – Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville was named a 2016 Gold Level YVC Affiliate, one of less than 15 YVC programs throughout the U.S. and Canada awarded this honor. The youth service program, hosted by Hands On Nashville, offers volunteer opportunities for nearly 1,000 youth who serve nearly 4,000 volunteer hours every year. Continue reading Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps Receives Top Honor

3,700 Books Donated through 6th Annual YVC, Book ’em Drive for Kids!

Throughout the month of January and February, nine schools participated in the 6th annual Hands On Nashville and Book ’em Book Drive for Kids! Continue reading 3,700 Books Donated through 6th Annual YVC, Book ’em Drive for Kids!

Volunteers Resolve to Serve on MLK Day Weekend!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question in, ‘What are you doing for others?’”

On Saturday Jan. 16, and Monday, Jan. 18, 90 young people helped answer Dr. King’s question with Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC)!   Continue reading Volunteers Resolve to Serve on MLK Day Weekend!

YVC Summer Camp Week 3 Recap: Health & Wellness

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Campers sorting medical supplies for patients in developing countries during week two of Hands On Nashville’s 2015 YVC Summer Camp.

What does it mean to be healthy and well? What health-related issue are others struggling with in our community? During week three of Hands On Nashville’s YVC Summer Camp, a group of twelve high school students explored these questions through a series of service-learning activities. Continue reading YVC Summer Camp Week 3 Recap: Health & Wellness

Reaching My True Potential: A Reflection of AmeriCorps Service

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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

YVC Summer Camp Week #1 Engages Teens in Sustainability and Service-Learning

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YVC Summer Camp participants volunteering at Bell Garden during Environment week, which occurred June 8-12.

As Nashville prepared for the Country Music Association’s annual four-day Music Festival, the high-school students attending HON’s first week-long Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) Summer Camp of 2015 gained new appreciation for sustainable living as a form of community outreach. Organized by YVC AmeriCorps Member Ashleigh Barker, and led by Stephanie, a Hands On Nashville Summer Youth Leader, youth spent the mornings building new knowledge of climate issues, food systems (local and global), and sustainable living practices through fun and engaging group-learning activities. Continue reading YVC Summer Camp Week #1 Engages Teens in Sustainability and Service-Learning

Introducing the 2015 Summer Youth Leaders!

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Hands On Nashville’s 2015 Summer Youth Leaders! From left to right: Margaret, Stephanie, Shira, and Yavin.

This June and July, Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps is inviting teens to spend a week of summer vacation exploring issues facing our community. Each weeklong session focuses on a different issue area – environment, hunger and homelessness, health and wellness and youth education – and is designed to encourage a deeper understanding of our community through hands-on service learning experiences.

These four Summer Youth Leaders have stepped up to guide this initiative and are using their leadership skills to do good this summer. Please join us in welcoming them! Continue reading Introducing the 2015 Summer Youth Leaders!