Category Archives: Youth Volunteers / Youth Volunteer Corps Program

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!

Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville Receives Top Honor

NASHVILLE NAMED ONE OF THE TOP YVC PROGRAMS IN NORTH AMERICA

Hands On Nashville's Youth Volunteer Corp was named a Gold Level Aff
Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps was named a 2015 Gold Level Affiliate. #hypedonhelp

Nashville, Tenn. – Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps was named a 2015 Gold Level YVC Affiliate, one of only nine throughout the U.S. and Canada. The youth service program, hosted by Hands On Nashville, offers volunteer opportunities for more than 800 youth who serve more than 4,000 volunteer hours every year. Continue reading Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville Receives Top Honor