Tag Archives: corporate social responsibility

Meet the 2020 Strobel Awards finalists: Corporate Volunteerism

This category of the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact. 

Here are this year’s finalists:

Creative Artists Agency

CAA — Creative Artists Agency Nashville 

Volunteers at Whitsitt Elementary School 

Throughout their time at Whitsitt Elementary School, Creative Artists Agency (CAA) volunteers were known for their dependability, kindness, and willingness to help. 

Prior to COVID-19, CAA was a staple at Whitsitt students’ first day of class. Among all the hustle and bustle, volunteers guided the students to their classes, and offered support wherever it was needed. This first day of school was where CAA’s support began, but far from where it ended.  

“CAA has made a huge impact at our school in the way they consistently and thoughtfully partner to provide the highest level of education to our students,” said Whitsitt Elementary Literacy Coach Heidi Wright. “They have been a staple in helping our community and school connect to further the development and achievement of our students.” 

Throughout the school year, CAA volunteers engaged with students as reading buddies and mentors. During three months of their initiative, students read more than 2,000 books. CAA also supported Whitsitt’s music program by donating multiple musical instruments for the classroom, and provided educational and fun field trips to their office annually.  

“Not only do they support the school, they support education in a profound way,” said Chris Echegaray, Community Achieves Site Manager. “They are socially conscious, and an organization that truly cares about moving the needle.” 

The Surgical Clinic

The Surgical Clinic 

Volunteers with the Amputee Blade Runners 

The Surgical Clinic (TSC) is a group of private practice surgeons whose specialties span across the board. One of their specialty divisions, the prosthetic institute, has partnered with nonprofit organization the Amputee Blade Runners (ABR) to create free running prosthetics for amputees.  

One of the founders of ABR, Aaron Fitzsimmons, is a prosthetist with The Surgical Clinic, and has grown TSC’s volunteer staff to 10 people; all willing to donate their time and energy to improving the lives of amputee athletes across the country. 

“It is not an uncommon thing for multiple TSC employees to stay at work until midnight, helping an athlete regain mobility,” said Joshua Southards, Executive Director of Amputee Blade Runners. “The Surgical Clinic prosthetic staff is the engine that makes the Amputee Blade Runners run.” 

Due to health insurance companies deeming running prosthetics “not medically necessary,” it is often impossible for families to afford them on their own. The Surgical Clinic provides prosthetic blades necessary for training and athletic performance. Many of their clients are adopted children from other countries who were given up by their biological families due to their congenital conditions. 

One of these athletes is Samuel Tyler, a 16-year-old who received his first pair of sports blade legs in 2015.  

Now, as Samuel walks into his local YMCA, he strides with confidence, knowing he will soon be jogging around the track and independently switching out his prosthetic blades when he is ready to use the exercise equipment. He is one of hundreds of people whose lives have been changed by The Surgical Clinic.  

Comcast of Nashville

Comcast of Nashville 

Volunteers at Two Rivers Middle School 

Now in its 18th year, Comcast Cares Day is one of the largest corporate commitments to volunteerism and service in America. Comcast of Nashville, the local branch of the national internet service company, has participated annually in the corporate-wide event, making a difference for local schools and the children they serve.  

Comcast Cares Day is more than just a day – it is an illustration of the spirit of volunteerism that Comcast employees bring to life each day.  From using technology to create positive change, to mentoring youth, stocking food banks, and beautifying parks, Comcast NBCUniversal employees volunteer during this celebration and throughout the year to make a lasting impact. 

“Comcast firmly believes that corporations have a responsibility to give back to the communities where their employees and customers live and work and to partner with local governments, organizations, and nonprofits to make our communities stronger,” says Terry Vo, a Community Affairs Expert with Comcast. “We take this mission to heart every single day, and care very much about giving back to our communities to make a long-lasting impact.” 

At last year’s Comcast Cares Day, volunteers sorted more than 18,000 pounds of food and packaged nearly 15,000 diapers and 650 backpacks for Metro Nashville Public School students at Two Rivers Middle School. They’ve also opened nine computer labs in Middle Tennessee, painted and installed murals at Two Rivers, and completed landscape maintenance. These service events often involve 70-plus Comcast volunteers.  

