Tag Archives: Nashville

It’s National Mentoring Month!

January is recognized as National Mentoring Month, a time to take an uplifting look at the power of relationships. Mentoring amplifies change, one relationship at a time, and helps young people find and follow their passions.

Hands On Nashville is incredibly fortunate to partner with organizations that sponsor and nurture mentorship programs across Middle Tennessee. Here are just a few options for how volunteers can make a difference in someone else’s life:

  • BEGIN ANEW: Tutor students online to help them grow stronger with their education, and stronger in their faith. Begin Anew is a faith-based education program working to empower individuals to overcome obstacles created by poverty. They provide GED test prep, English as a second language classes, and computer and job-skills classes to adults, as well as mentoring and access to resources. SIGN UP HERE
  • DISMAS HOUSE: Work with adults transitioning out of the prison system to increase their educational and job-preparedness skills. Volunteers assist with preparation for college placement exams, academic support, resume and cover letter writing, internet navigation, and more. Dismas House‘s mission is to foster community awareness and understanding of the challenges and obstacles formerly incarcerated men face upon re-entry by providing a system for personal transformation and growth as they transition back into society. SIGN UP HERE
  • THE FAMILY CENTER: Practice healthy coping, social, and emotional skills with clients at The Family Center! Each year The Family Center helps more than 4,000 families by providing the support and tools they need to better themselves as parents and as people. SIGN UP HERE
  • THE NASHVILLE DOLPHINS: Assist with teaching special needs children to swim while instilling in them a sense of teamwork and accomplishment with the Nashville Dolphins.
    The Nashville Dolphins offer the physical and emotional benefits of swimming to people with special needs regardless of age, ability, or financial circumstances, and their programming is offered at no cost to participants. SIGN UP HERE
  • NASHVILLE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR EMPOWERMENT: Become a youth mentor and help students and their families navigate online learning platforms, develop and maintain learning schedules, offer homework assistance, and provide individualized support to English Learner students. It is the Nashville International Center for Empowerment‘s mission to ensure refugees and immigrants achieve their full potential now and for generations to come. SIGN UP HERE
Celebrate International Mentoring Day with us on January 17!

  • PRESTON TAYLOR MINISTRIES: Volunteer with Preston Taylor Ministries’ after-school program, where you can work with children in kindergarten through fourth grade to help facilitate math and reading rotations, give assistance with homework, and provide instruction in enrichment activities. Preston Taylor Ministries is a mentoring program that offers several avenues for building life-changing relationships. SIGN UP HERE
  • SALVATION ARMY NASHVILLE: Volunteer music instructors are needed to assist in teaching future musicians! The Salvation Army offers music lessons two to three days a week, with a flexible schedule for volunteers. Drums, piano, and guitar players are immediately needed, but all other instrumentalists are encouraged to sign up. SIGN UP HERE
  • YOUTH VILLAGES: Offer guidance and support through one-on-one relationships with Youth Villages’ Mentoring Program. This opportunity provides young people receiving their services with positive adult role models. Some mentors choose to play catch at the park, get a burger and hang out, or even take a trip to the county fair. SIGN UP HERE
  • WATER WALKERS: The Water Walkers offer multiple mentorship opportunities with children. Options range from participating in after-school tutoring, having fun during recreational time, or supervising monthly indoor rock climbing adventures.
    Water Walkers is a water-sports and adventure-based education and mentoring nonprofit serving kids in Nashville. They use water sports and adventure to provide chances for kids to face fears, grow in confidence, and learn that they are capable of achieving the life they want for themselves. SIGN UP HERE

Interested in seeing our new volunteer opportunities first? Sign up for our newsletter!

City of Nashville & Davidson County join nonprofits to provide response and recovery efforts for historic downtown area

December 31, 2020, Nashville, Tenn. – The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Office of Emergency Management, and Nashville/Davidson County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) are working together to provide immediate assistance to individuals affected by the tragedy on Friday, Dec. 25, in downtown Nashville.

With the city’s focus of quickly identifying businesses, employees of those affected businesses, and residents who lived in the damaged historic downtown structures, members of the VOAD have been identified based on their areas of expertise to assist in moving the recovery efforts downtown forward. This group of local nonprofits has been working closely since the incident to organize and mobilize resources and assistance by individuals and families affected.

