Tag Archives: corporate volunteerism

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.

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Volunteer Spotlight: TiAndrea Watkins

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TiAndrea Watkins (left) volunteering with her colleagues at Kirkpatrick Community Center, a place with special significance for her.

Before Hands On Nashville partnered with Change Healthcare volunteers to install acoustic paneling in the Kirkpatrick Community Center gymnasium in April, the reverberating noise level often became so loud it limited the programming and activities in the space.

Games became difficult to follow. Conversations and coaching lessons were strained.

Volunteer TiAndrea Watkins, who volunteered that day in April, knew all too well how the volume affected the programming –thats because she is also a dedicated coach at the center.

TiAndrea is part of a team of ten Change Healthcare employees and family members who spent a Tuesday afternoon working to improve the acoustics of the space, which she says has made a significant difference.

After the project wrapped up, we caught up with TiAndrea about what the center means to her, her memories of visiting the center as a child, and her experience supporting Kirkpatrick as a coach and a volunteer. Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: TiAndrea Watkins

Guest Blog: TechnologyAdvice Volunteer Recap

Hands On Nashville is fortunate to work with inspired corporate groups looking to make a difference. Recently, TechnologyAdvice Media Relations Coordinator Jenna Elkins sent us this great recap of the volunteer efforts her team has led this year!

Giving is Ingrained in our Company Culture

At TechnologyAdvice, we are committed to serving the Nashville area, along with the people and local businesses that have helped us thrive. In fact, we’ve centered our entire company culture around giving – giving our all to our clients, our employees, and our community.

As of January 2015, we’ve ramped up our volunteer efforts in order to better serve our community and benefit our employees. Studies show that a culture of giving at the workplace enhances moods, encourages teamwork, and keeps employee churn low. As a small but rapidly growing business, volunteering allows us to build positive community relations by serving people from all walks of life and assisting with environmental projects that better our surrounding area.

Through the Hands On Nashville volunteer platform, we’ve connected with unique, and rewarding volunteer projects. It’s a simple system that allows us to seamlessly sign up team members for various activities. We’ve had wonderful experiences, and are looking forward to more!

Tree Planting with Hands On Nashville 

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Technology/Advice team planting trees with Hands On Nashville in March.

In March, a large group from TechnologyAdvice worked together to support Hands On Nashville in their efforts to plant more trees for a healthier city. Volunteers worked in a riparian zone in north Nashville, and around 200 trees were planted in just two hours! Cameron Graham, TechnologyAdvice Managing Editor, shares his tree planting experience:

“After we arrived on site we received a short, informative presentation about the importance of riparian zones and their effect in controlling run-off waters. Nashville has previously seen intense flooding in some areas, so these zones are crucial for ensuring that excess water can safely be absorbed into the ground.

Once we had been oriented and shown the proper techniques, we picked up our shovels and started planting. To ensure that each tree had a chance to successfully grow, we had to space them correctly and carefully cover them with soil. Everyone on the team had fun digging holes  and searching for areas which needed additional trees. During the event some of our team members also found a variety of wildlife.

Our team enjoyed the activity so much in fact that we finished well ahead of schedule. That gave us time to help collect some errant litter, and grab a few snacks after our hard work. While it might be a little while until we see the results of our efforts, the entire team had a great time actively contributing to the community and the Nashville ecosystem.”

Below are a few more experiences TechnologyAdvice has had through Hands On Nashville since January 2015:

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TechnologyAdvice team volunteering at American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge in spring 2015.

Hope Lodge Game Night – American Cancer Society: Nine of our team members shared in some fun with the residents of the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodge by playing rounds of bingo. Hope Lodge provides free temporary housing for cancer patients receiving outpatient treatment at Nashville hospitals.

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Technology/Advice team helping at The Nashville Food Project in spring 2015.