“Our school’s hallways are more colorful than ever before. We reference one of the murals every week because it inspires our students,” said Hannah Tapp, a 7th grade teacher at Two Rivers Middle School. 

Join Hands On Nashville for the 2020 Strobel Volunteer Awards on Sept. 14, 15, and 16.

Hands On Nashville announces the 2020 Strobel Award nominees

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Congratulations to the amazing volunteers nominated for the 2020 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards. Read on for a full list of nominees in each category, and stay tuned: We will announce the finalists Feb. 20!

Save the date for the luncheon: Join Hands On Nashville on Thursday, April 2, to celebrate volunteerism in our community. Tickets go on sale Feb. 20.

2020 Strobel Awards Nominees

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.

  • Paige Atchley
  • Mack Barrett
  • Marianne Bentley
  • Karen Barnes Bice
  • Thomas Bilbrey
  • Robin Born
  • Marc & Allison Bussone
  • Michelle Rogers Carver
  • Kate Copeland
  • Bob Cotter
  • Daniel Craig
  • LaTerra Davis
  • Janice Dill
  • Brenda Dowdle
  • Buck Dozier
  • Hermelinda Flores
  • Chad Folk
  • Sheila Gaffney
  • Russ Galloway
  • Dianne Gillespie
  • Helenah ‘Ellie’ Grove
  • Kim Hannah
  • Catharine L. Hollifield
  • Tiffany Lancaster
  • Judy F. Link
  • Joe Lucas
  • Anna & Jason Rodriguez Masi
  • Lynne Maynor
  • Cory McCormick
  • Patricia A. Merritt
  • Sherri Mitchell-Snider
  • Susanne Shepherd Post
  • Becky Ross
  • Alys Schiminger
  • Dee Jay Shoulders
  • Martha Silva
  • Jake Sogga
  • Josh Stevenson
  • Charlotte Stewart
  • Joseph Taylor
  • Mary E. Walker
  • Kenneth P. Watkins
  • Victor Wynn
  • Haley Zapolski

Civic Volunteer Group

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

  • 100 Black Men of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
  • 2019 Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project Supervisors on Site
  • Bhutanese Community of Tennessee
  • BLAZE Mentoring Program
  • Charlotte Heights Church of Christ Volunteers
  • Chicktime
  • Clement Railroad Hotel Museum Volunteers
  • Cleveland Park Neighbors Association
  • Friends Life Community
  • FUTURO
  • Kiwanis Club of Nashville
  • The Mad Hatters of Stonebridge
  • Members in Motion
  • The Minerva Foundation of Tennessee, Inc.
  • Murfreesboro Muslim Youth
  • Musicians On Call
  • Nashville Fire Hockey Team
  • The N.O.O.K. (Needs of Our Kids)
  • Our Savior Lutheran
  • Shipwreck Cove
  • Tennessee Aquatic Project and Development Group, Inc.
  • Tennessee Volunteer Challenge Academy

Corporate Volunteerism

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

  • CAA
  • CESO
  • Comcast
  • Dialysis Clinic, Inc.
  • HCA Healthcare
  • Hilton Downtown Nashville
  • Lowe’s Dickerson Pike
  • Lumina Foods
  • Nissan Manufacturing Smyrna
  • Nissan North America
  • The Surgical Clinic
  • Tractor Supply Company
  • UL
  • Wil-Ro, Inc.

Direct Service

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

Ages 5 to 20

  • Elijah Buchanan
  • Katie Jean Davis
  • Grace Edwards
  • Sydnee Floyd
  • Spencer Grohovsky
  • Anastasia Gukasova
  • Amber Hampton
  • Larry McNary
  • Sassy Neuman
  • Anna Pearson
  • Emily Phan
  • Elizabeth Pistole
  • Abigail Poteet
  • La Rhonda R. Potts
  • Matthew Shipley
  • Justin Tholen
  • Elaine Turner