Available resources include:

January 1st Food and Essentials Drive-Thru Event for Survivors

• 1 p.m., Community Resource Center, 218 Omohundro Place
The Community Resource Center, in partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, will be providing essential kits for survivors that will include food, hygiene products and diapers for those in need. The food boxes and essential kits will be available to pick-up during a “Nashville Strong” drive-thru event on Friday, January 1, 2020 at 1:00 pm at the Community Resource Center, located at 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210.

Lutheran Disaster Response will also be on site for emotional and spiritual care providing purposeful listening to survivors overcoming challenges related to disaster recovery.

Additional Resources Available for Survivors

Nashville Strong Assistance Fund
Catholic Charities will provide assistance to those who live or work in the explosion perimeter area in the historic downtown area, through a specially funded program that will begin Monday, Jan. 4. An online application for assistance will be go live on Friday afternoon, Jan. 1.

The application can be accessed from the following web site: nashvillestrong2021.org. Those who are unable to access the online application can call (615) 352-8591.

hubNashville
For assistance from Metro Nashville Davidson County Government, affected individuals should visit hub.nashville.gov, use the hubNashville 311 app or call 311.

Food Assistance
Individuals in need of emergency food assistance can text ‘FEEDS’ to 797979 or
visit www.secondharvestmidtn.org/get-help to access Second Harvest’s Find Food tool to locate the nearest food distribution, including Emergency Food Box sites in Davidson County. For additional assistance, individuals can call 2-1-1.

• Cash Assistance
A limited supply of gift cards, provided by Salvation Army — Nashville Area Command, will be available for immediate cash assistance for those affected. Individuals can receive more information by texting the word ‘STRONG’ to 484848.

Housing and Immediate Needs
The American Red Cross of Tennessee is providing assistance for those displaced from their home, apartment or townhouse. Those needing assistance should contact the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS to help with their immediate needs, which may include food, shelter, clothing, health and mental health services, community referrals and recovery assistance.

• Assistance for Spanish Speakers
Spanish speakers affected can call Conexión Americas at (615) 270-9252 for assistance beginning on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021.

Resource and Referral Line
Individuals in need of assistance can contact United Way of Greater Nashville’s 24-hour resource and referral line for help by dialing 211 or visiting 211.org. Note: To qualify for financial assistance, survivors will need to provide proof of employment or residency in the direct impacted area.

How Community Members Can Help

Donate

United Way of Greater Nashville is partnering with Mayor John Cooper’s office to accept gifts to its Restore the Dream Fund which will provide long-term disaster recovery support to nonprofits for the survivors. People who wish to donate may visit www.unitedwaygreaternashville.org or text RESTORE20 to 41444.

• The Salvation Army – Nashville Area Command believes “we are stronger together” and is assisting survivors with urgent needs of food, transportation, and healthcare through Kroger Gift Cards, UBER Rides and UBER Eats. Gifts can be made in support of this disaster response at www.salvationarmynashville.org.

• Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville provides a range of services that help clients through crises and toward self-sufficiency. Services include emergency financial assistance, counseling, job training, housing stability, hunger relief, and more. Gifts in support of their disaster relief efforts can be made at www.cctenn.org.

• The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Nashville Neighbors Fund, established in partnership with WTVF-NewsChannel5, is accepting gifts to provide services to both the immediate and long-term needs of survivors affected by the Christmas Day tragedy.

Community Resource Center of Nashville will be actively engaged with long-term recovery efforts to provide basic essentials, clothing, household goods, and is collecting items to assist with debris removal, clean up and first responder needs.

Volunteer

Hands On Nashville is recruiting volunteers to help with disaster relief and recovery efforts, including cleanup and distribution of essential items to survivors and first responders. Visit hon.org to register as a volunteer or find a disaster-relief project.

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About the Nashville/Davidson County VOAD

The Nashville/Davidson County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) provides the framework for successful preparation and activation of nonprofits and private companies to provide essential augmentations for local government’s capacity and available resources during a disaster. The VOAD is a purposeful mechanism that scales up during crisis, strengthens area-wide disaster coordination, and enhances preparedness by sharing information and engaging in joint training.

