Tag Archives: helping others

Meet the 2020 Strobel Awards finalists: Capacity-building Volunteer

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:

Susanne Post 

Susanne Post

Volunteers at YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee 

In 2017, Susanne Post partnered with the YWCA to launch Shear Haven, a training program for local stylists to be able detect signs of domestic abuse among clients. 

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. 

Paige Atchley 

Paige Atchley

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.” 

Sherri Mitchell-Snider 

Sherri Mitchell-Snider

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. 

Join Hands On Nashville for the 2020 Strobel Volunteer Awards on Sept. 14, 15, and 16.

Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Sports 4 All Foundation

Adam getting ready for an aerobics class to begin.
Adam getting ready for an aerobics class to begin.

It’s a little past 9 a.m. and Adam Holland is already jumping around, anxiously awaiting a dip in the pool. He’s learned that combining a strong kick with some hand pulls can really get him ahead of the crowd, and he can do it on his own. Swim class starts in an hour and and he’s proud to be a leader among over 20 of his peers. Adam is 28 years old and lives with Down syndrome, a disorder resulting in developmental disabilities that typically deter him from participating in activities similar to others his age. Thanks to Sports 4 All Foundation, he has no problem participating in sports and activities. Twice a week, Adam joins 20 to 50 of his peers, all people with various disabilities, in group exercise ranging from yoga to aerobics to swimming. He’s one of the most flexible people in the room and continues to motivate others with his character and excitement.

The aerobics class at Project Health brings over 30 participants a week.
The aerobics class at Project Health brings over 30 participants each week.

Sports 4 All Foundation works to improve the lives of those with disabilities by providing equipment, programming, and education to enable full participation in sports and activities. But, of course, the organization would not be nearly as successful without the help of volunteers. Three to four volunteers often accompany a room of Project Health participants like Adam’s class mentioned above, having fun cheering them on and sharing new skills. Volunteers are also involved in planning events, working at events, and sharing information about Sports 4 All Foundation.

Screen Shot 2013-04-12 at 1.24.56 PMAustin Griffin, a Sports 4 All Foundation work study volunteer, comments, “I didn’t know exactly how to act or how to treat them, but I thought to myself ‘They are people just like me. We all have a disability of some sort. Whether that is not being talented at sports or not being able to sing any song on key. So just treat them as you would anyone.’

PHealth1“So, that’s what I did. I was timid at first, but as time went on, I became more and more comfortable. I moved from just taking pictures and videos to leading parts of the class. Now every time I go to that class, people come up to give me hugs, handshakes, and high fives. Each person has their own unique personality, and it is a pleasure to see that every week.”

If you’re interested in getting involved, check out the Sports 4 All upcoming volunteer opportunities mentioned below.

> Hoops 4 Health 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament: April 27, 2013 

> Foam Fest: May 4, 2013 

Ongoing Volunteer Opportunities:
> Project HEALTH Coach

> Equipment Endowment Assistant

If you have any questions, please contact the Sports 4 All Volunteer Coordinator, Anna Dannibale at anna@s4af.org.

> Learn more about Sports 4 All here.

Volunteer Leader Spotlight: Julie Hill

julie121212Between her hobbies of hiking, biking, camping, and painting, Julie Hill seems to find herself leading volunteers and helping others on a regular basis. Just like getting in that habitual workout at the gym, Julie needs her community fix – and the community needs her. Twice a month, this southern California native works with a team to help prep and cook food for people who don’t have easy access to fresh produce. She has become an integral part of The Nashville Food Project, a local nonprofit that seeks to provide increased access to healthy foods in homeless and working poor communities across Davidson County.“I like the Nashville Food Project because you have two steps: preparing the food and handing it out to the individuals in need. I find it very fulfilling to be able to meet the individuals that we are there to help,” says Julie. “For me, volunteering is such a rewarding experience; I get the benefits of helping others and meeting great people who enjoy giving back to the community.”

She’s been working with The Nashville Food Project as a Volunteer Leader since September 2012, but has been an active Hands On Nashville volunteer since 2009. From a very young age, Julie was taught that helping her community was part of normal life. She continues to value the opportunity to help out her community and encourage those around her to do the same.

Julie has found Hands On Nashville to be a wonderful place to get connected. “By offering such a great website and partnerships, and the amazing people, Hands On Nashville makes volunteering truly a no-hassle and thoroughly enjoyable experience.”

Are you looking to get involved with The Nashville Food Project like Julie?
➢ Click here to see a list of upcoming opportunities and sign up.