Ages 21 to 49

  • Shea Able
  • Annie Adams
  • Kristin S. Anderson
  • Charlie H. Apigian
  • Molly Breen
  • Adam Crookston
  • David Dawson
  • Olivia Rose DeCaria
  • Madison Everett
  • Davis Flowers
  • Nick Gambill
  • Austin Gray
  • Paige Hansen
  • Matthew Harms
  • Catharine L. Hollifield
  • Bill Key
  • Brittany Leedham
  • Lizzy McAvoy
  • Ashley Morrison
  • Aidan Pace
  • Amber Reader
  • Nickie Rogers
  • Tracy Rokas
  • Jessica Steele
  • Ashley Taylor
  • Rachael Terrell
  • Andrew Van Cleave
  • Long Vue
  • Renee Dubeau Whitehead
  • Ellen M. Wolfe
  • Corby Yarbrough

Ages 50+

  • Nikki Baker
  • Mike Berger
  • Dave P. Blackwell
  • Rebecca Bowman
  • Richell Breakwell
  • Maria Cacho
  • Bill Clark
  • Joan Clayton-Davis
  • Jamie Connelly
  • Brenda Squires Crow
  • Frances S. Dickie
  • James M. Doran, Jr.
  • Lynda Evjen
  • Beth Fetzer
  • Sandy Garwood
  • Debra Gulley
  • Joe Haase
  • Chris Harris
  • Susan Wilk Jakoblew
  • Martha Johnson
  • Charlotte Kenyon
  • Leah Locke
  • Steve Martens
  • Nancy C. Parker
  • Karen Paseur
  • Rachel (Marie) Johnson Pickett
  • Claudia Prange
  • Beverly Richardson
  • Nadine Rihani
  • Chuck Smith
  • John Smith
  • Linda Stoner
  • Kelly M. Thomas
  • Susan Thomas
  • Jerry Vandiver
  • Jeanette Veile
  • Linda Eller West
  • Dale Chism & Marilyn Woodruff

 

10,000 for 10

The 2020 Strobel Awards are part of 10,000 for 10, a monthlong call to action for volunteerism to commemorate the 2010 flood. Learn more about how to get involved here.

Announcing the 2019 Strobel Award finalists

Congratulations to the amazing volunteers nominated for the 2019 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards. Read on for a list of nominees. Finalist names are bold.

Save the date for the award ceremony: Join Hands On Nashville on Tuesday, April 30, 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.

  • Bruce Skidmore
  • Carol McCrary
  • Claressa Ham
  • Dr. Vincent Couden
  • Falon Ecker
  • Jan Routon
  • Janet Kuhn
  • John Algee
  • Joseph Nault
  • Kay Kretsch
  • Kristie Young
  • Laneisha Coburn
  • Laura Musgrave
  • Lily Hensiek
  • Lisa Booker
  • Mostly Tomatos
  • Rita Pirkl
  • Rose Pink
  • Sally Wright
  • Timothy and Riley Dilks

Civic Volunteer Group

Honors volunteer teams that unite in support of a specific issue or cause.

  • Academy for G.O.D.
  • Baila Studio Moms
  • Belmont University, College of Pharmacy
  • Cross Point Church
  • Episcopal School of Nashville
  • Friends of MACC
  • Joy in Learning
  • Musicians on Call
  • Rotary Club of Nashville
  • Shipwreck Cove Restaurant
  • St. Ann’s Church, Knights of Columbus Chapter
  • Team Emma
  • Tennessee School for the Blind
  • The Contributor, Inc., Volunteer Team
  • The General Sessions Music City Community Court
  • The Physical and Mental Health Committee, Minerva Foundation, Inc.
  • Top Ladies of Distinction, Nashville Capitol City Chapter
  • Women of Covenant Baptist Church

Corporate Volunteerism

Commends group or individual corporate volunteers who exhibit robust
commitments to service as part of their company’s community service program.

  • Apex Moving and Storage
  • BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
  • Bridgestone Americas
  • Change Healthcare
  • Cigna-HealthSpring
  • Covance Inc.
  • Crain Construction
  • Golden Rule Construction
  • Hawkins Partners, Inc.
  • LifePoint Health
  • Magpies
  • naviHealth
  • Postmates
  • Uncle Classic Barbershop

Direct Service

Applauds volunteers of all ages who participate in hands-on, direct service with a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry, or community organization.

