Tag Archives: flood

Show of Hands Week Day 3: Bring Color and hope to those around you

Between May 1-7, Hands On Nashville will highlight ways to stay connected and serve your neighbors even as our community honors social distancing guidelines. Check back here and on our social media channels to join in our #ShowOfHandsWeek

The following story was sent to us by Nelda Fulgham of Nashville, who recounted the days after the 2010 flood:

“Our home of 22 years was under water (44″ deep on the 2nd floor) from the … water of the Cumberland River. For months everything around our home was the color of brown. The landscaping, the red brick on our home, the trees along River Road to our home was brown up to the flood line. We were homeless for 6 months but went to the house every day just to clean, repair and work. Seeing brown everywhere and on everything you own was so depressing. One day a lady came to our home … and brought us a small bouquet of colorful flowers. There is no way I can tell you how much those flowers meant. In a world of brown those flowers stood out like a beacon. They represented beauty and hope. We sold our home place as it was and moved to the mountain in Joelton but the … gift of flowers had so much meaning to my husband and I. Still 10 years later there has not been a day gone by when we have not had a small bouquet of flowers in our new home as a reminder of the dark days of the flood and the blessings that came out of it.”

Nelda’s story is a powerful reminder that even small acts of kindness can have an enormous impact in the world around us. And that to bring color is to bring hope. Who can you bring color and hope to today? 

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES (MAY 3): Use flowers to bring color and hope to those around you

From virtual bouquets to fresh-cut flowers, here are some ways to let someone special in your life know that they’re making a difference in your world:

    1. Doorstep delivery: Many local florists are still open for deliveries and they would love your business! Here’s a Google map of local florists. Be sure to check with individual businesses as their hours or services may be modified due to COVID-19:
    1. Decorate your driveway: Your sidewalk or driveway can become the canvas for a temporary floral art installation for everyone to enjoy. And if you run out of sidewalk chalk, here’s a cool tutorial on making sidewalk chalk paint!
    2. Create a paper bouquet: Whether they’re freshly picked or made out of paper, there’s nothing quite like opening the door to find a bunch of flowers looking up at you. Here’s a roundup of ways to make cute paper flowers. Mix and match materials and techniques, and get the kids involved!
    3. Share a virtual bouquet today:We love this quote because it’s true and timely. Right click on a computer or tap and hold on your phone to save this image and email or text to a friend, or share it from our @HONashville social media pages. Join the conversation on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
      show of hands week flower insta graphics8


#ShowOfHandsWeek Activities

FRIDAY, MAY 1: Raise your hand and tell us why you choose to be a helper

SATURDAY, MAY 2: Sign up to serve as a volunteer in May

TODAY: Bring color and hope to a neighbor with flowers

MONDAY, MAY 4: Join the local mask-making effort

TUESDAY, MAY 5: Give thanks for those on the front lines

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6: Find a virtual volunteer opportunity

THURSDAY, MAY 7: Support volunteerism and Hands On Nashville via The Big Payback

Your gift of time is changing lives. Thank you.

One of the joys of our work here at Hands On Nashville is that we get to thank people for their caring hearts and their gift of time. As 2011 draws to a close, I want to share a very special “thank you” relayed to me by a flood survivor I met recently as volunteers completed work on her home.
When I arrived, I was met by an energetic woman in her 70’s. Fifteen volunteers busily completed finishing touches on her home. Looking for someone to hug, she found me and wrapped me in a heartfelt embrace.  After shedding a few tears, she told me her story.

This woman and her family, like so many others, were displaced during the flood in May 2010. The home had been her grandmother’s, and she lived there with one of her children and her two grandchildren. Not knowing what to do after the water receded, she packed up her family and began a journey that included living with friends, a rental home, a hotel, and finally ended back in the part of her home that had been unaffected. Then, she was able to identify help and begin the recovery process. Today was the day, however, that she thought would never come. The day, in her words, that “our house becomes a home again.”

She gave me a tour of the home and pointed out the new carpet volunteers had installed and the new paint and plumbing that had been finished. She also talked about the familiar noises the house makes, the spot you can sit in during the summer and feel the cool breeze blow through the kitchen window, and the places where memories of her grandmother still linger. Our tour ended, and as I walked to the front door some of the volunteers gathered to ask a few questions. As we talked, the homeowner quietly began to cry. She said through teary eyes, “I can’t believe that total strangers would come into my home to help. I just can’t believe how kind people are.” Those words have stayed with me: total strangers here to help. That is volunteerism. That is the spirit of service.

To the total stranger who shows up to help: Thank You. Rarely are volunteers put on a grand stage and thanked in the way they deserve. But still you show up to help your neighbors and your community with your gifts of time and your caring heart. Whether you help flood survivors, sort food, mentor a child, or work in a community garden, it is your individual effort and the combined efforts of this remarkable volunteer community that change lives every day.

Brian WilliamsBrian Williams
Executive Director, Hands On Nashville


Get connected to 300+ volunteer opportunities every month on our Opportunity Calendar at HON.org. Be the Change. Volunteer.