The current VOAD steering committee includes:

  • American Red Cross of Tennessee
  • Catholic Charities of Tennessee
  • Community Resource Center
  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
  • Conexión Americas
  • Hands On Nashville
  • The Housing Fund
  • Lutheran Disaster Response
  • Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Nashville Humane Association
  • Salvation Army – Nashville Area Command
  • Neighbor to Neighbor
  • Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief – Tennessee Conference
  • United Way of Greater Nashville
  • Urban League of Middle Tennessee

2020 volunteerism by the numbers

In spite of — and because of — all the challenges of 2020, Nashville volunteers made a strong showing in 2020. The numbers below reflect a community that shows up for its neighbors. We are grateful for you. See you in 2021!  

OVERVIEW 

Volunteers52,000+ 

New hon.org volunteer registrations: 34,000+ 

Projects on the calendar: 6,600+ 

Virtual or remote projects: 440+ 

New long-term or flexibly scheduled projects: 160+ 

Economic value volunteers created for community partners: $2.29 million 

SKILLS-BASED AND LONG-TERM SERVICE 

• HON placed 23 AmeriCorps members at 13 local nonprofits for a yearlong term of service. 

• HON’s GeekCause volunteers completed 24 tech projects, which saved our community partners $169,773

EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT 

• The corporate engagement team enlisted 1,265 volunteers who donated 6,100+ hours of their time to support 13 local nonprofits. 

• Several employee teams utilized new at-home and kit-based project models to create 5,000+ care packages for teachers, students, veterans, individuals experiencing homelessness, and seniors. Those at-home projects allowed many to engage their families in their volunteer activities.

DISASTER RESPONSE   

• Individuals who signed up to help with disaster relief: 35,000+ 

• Individuals who volunteered at a disaster-relief project (some many times): 11,200+  

• Disaster-relief projects completed since March: 2,300+ 

Boosting volunteerism is easy no matter your budget

Did you know that charitable giving is good for your health? At the end of a difficult year, we could all use that immune system boost. The good news is it’s easier than ever spread the love for your favorite organizations no matter what your budget looks like. Here are three super easy ways you can show support for HON and our mission to meet needs through volunteerism: 

1. Set it (a sustaining donation) and forget it  
Don’t get us wrong — one-time donations are fantastic! But did you know you can set up a monthly, quarterly, or annual donation to HON? Sustaining donations help HON plan our budget for maximum impact. No gift is too small — even a $5 sustaining monthly gift makes a big difference to us. 

2. Start a fundraiser on Facebook or Instagram  
There’s power in numbers! Use this link to set up a fundraiser for HON on Facebook. Or, in Instagram stories, go to the sticker menu and select the “donation” icon. Search for “HONashville.” When you post a story with the HON donation sticker, your followers will be able to donate with just a couple of taps!  

3. Like, share, and comment on HON’s social media posts
Every time you engage with one of our posts, it increases our reach on social. And when our reach on social grows, we are able to recruit more volunteers and meet more critical needs in the community. So YES, Virginia, spending all that time on social media really CAN do some good! Check us out on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

Volunteers will remind groups about safety guidelines

As the holidays kick off and revelers and shoppers are more likely to spend time out and about in groups, the Metro Public Health Department is looking for volunteers to help spread the word about masks and social distancing. Katie Stone from Metro Public Health took time to answer some questions for Hands On Nashville about how a mask and social distancing ambassador spends a volunteer shift.  

HONWhat will a shift as a mask and social distancing ambassador look like for a volunteer?   

Katie: The volunteers will initially meet up as a group with the Health Dept representative and will be given a hat and a yellow “Public Health Volunteer” shirt to clearly identify them.  From there, depending on the number of people available, we will disperse and walk around to ensure visibility. Volunteers will work in groups of 2. 

HONTo what parts of town will volunteers deploy?  

Katie: The current areas are Lower Broadway, Opry Mills Mall, and Green Hills Mall.  However, some of those may change based on need and number of signups. 

HONWhat happens if someone takes offense to the volunteer’s suggestions?   

Katie: The volunteer should simply walk away and let the Health Dept representative know if they have any concerns.  

HONWhy are these volunteer ambassadors important to Metro’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19?  