Meal Prep at The Nashville Food Project: Our team was feeling like iron chefs during this activity. We helped process donated and grown produce for the Nashville Food Project’s hot meal program. Our 11 volunteers chopped butternut squash, peeled sweet potatoes, made quesadillas, and more. We used many ingredients to make delicious hot meals for people experiencing homelessness and poverty.

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Technology/Advice team at Project C.U.R.E.

Project C.U.R.E: Fourteen of our team members supported Project C.U.R.E., which collects new, surplus, and overstock medical supplies. We sorted all kinds of different medical supplies, and packed them in boxes, which were delivered to one of Project C.U.R.E’s targeted, developing countries.


Learn more about Hands On Nashville’s Corporate Partner Program:
Interested in a customized, team building opportunity to give back with your staff?
Contact tara@hon.org.
Share your story:
Want to share a volunteer experience with us? Let us know at contactus@hon.org.

 

Hands On Nashville Named an MNPS Academy Partner of the Year

MNPS Academies 2015
Hands On Nashville received the award for Academy Partnership of the Year: Engineering, Manufacturing, and Industrial Technology for its partnership with Glencliff High School at the 2015 Academies of Nashville Awards.

For the last five years, Hands On Nashville has worked to engage and advance the Academy of Environmental and Urban Planning at Glencliff High School.

On Monday, May 18, the partnership was recognized as Academy Partnership of the Year: Engineering, Manufacturing, and Industrial Technology during the 2015 Academies of Nashville Awards! Continue reading Hands On Nashville Named an MNPS Academy Partner of the Year

Nominations Now Open for 2014 Strobel Volunteer Awards

Hands On Nashville Asks Community To Nominate Volunteer Heroes by Feb. 14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Hands On Nashville is asking the community to nominate individuals and groups for the 2014 Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards presented by HCA/TriStar Health.

“We all know incredible people – everyday heroes – who give of their time and talents to make our community better,” said Brian Williams, Hands On Nashville president and CEO. “Each spring, the Strobel Awards luncheon gives our community an opportunity to lift up these inspiring stories of volunteerism that happen around us every day.”

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The nomination deadline is Feb. 14, and nomination forms can be found at www.HON.org/strobel_awards. Nashvillians are encouraged to nominate outstanding volunteers within six categories of service:

  • Civic Volunteer Group Award recognizes representatives of civic, membership, faith-based or noncorporate groups that volunteer together for a specific cause or issue.
  • Capacity-building Volunteer Award honors individuals who provide significant operational or administrative support to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.
  • Corporate Volunteerism Award pays tribute to businesses that have robust employee volunteer programs with high levels of participation and impact.
  • Direct Service Volunteer Award recognizes individuals who have participated in hands-on, direct service with a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization.
  • Volunteer Innovator Award honors individuals or groups that have directly identified a community need and responded to it by developing and implementing an innovative solution, or improved an existing program or effort through creative problem-solving.
  • Youth Volunteer Award recognizes youth, teens and young adults ages 5 to 22 who have gone above and beyond to incorporate volunteerism into their lives.

Three finalists for five of the six categories will be selected by two groups of independent assessors, composed of community volunteers, volunteer administrators, business leaders and civic leaders. The exception is the Volunteer Innovator Award category. Finalists in this category will be selected by a panel of judges convened by TN Media. To encourage broad community participation, volunteers in this category will be invited to vote for an award recipient via the Tennessean.com website.  All award recipients will be announced at the luncheon.

The Awards luncheon, now in its 28th year, will be held on April 22 at the Marriott Cool Springs Conference Center. All nominees receive special recognition and a complimentary seat at the luncheon.

More than 700 volunteers and agency representatives are expected to attend the luncheon. Award luncheon tickets will be available for purchase at HON.org in March.

About the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards
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 Strobel’s service and recognizes those who continue her legacy.