Ages 5 to 20

  • Anne Slosky
  • Davis Blankenship
  • Ella Delevante
  • Joe Stevens
  • Katie Schmidt
  • Madison Everett
  • Melissa Farrow
  • Nashville Youth For Christ
  • Prim Wiphatphumiprates
  • Raul Solis
  • Saiche Stefanski
  • Sarah Matthews
  • Shannon Flahaven
  • Stephanie McDaniel
  • Sydnee Floyd

Ages 21 to 49

  • Amanda Castle
  • Ashley Leaphart
  • Caitlin Thorsen
  • Corrie Anderson
  • Dawn Warner
  • Emi Canahuati
  • Estella Pan
  • Gina Strickland
  • Henry Rothenberg
  • Jeni Bradley
  • Jennifer Morrison
  • Josh Renner
  • Jurrell Casey
  • Laneisha Coburn
  • Linda Copeland
  • Lindsay Bryant
  • Lindsay Voigt
  • Marc Pearson
  • Meredith Beck
  • Neal Carpenter
  • Shaunte Dozier
  • Talisha Birdsong
  • Tiffany Hodge

Ages 50+

  • Andy Albright
  • Ann Strebler
  • Becky Waldrop
  • Bernice Karnett
  • Beverly Waldrep
  • Charles Black
  • Donice Kaufman Stewart
  • Eileen Wollam
  • Ethel Hollis
  • Frances Casey
  • Gwen Neal
  • Heidi Garber
  • Janelle Wilson
  • Jo Ann Hendrix
  • Joe Manners
  • John Baroni
  • John Bull
  • Judy Bayer
  • Karen Connolly
  • Karen Lyons
  • Kate Ezell
  • Keith Loftis
  • Kim France
  • Marilyn Bagford
  • Mark Patterson
  • Marva Southall
  • Mary Lee Thompson
  • Michael Gray
  • Monty Thomas
  • Pat McDonald
  • Rich Moore
  • Robert Ramsey
  • Susan Gardner
  • Tony Washington
  • Trish McGarty
  • Wanda Smith

 

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‘Pursue Purpose’: A culture of giving back at Change Healthcare

American workers have spoken: It’s the job perks — like company culture, paid time off, and chances to serve the community — that employees are finding increasingly valuable.

But Jonny Woo doesn’t need a study to tell him that. Woo, a Regional Volunteer Chair at Change Healthcare, has completed around 10 corporate service projects since joining the company two years ago.

“I actually think giving back makes me a higher performer,” Woo says. “It’s a really good way for me to get my work done and it’s a good way for me to meet people in the company.”

This year, Woo led a team for the Nashville Heart Walk. He recruited participants, put up flyers, and solicited donations. The team raised more than $150,000 for the Nashville Chapter of the American Heart Association.

“What’s so great about AHA is that all those funds are going back directly into the community to support research and healthcare for those that have been affected by cardiovascular disease in Nashville,” says Ashley Bostic, Change Healthcare’s Director of Culture and Community Giving.

Bostic echoes Woo’s excitement about Change Healthcare’s commitment to a culture of service and giving. She says a guiding light to community giving at Change Healthcare is one of their core values, Pursue Purpose. As the value states, Change Healthcare is here to make healthcare work better. The opportunity to help improve a person’s life propels them forward.

“Focusing on improving a person’s life in any way, shape, or form in our communities is really the foundation of our community-giving programs,” Bostic says. That means encouraging employees to use their paid volunteer hours to support local nonprofits, she says, but it also means giving Change Healthcare employees space to share their passions and concerns with their colleagues and build awareness-raising campaigns around those concerns.

“You’re helping improve others’ lives and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to do that,” Bostic says. Since July of this year, Change Healthcare’s employees have logged more than 5,000 volunteer hours nationwide.

Volunteers from Change Healthcare worked with Hands On Nashville in 2018 to code and organize medical supplies for Project Cure; stain tables and benches for an outdoor classroom at Rosebank Elementary; pack snacks and hygiene kits for those served by the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center; and tend the garden at FASHA Urban Farm.  Most recently, Change Healthcare volunteers sorted gift bags for the Salvation Army Angel Tree.

“Our teams are more connected following those volunteer events,” Bostic says.

If your company is interested in partnering with Hands On Nashville to help support the community, let us know!

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.”

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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.

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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.