Katie: As is now widely known, the wearing of masks and maintaining distance from others greatly reduces the spread of COVID-19. However, pandemic fatigue is setting in, and we have found that a visible reminder (by way of people wearing yellow “Public Health Volunteer” shirts and hats) of the need to continue following recommendations is very helpful in encouraging those out in public to wear their masks and remain socially distant. By encouraging people to wear masks and stay socially distanced, volunteers can help stop the spread and keep our city and economy going until COVID-19 is behind us. 

Looking for a way to help this holiday season?

It’s here — our guide to where you can donate items this holiday season to help out many of our partner nonprofits! We’ve rounded up some of their most urgent needs at the link below. From books to gloves to hearing aids, no donation is too small. 

Survey shows volunteers want to help, but are concerned about exposure to COVID-19

In June, Hands On Nashville invited community members to take a survey gauging their thoughts and attitudes toward volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hope was to get a clearer picture of how volunteers felt about weighing the risks of volunteering against the expanding needs in our community, so that we can work with our nonprofit partners to carve out safe and impactful ways volunteers can help Nashville get through this tough time.

Thank you to everyone who took the survey and shared their thoughts with us! 

The survey was completed by 223 individuals, the majority of whom identify as having volunteered through HON before.

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Respondents indicate an increased desire to volunteer in part because of events including the March 3 tornado. However, more than half of respondents also report worrying that volunteering will increase their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Respondents also report that they don’t necessarily have more time to volunteer now than they did earlier in the year, before the tornado and pandemic hit. A solid majority indicated they would volunteer more once the pandemic was over.

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We asked respondents to evaluate a handful of volunteer scenarios and and gauge their comfort levels with each. Overall they reported greater comfort levels with outdoor projects and projects capped at 10 people. Their comfort levels fell the larger the project attendance grew. Respondents also report feeling much more comfortable volunteering at a project where all the other volunteers are known, as opposed to volunteering with a group of strangers. (To create a volunteer team that can sign up for projects together, click here.)

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We asked respondents to share any additional thoughts they had on volunteering during the pandemic, and several respondents replied that they are in a high-risk category — either through their age, their baseline health status, or both — and do not feel comfortable volunteering. A good portion of Nashville’s volunteer base is retirement age, so we anticipate this consideration is having a substantial impact on the number of overall volunteers serving at this time. Some respondents also replied that they are a caretaker for someone in a high-risk category, and do not want to expose themselves for fear of transmitting the virus to the high-risk person in their care.

Several respondents also commented about how they would prefer to volunteer remotely — from home or delivering things in their car — during this time. (To see a roundup of virtual volunteer projects, click here.)

Some other comments:

I’m more than willing to volunteer as long as I am protected and those around me are as well. If proper guidelines are being followed and there aren’t a mass of people on top of each other, I would also feel comfortable.

I would absolutely love to help, but until the pandemic is over, I am extremely uncomfortable participating in any volunteering event where I’d be in close proximity to anyone else, especially if they aren’t required to wear a mask at all times.

I, like many, am unsure of what to do. Really want to volunteer, but unsure if bringing myself into a scenario will put others at risk. Also, unsure if I will need to limit my exposure to my workplace or to family, etc. as a result.

There is no question that fear of COVID-19 is limiting my willingness to volunteer these days though I have made some food deliveries and done a few solo clean-up projects.

I am reluctant to be around individuals I do not know. I am learning more and more that many people are being quite cavalier about their exposure to COVID-19.

I have less time with kids home and a son with a mild heart condition. So, I can possibly do things out of my house or where I can run around in my car (with some of my kids possibly). My kids would like to help as well, just worry about Covid right now.

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

PUBLIC ALERT: Tornado Recovery Volunteer Park-and-Ride Shuttles

This following is a press release from the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Metro Nashville is asking for recovery volunteers to help keep damaged neighborhoods accessible to first responders

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (March 7, 2020) Please, first responders and repair crews need your help.

Continued traffic congestion in the most heavily impacted areas of Nashville will hamper the continued recovery process for those dealing with the most damage.

The Nashville Office of Emergency Management in partnership with Metro Nashville Police and Metro Nashville Public Schools is launching a park-and-ride service on March 8 for tornado recovery volunteers to help them reach the areas of greatest need in North Nashville and East Nashville.