About Hands On Nashville
Since 1991, Hands On Nashville has been connecting volunteers to critical needs facing the Middle Tennessee community, such as hunger, homelessness and environmental protection. Offering more than 400 volunteer opportunities to the community each month at HON.org, Hands On Nashville challenges everyone to find a way to give back and to … Be the Change. Volunteer.

Media Contact: 
Becca Wilson
becca@hon.org
(615) 298-1108 Ext. 406

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Mayor Karl Dean Encourages Businesses To Get Involved

Thanks to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean for his column in today’s Tennessean about ways businesses can get involved in volunteerism – including Hands On Nashville Day and the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge! Read the mayor’s column here.

HANDS ON NASHVILLE DAY
If your business or organization is interested in signing up for Hands On Nashville Day (coming up this Saturday, Sept. 22!), check out this page with all the info you need to know.

MAYOR’S WORKPLACE CHALLENGE
This is one of the coolest things about our city – individuals and organizations coming together to make our community a better place for all. And the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge aims to achieve that in three categories: 1) Involved (volunteerism); 2) Green (sustainability); and 3) Healthy (this pretty much says it!)

Read more about the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge. And ask your boss if your company is participating.

Also, here’s a great upcoming opportunity for businesses to learn more about the “Involved” portion of the Challenge on Thursday, Oct. 18 at Hands On Nashville’s office:

Mayor’s Workplace Challenge: “Involved” Lunch & Learn
Thursday, Oct. 18, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Hosted by KPMG and Hands On Nashville

Representatives of Nashville businesses and organizations are invited to a Lunch & Learn hosted by KPMG and Hands On Nashville to find out how to participate in the Mayor’s Workplace Challenge. Hear from representatives who have taken the challenge and learn how your business can get recognized by Mayor Dean for its civic involvement. Complimentary lunch will be provided by KPMG. RSVP by emailing Allison@hon.org.

Mr. Danridge and the Case of the Caulking Gun

Guest post by volunteer Jessica Siegel –

If you had asked me last month what a caulking gun was used for, I would have made up an answer that was 99% likely to be wrong – but not anymore!

In late February, I joined six of my coworkers from the Grand Ole Opry to help Hands On Nashville make a home more energy efficient and weather proof, and that’s how I met Mr. Danridge* and learned exactly what one does with a caulking gun!

Having no home improvement experience beyond painting, I was a little nervous as I drove up to Mr. Danridge’s East Nashville home to join the HON crew. However, as soon as we began our initial project overview, our leader Jaclyn put my mind at ease. Many of the projects were simple tasks that just took a few minutes to learn, but make such a big difference in the homes once they are installed! It was amazing to learn that by simply replacing the shower heads and adding some thermometers to the refrigerator and weather stripping to the doors, Mr. Danridge would be saving a significant amount in bills each month. I even purchased a reusable air filter for my own condo this week, thanks to what I learned at the HON site!

Having some fun with the caulking guns!

After completing some of these minor tasks, I moved on to my big project of the day – caulking the living room to seal out any air that may sneak in through the cracks in the wood paneling. After several attempts, and a lot of caulk on my clothes, I think I finally perfected the art, and we got some great photos in the meantime!

It was truly inspiring to meet Mr. Danridge, a kind older gentleman suffering from dementia, and to talk with him about his home and his family, knowing that we were helping improve his home and lessen his financial burden. It was also unique to spend time outside of work with my coworkers, doing good for others.

A job well done - The crew added an insulating wrap to Mr. Danridge's water heater to make it more efficient. HON's Jaclyn Khoury, left, provided expert guidance.

Thanks Hands On Nashville for the opportunity, and I look forward to more caulking experiences (or whatever the project may call for) with you!

*Name has been changed to respect privacy.

Jessica Siegel is Events Assistant at Grand Ole Opry. Thanks to Jessica and all of the Grand Ole Opry employees who volunteered at Mr. Lockridge’s home! Interested in getting involved in HON’s Home Energy Savings Program? Learn more here.

The Grand Ole Opry volunteer crew, after a satisfying day.