AmeriCorps Q&A: Breanna Rack, Corporate Partner Program AmeriCorps Member

By Natalie Hurd

Last August, Hands On Nashville welcomed a new class of AmeriCorps members to serve on our environmental, youth and education, and corporate teams. With the team nearing the end of the service year, they’re sharing their experiences, lessons learned and favorite memories.

As an AmeriCorps member, Breanna Rack helped direct corporate projects and create partnerships between businesses and community organizations. Now, as her AmeriCorps term comes to an end, she’s embracing a new role – as manager of HON’s corporate partner program.

Is there a community project in the past six months that particularly resonated with you? Why?

Our project with Jackson National Life Insurance at Maplewood High School built capacity for two student-led community initiatives: Project LIT Community and the Garden Club. Project LIT Community installs mini-libraries in barbershops, restaurants and community centers, focusing on neighborhoods that don’t have easy access to a public library. Volunteers built 27 libraries for Project LIT Community and sorted more than 10,000 donated books. Volunteers also created a pumpkin patch for the school garden for students to seed and have pumpkins ready to sell this fall.

What about the most rewarding?

Seeing tangible outcomes at the end of every volunteer project. I’ve always enjoyed working with people, and I love working with enthusiastic volunteers who want to make a difference and see that change at the end of the day.

This spring, at a school in south Nashville, we created a rain garden outside a classroom that constantly gets flooded. Knowing that the work we do makes a tangible difference and improves the lives and work of people in the organizations we serve makes each day rewarding.

Can you share some advice for someone who is considering AmeriCorps or nonprofit work?

Nonprofits demand a really diverse skill set, which can be challenging at first but rewarding in the long run. AmeriCorps is a great way to learn a lot of skills in a short amount of time, and hone in on what strengths you bring to an organization. AmeriCorps members also get to see the direct impact of our work on a daily basis.

What is your favorite place to spend a Sunday afternoon in Nashville?

I’m a big brunch-er, so any brunch spot or coffee shop is my favorite place to be on a Sunday, followed by a walk in one of our local parks!

What’s something you didn’t expect about living in Nashville?

I was pleasantly surprised to see the cultural diversity. I moved here from Orlando, which is a very diverse city, and I was nervous about how I would find that community here as well. I enjoy getting to explore the neighborhoods and see what they have to offer because they are all so different and have such unique personalities.

Build a custom day of employee volunteerism for your team.

GEODIS and McMurray Middle School: Partners on HON Day and Beyond

Social responsibility is part of the culture at GEODIS. It’s not unusual to find the company’s Nashville office collecting donations of food, clothing and other supplies to benefit local schools – in particular, McMurray Middle School.

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 HON Day 2011

In 2011, a group of GEODIS employees spent Hands On Nashville Day volunteering at McMurray Middle School. From that day forward, a partnership grew between GEODIS and McMurray. They became PENCIL Partners, with GEODIS employees participating in “Principal for a Day” and other school events, and holding fundraisers to benefit the school. Around the holidays, GEODIS employees donate specific foods and household items to help serve McMurray families.

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A food and clothing drive at GEODIS

Shayla Holt, Transportation Planner at GEODIS, helps coordinate volunteer events as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility committee (SRC). When it comes to HON Day, “everyone’s always excited about doing something for the school,” she said. “Even with football games going on and other Saturday activities, people look forward to giving their time on HON Day. It encourages people to get involved in other service events, such as food sorting at Second Harvest.”

While GEODIS remains in contact with McMurray Middle School throughout the year, the team has returned to serve on Hands On Nashville Day. “We present it as a family event,” says Holt. “Employees bring their kids to volunteer and enjoy spending time together.”

Holt shared that it’s important for the SRC to be excited and passionate about service in order to motivate employees. While GEODIS makes sure to thank participants after volunteer events, many people simply enjoy knowing they’ve made a difference. “Last year, McMurray teachers volunteered alongside our team on HON Day. Our employees interacted with the principal and teachers, and understood how their work impacted the school,” she said.

This year, McMurray Middle School will be undergoing construction during HON Day. However, Shayla Holt will return to serve as site leader, and the GEODIS SRC is working with Hands On Nashville to find new volunteer opportunities – all while continuing to grow the partnership with McMurray.

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HON Day 2016

Thank you, GEODIS, for your commitment to the Nashville community!

 

Learn more about employee volunteerism with Hands On Nashville.