Tornado recovery volunteers should plan to park at Nissan Stadium located at 1 Titans Way, Nashville, TN 37213.

Independent volunteers should park in Lot “R” of Nissan Stadium. Lot “R” is designated as the two parking lots at the bottom of the pedestrian bridge next to Nissan Stadium.

Volunteers working with Hands on Nashville should continue to use parking lots G, M, A, B and D based on where their opportunity states.

Shuttles will transport tornado recovery volunteers from Lot “R” to the areas of greatest need beginning at 9:00 am and shuttles will run continuously until 6:00 pm.

Shuttles will drop off tornado recovery volunteers at the following locations:

 

North Nashville:

21st Avenue North and Scovel Street 14th Avenue North and Cockrill Street

East Nashville:

Fatherland Street and 11th Street 16th Street and Russell Street.

Volunteers working with Hands on Nashville should continue to use parking lots G, M, A, B and D.

Due to the debris in areas of Nashville, private vehicles will not be allowed to access certain neighborhoods.

Shuttles will transport volunteers into these areas that are inaccessible to the general public.

The number of private vehicles in the most impacted areas of the city has hampered entry for large commercial vehicles including Metro Nashville Public Works trucks, Metro Nashville Water Services crews and NES repair trucks.

Motorists should look for electronic message boards as they approach Nissan Stadium for directions to parking lot “R”.

Metro’s Community Hotline will continue to be staffed 24 hours a day and can be reached by calling (615) 862-8750 for all non-emergency, weather-related inquiries, the reporting of hazards and to request assistance. In case of an emergency, residents should call 911.

The NERVE (Nashville Emergency Response Viewing Engine) has been activated in coordination with this EOC activation. This site will provide information about storm related road closures, any evacuation areas or routes, shelters and relief centers. This also includes a media tab with a Twitter feed and press releases.

Volunteers signed up for the following projects should meet at Nissan Stadium to catch a shuttle to their project location:

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Resolve to Serve Stories: Shower The People

JohnSabo
John Sabo has been volunteering with Shower The People for a little over a year.

Every week, John Sabo drives across town and parks next to a big white bus. He packs bags of dirty towels into his car, brings them home, and plans when in his schedule he’ll fit four loads of laundry.

Sabo returns the clean, dried, and folded towels to the team at Shower The People, a nonprofit whose retrofitted retired school bus acts as a mobile shower facility for people experiencing homelessness. Sabo picks up another batch of towels, takes them home, and begins the wash cycle all over again. 

“I think it’s a necessity,” he says. “I might not be able to change the world, but I can change one situation.”   

shower the people logo

Sabo describes homelessness as a “challenging and lonely lifestyle.” His son, who experienced homelessness, died four years ago. To honor his son’s memory, Sabo dedicates time to multiple nonprofits that provide aid to people struggling with hunger and housing instability.

“John has been such an amazing blessing to our organization,” says Meredith MacLeod Jaulin, Shower the People’s Chief Administrator. “Our volunteers understand how much of a difference being clean and taking a shower can be to an individual.” 

Jaulin says those who utilize Shower The People’s mobile facilities often experience a renewed sense of dignity and self-worth. Access to better hygiene can also open doors to job opportunities and housing.

She adds that, without volunteers like Sabo, keeping operations running smoothly would be difficult.  

shower the people
Shower The People converted an old school bus into a mobile showering unit to aid people experiencing homelessness.

“My philosophy is that there are some people on the front line, like Shower The

People, that have direct contact with these individuals in need,” Sabo says, “and there are other people behind the scenes to make sure things work so the frontline people can do their jobs.” 

Sabo works closely with Jaulin to coordinate schedules, and between driving, washing, drying, and folding, Sabo gives as many as seven hours of his week to the organization.  

“It’s worth the effort to help other people,” he says. “I would just say look at what you have, then look at what other people don’t have, and see if you can make the world a little bit better place just by helping out.”   

Interested in volunteering with Shower The People? Check out their available volunteer opportunities here.

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Young volunteers pose for a photo after volunteering with Shower The People.

 Photos courtesy of Shower The People.