Tag Archives: disaster volunteerism

It’s National Preparedness Month. Do you have a plan?

As we’ve learned from the March 2020 tornado, COVID-19 pandemic, March 2021 flooding, and hurricane warning earlier this month — disasters can strike unexpectedly.

There’s no better time than the present to prepare to protect, and keep you and your family safe during a disaster.

September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), an observance each September to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. This year the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is using its public service campaign, Ready, to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement.

This year, Ready is promoting four key ways to be prepared:

(1)  Stay informed about the different types of emergencies that could occur and their appropriate responses

(2)  make a family emergency plan and

(3)  build an emergency supply kit, and

(4)  get involved in your community by taking action to prepare for emergencies.

There’s some easy, low cost ways to prepare for a disaster:

Start today by signing up for alerts, safe-guarding important documents, and taking other low cost and no cost preparedness actions to lessen the impact of disasters and emergencies for you and your family.

It’s also important to teach your kids about preparing for emergencies and what to do in case you are separated. Reassure them by providing information about how they can get involved.

There’s also many ways you can get involved before an emergency or a disaster occurs, by joining a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program and getting trained on basic disaster response skills, taking FEMA disaster response classes such as You Are the Help Until Help Arrives, donating money to a reputable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD), and volunteer to respond to disasters and help your fellow Americans.

For a full list of how you can get involved, click here.

Don’t forget to share your preparedness prep with us! We would love if you shared your kits, how you’re making a plan, or any other helpful information others should know with us by tagging us on social media @HONashville, and using the Ready hashtags, #BeReady and #PrepareToProtect!

Thank you for loving Nashville.

Last Saturday we said there was a need and volunteers showed up. Because of you, many residents in South Nashville are a step closer to recovering from recent flooding that devastated so many neighborhoods. Thank you!

On April 3, 350 volunteers cleaned up at around 90 houses. They hauled supplies with their pickup trucks and helped other volunteers find parking and get checked in. They translated languages to help keep the communication flowing. They also handed out more than 400 boxes of food, 420 flood buckets, and 100 hygiene kits to families in need.

And thank you to the many partners that helped put the day of service together: the Nashville Office of Emergency Management, American Red Cross, Conexión Américas, WeGo, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Community Resource Center, Nashville Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, Metro Parks and Recreation, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and the Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands.

There’s still LOTS more work to be done in South Nashville, and we need your help. Find a project here:

Disaster Relief Efforts: Ways to Help

Thank you, everyone, for your support and willingness to volunteer following the devastating tornadoes that moved through Nashville on March 3. This post contains information on resources on ways to help. If you are needing assistance, please click here.

Donate Money

  • Folks wanting to donate money can do so through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund.
  • To donate to Nashville’s COVID-19 Response Fund, click here.
  • Schools cannot accept monetary donations directly. If you are moved to give to a Metro school, please make checks payable to Metro Nashville Public Schools and mail your donation to MNPS, c/o Business Office, 2601 Bransford Ave.,
    Nashville, TN 37204. Please put “Tornado Relief” in the memo. More info on fundraising is available here
  • The Nashville USBG — a 501c3 not-for-profit team of hospitality educators — has organized a GoFundMe, with plans to direct donations toward service industry professionals in need of “assistance with medical bills, loss of employment or home damage, and funeral costs for the families of our community who have lost lives in last night’s natural disaster.”
  • To donate directly to the Red Cross disaster relief fund, click here.
  • Tennessee Action for Hospitality has created a fund to support individual hospitality professionals who plan to continue their career in Tennessee when this crisis is over. The Tennessee Action for Hospitality Assistance Fund was created in partnership with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. To donate, click here. 
  • United Way of Greater Nashville, which is working with the Office of Emergency Management, is accepting donations for its Restore the Dream Fund which provides long-term disaster recovery.

