In mid-2019, Hands On Nashville recognized that an important time was approaching for our city — the 10-year anniversary of the devastating 2010 flood. To commemorate Nashville’s spirit of service then and to look forward to how we could prepare for future disasters, we began planning 10,000 for 10 — a call to action for volunteerism and the kickoff for establishing the Hands On Nashville Disaster Activation Fund.
No one could have predicted what would happen the night of March 2, or the rapid spread of COVID-19 in our community. What we could have predicted is the incredible outpouring of love and support in the form of 26,000-plus volunteers who stepped up to help their neighbors in the aftermath.
While the purpose behind 10,000 for 10 feels more urgent than ever, we recognize the need to pause our events — the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, Hands On Nashville Day, and the HON Day Afterparty —in alignment with Centers for Disease Control recommendations to postpone large-scale gatherings.
We are working on identifying a reschedule date for later this year, and will share information as soon as it is available. If your agency was planning a HON Day project, you had purchased a ticket to the Strobel Awards, or you had signed up to be a volunteer or volunteer leader on HON Day, please know that we will be in touch once we have updated information about the rescheduled events.
It is clearer than ever that HON must be prepared to pivot quickly to meet challenges big, small, and difficult to predict. We’re honored to have your support on that journey.
For Mark Czuba and many of his colleagues, giving back is part of the job description at Altria.
Czuba, a business unit leader at the company, has led groups of Altria’s HON Day volunteers for several years. Czuba said he enjoys watching his colleagues take on different and sometimes surprising roles during volunteer projects.
“A lot of people who don’t normally get to be in a leadership role, you’ll get to see them step up … and say, ‘Hey, here’s what we should do,’” Czuba said. He recalled watching one of his quieter co-workers, who rarely did much socializing on the clock, jump right in to a volunteer project along with the team.
Czuba said that Altria, the presenting sponsor for Hands On Nashville Day 2018, strives to foster a culture of service.
“The giving aspect is huge at Altria,” he said. The company, where Czuba has worked for 15 years, encourages employees to donate to charities by offering matching funds. And volunteers from Altria support HON and other local nonprofits during their service events — big and small — throughout the year.
Even though Czuba and many of his colleagues work nights, Czuba said, it’s important to them to make time for service. That often involves clocking out from an overnight shift and going straight to a volunteer project early in the morning.
“It’s challenging for some of them,” Czuba said, “but they want to put time in.”
Thank you to all the volunteers from Altria who came out for HON Day 2018! We are so grateful for your support and partnership.
Nearly 1,000 volunteers came together on Saturday, Sept. 22, for the 27th Annual Hands On Nashville Day, a citywide day of service supporting Metro Nashville Public Schools. At 15 schools, volunteers created inspirational murals, landscaped playgrounds and school gardens, painted hallways and gymnasiums, and more.
“The volunteers out here today are showing how much they support MNPS students and families,” said Dr. Kimberly Fowler, principal of Hickman Elementary School. “Their efforts are about more than a coat of paint or a wheelbarrow of mulch. They’re spending their time to show just how important our schools and our children are to the whole community.”
NASHVILLE – September 23, 2017 – This morning, more than 1,000 volunteers came together for the 26th Annual Hands On Nashville Day, a citywide day of service supporting Metro Nashville Public Schools. At 15 schools, volunteers created inspirational murals, landscaped playgrounds, and painted hallways, gymnasiums and more.
“Today’s volunteers aren’t just sprucing up schools,” said Dennis Neal, executive director of the Facility and Grounds Maintenance Department at Metro Nashville Public Schools. “They’re showing support for the MNPS students and families who learn and grow in these spaces every day.”
Hands On Nashville partnered with numerous community organizations and businesses in support of the day of service. A team of employee volunteers from Altria, the presenting sponsor, completed projects at Cora Howe School. Nashville Tree Foundation and Cumberland River Compact also contributed support.
“Hands On Nashville Day helps us give back to the community in which we live and work,” said Altria’s Mark Czuba. “It’s powerful to see what we can accomplish as a team, especially as we focus on a cause as important as our local schools.”
Metro Public Works partnered with the event for the second year as part of Mayor Megan Barry’s Fall Green & Clean initiative, sponsoring 100 tree plantings. Funding was provided through a Community Partner Grant from Lowe’s/Keep America Beautiful (KAB), a national nonprofit that inspires and educates people to improve and beautify community environments.
The Nashville Tree Foundation supported the event through the Green Shirt Volunteer program, which recognizes volunteers who have experience planting trees at NTF events or have related professional qualifications. Green Shirt Volunteers trained and supervised Hands On Nashville Day projects to ensure proper planting methods, and will do so for additional planting projects in the community.
“Hands On Nashville’s mission – to meet community needs through volunteerism – truly comes alive on this day,” said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “Our team has the unique position to see the impact volunteers contribute to our city every day, and events like Hands On Nashville Day highlight this impact for our entire community.”
Throughout Hands On Nashville’s 26 years, more than 26,000 volunteers have engaged in 75,000 hours of Hands On Nashville Day service, creating an economic impact valued at nearly $2 million, according to Independent Sector research.
To support Hands On Nashville’s work, please consider purchasing a commemorative HON Day 2017 t-shirt. $20 of the $26 t-shirt price goes directly to Hands On Nashville. Learn more at http://www.hon.org/honday.