This category of the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards 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.
Here are the 2020 finalists:
Volunteers at YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee
As a victim of abuse herself, Post knew she wanted to help other women facing the same issue, and as a hair stylist, she knew she was in a unique position to be trusted by victims.
“Often the victim is isolated from their closest family and friends and simply needs to speak their truth to a listening ear and to know that there is support available,” Post says.
Since then, Post has provided significant operational support to the YWCA and has expanded their domestic violence education reach into a specialized community not previously on their radar. This has allowed them to reach victims of abuse with whom they hadn’t previously connected.
She was instrumental in passing domestic violence legislation for stylists through the Tennessee House of Representatives, and continues her advocacy work today.
She hopes to continue broadening this training to reach stylists across Tennessee.
Volunteers at Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle TN
As part of the advisory board for Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee, Paige Atchley is a leader dedicated to service.
She founded Club Blue, the young professional association that supports BGC. With her drive, Atchley hosted 12 fundraising and networking events last year, and recruited 49 new members who are now monthly donors. She has built this new group of advocates and kept them engaged by driving social media interaction and inspiring volunteer events within the club.
The mission of Boys & Girls Club of Middle Tennessee is to enable young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. It’s a mission Atchley strives to embody.
One of her most successful fundraising events is Dash to a Great Future. Not only did Atchley design the event, but she spearheaded the entire marketing and communications strategy to ensure its success.
Because of her hard work, BGC expects to raise more than $1,000 through this campaign in 2020.
“I love serving Club Blue because it is full of people that care about kids and who they turn into as people,” Atchley says. “They are kind and welcoming, and these are the people that I want mentoring Boys & Girls Club kids so they can grow up to also be successful and giving.”
Volunteers at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
Sherri Mitchell-Snider volunteers her time as Co-Director of Flashes of Hope at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Flashes of Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating powerful, uplifting portraits of children fighting cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Mitchell-Snider builds capacity for Flashes of Hope by organizing, planning, and coordinating monthly Flashes of Hope photo shoots at the children’s hospital. She partners with local salons, makeup artists, and photographers to create a seamless photoshoot experience for the families, and often organizes up to a dozen family photos in a day.
These photos are then given to the family as a memento of the day. They provide a happy hospital memory for them to treasure forever.
“I love helping to bring some joy into the lives of these very brave children who are going through so much, and to recognize how special and beautiful each and every one of them is,” Mitchell-Snider says.
Katie Beard, a Child Life Specialist at the hospital, says Mitchell-Snider is in a unique position to offer compassionate care for these children because of her own life experience. Mitchell-Snider lost her 1-year-old daughter to Leukemia. Mitchell-Snider recalls wishing she had had the opportunity for a family photoshoot when her daughter was alive. It brings her joy to offer that service to families today.