Donate Food

Donate Blood

Donate Items

  • Donate Medical Supplies for Community Assessment System — The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. is asking local businesses to donate  latex gloves and masks to help with the city’s COVID-19 response. Donations can be taken to the Community Resource Center, 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210. Large donors should fill out a form at covid19.nashville.gov.
    Other needs:

    • Surgical face masks and N-95 masks
    • Isolation gowns
    • Disposable exam gloves
    • Sani-cloth wipes
    • Face shields
    • Hand sanitizer
    • Specimen bags
    • Red top viral tubes (lab supply)
    • Nasal swabs (lab supply)
    • Large trash cans.
  • The Community Resource Center  (218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210) is collecting items to distribute throughout affected areas. Visit the CRC’s Instagram feed to see their daily updates about most-needed items.
    • Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
    • Those dropping off donations are asked to stay in their vehicles and volunteers will come outside to remove your donations.
    •  You can donate using Venmo (Username: @CRCNashille) or through its website.
    • You can also order off of CRC’s Amazon wishlist, (Address is 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville TN, 37210 if it doesn’t populate.)
  • Little Scholars Child Development, 1206 Buchanan St, Nashville, TN 37208, is accepting donations to be packaged and redistributed in the North Nashville community.

Donate Time

  • If you would like to volunteer during this time, please know volunteer opportunities are limited, and only being scheduled for groups of 10 or less. For a full list of opportunities, please click here.

A letter from our CEO regarding confirmed COVID-19 case

We received news today that a volunteer who served at Greater Heights Missionary Baptist Church has been diagnosed with COVID-19; they volunteered there on several occasions during the initial tornado relief response and were last there Saturday, March 14.

Since COVID-19 can be spread from contact with contaminated surfaces, as well as person-to person, we are notifying all Hands On Nashville volunteers who registered to participate at Greater Heights from March 5, when they opened for tornado relief, to present. The church is ceasing volunteer activities at this time and will remain closed to volunteers for two weeks.

Please continue to closely monitor how you’re feeling and reach out to your medical provider with any concerns. The health and safety of our volunteers, community partners, and neighbors-in-need remains our priority as always, and most especially, during this difficult season.

With much gratitude,
Lori Shinton
Hands On Nashville President & CEO

COVID-19 Update: Staying Safer at Home

We’re writing to share some information regarding Mayor Cooper’s Safer at Home order from Sunday, March 22.

This order asks us to stay inside our homes and immediately limit outside interaction to essential activities only. (Think groceries, prescription refills, picking up take-out, and walking the dog.) On those occasions when you are out of your home for necessary tasks, stay at least six feet away from others.

This will further impact volunteer projects, so you may hear from us about additional cancellations and rescheduling.

Here’s the link to the full order and some information you need to know:

If you have lost your job or income due to layoffs associated with the COVID-19 crisis, you can find updated information about local job openings and opportunities here.

YOU CAN … 

  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others.
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies
  • Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

YOU SHOULD NOT … 

  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites.

For more information, please see the frequently-asked questions on the City of Nashville’s COVID-19 Response page

A letter from our CEO regarding unconfirmed COVID-19 case

In the spirit of being a good neighbor and out of an abundance of caution, we want to share some information we received about a volunteer who participated in recent tornado relief efforts.

We learned yesterday evening that an individual who served at the Hands On Nashville office, Community Resource Center, and at Shelby Bottoms between March 6 and March 13 is experiencing mild symptoms that have been associated with COVID-19 as of Sunday, March 15. This person has been in contact with their medical provider, who declined to recommend them for further testing. As a precaution, the individual is self-isolating for 14 days per the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.

Although this is not a confirmed case of COVID-19, we have a few things we’d like to share:

  • Volunteers are welcomeSince last Friday, we put extra precautions in place that allow you to take care of yourself while you’re helping take care of others. Upon hearing from the individual, we took additional steps to disinfect the buildings thoroughly and reach out to those who may have been in the same space as the person experiencing the symptoms.

Service is a key part of what will keep our community strong during this moment when many of our neighbors are faced with especially difficult challenges. With that top of mind, we will actively continue updating our policies in alignment with the best practices provided by the CDC and our local health officials. We need and we appreciate your continued support.

Lori Shinton
Hands On Nashville President & CEO