Tag Archives: Nashville

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.

Check out these family-friendly Fall Break volunteer opportunities

fall break opps

Whether you’re a college student home for Fall Break, or a parent looking for a wholesome (and free!) way for your kiddos to pass the time, we’re here to connect you to volunteer opportunities at lots of great Nashville organizations. The opportunities highlighted below fall between Oct. 5-13, but many agencies have opportunities available all season long. Click the title of each opportunity to learn more and sign up.

Also: look for ways to give back to your community year-round on our calendar.

1. Learn to garden while prepping for the upcoming harvest

Bellevue Edible Learning Lab Inc.
Minimum age: 16, or 4 with an adult
When: Saturdays, Oct. 5 and Oct. 12

The Bell Garden serves as a teaching and learning lab for volunteers, students of Bellevue Middle Prep, and the community. Volunteers can do a variety of things, including sow seeds and harvest plants, water and weed, work in the greenhouse, tend the chicken flock, and can and preserve fruits and veggies. The garden runs on volunteer power, and no experience is necessary.

2. Serve meals to nourish those in need

St. John’s United Methodist Church
Minimum age: 18, or 13 with an adult
When: Thursday, Oct. 10

Thursday Night Community Meals at St. Johns UMC offer free, nutritious meals in a safe, friendly, and caring environment to a diverse group of clients at risk of hunger and some experiencing homelessness. Volunteers help with last-minute preparations, serving the meal, helping clean up, and socializing with diners.

3. Maintain a Nashville treasure while learning about history

The Nashville City Cemetery Association
Minimum age: 18, or 16 with an adult
When: Saturday, Oct. 12

Enjoy the peacefulness of the Nashville City Cemetery while working to restore the grounds and prepare for winter. By clearing brush, weeding, and raking leaves, volunteers will help preserve a historical landmark, and show respect to an important piece of Nashville history. The Nashville City Cemetery Association, Inc., was formed in 1998 to protect, preserve, restore, and raise public awareness of the Nashville City Cemetery. Bring drinking water, gloves, and any gardening tools you have!

4. Take tickets at the Nashville Film Festival

The Nashville Film Festival
Minimum age: 16
When: Thursday, Oct. 3, through Saturday, Oct. 12

Lights, camera, action! The Nashville Film Festival is casting A-list volunteers to assist at its annual festival. Volunteers will usher guests to their seats, collect and distribute ballots for film judging, set up and tear down, check credentials for VIP areas and ticketed events, and provide light cleaning of theaters and VIP areas. Plus: Volunteers receive festival vouchers.

 5. Feed and socialize with school-aged children

Martha O’Bryan Center
Minimum age: 18, or 12 with an adult
When: Mondays, Oct. 7 through Nov. 18

Interact with children and families while serving a hot meal to those in the middle of a food desert. Martha O’Bryan’s Family Resource Center hosts Kid’s Café every Monday for those in need. Volunteers will help set up, serve food, and try and make the community comfortable while they share a meal together.

6. Advocate for recycling at the Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party

Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party
Minimum age: 15, or 12 with an adult
When: Saturday, Oct. 5

Help make the Pickin’ Party waste free by assisting attendees in correctly sorting their food waste into the compost bin, and all recyclables into the recycling bin. With volunteers’ help,  80 percent of waste can be recycled into new materials. Training will be provided prior to the event. The Cornelia Fort Pickin’ Party combines the tastes and talents of East Nashville to help preserve one of the city’s most unique landmarks, the Cornelia Fort AirPark.

7. Cheer on cyclists with Bike MS

Bike MS
Minimum age: 12
When: Saturday, Oct. 5

Smiling faces and encouragement are needed for the Bike to Jack & Back bicycle ride. Volunteers will also help with setup, teardown, and food service. Bike MS is the fundraising cycling series of the National MS Society, and to date, has raised more than $1.3 billion to end Multiple Sclerosis.

8. Offer support at the Nashville AIDS Walk

Nashville CARES
Minimum age: 18, or 5 with an adult
When: Friday and Saturday, Oct. 4 and 5

Offering a full day of activities, the 28th annual Nashville AIDS Walk needs event volunteers. In addition to celebrating the amazing work of Nashville CARES, volunteers are asked to help set up, register walkers, hand out water, and offer assistance as hundreds of supporters come out to bring awareness to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee. The Nashville AIDS walk is a family-friendly event that has raised more than $3 million for the cause. Pre-registered volunteers receive a T-shirt and lunch.

9. Create crafts with The Family Center

The Family Center
Minimum age: 18, or 1 with an adult
When: Saturday, Oct. 5

Grab your glitter and start crafting with The Family Center to make calm-down bottles for their clients. Volunteers will fill bottles with water and glitter to act as a calming mechanism. The Family Center works to break multi-generational cycles of child abuse, neglect, and trauma by providing a safe, supportive space where parents and/or their children can connect and grow.

 

HON Community Partners: Do YOU have family-friendly volunteer opportunities during Fall Break (Oct. 5-13) that aren’t featured here? Let us know so we can add them!

Nashville’s Fall 2019 College Service Fairs

It’s (almost) back-to-school time! College service fairs are a great chance for your nonprofit to connect with students and share your volunteer and intern opportunities. Please email the contact listed for each school in order to register your agency.  

August 14: Fisk Volunteer Fair
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Contact: Tashaye Woods (twoods@fisk.edu)

August 28: Vanderbilt Service Organization Fair
1-3 p.m.
Contact: Meagan Smith (meagan.smith@vanderbilt.edu)

August 28: Tigers Day Out at Tennessee State University
11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Contact: Shirley Nix-Davis (snixdavi@tnstate.edu)

September 3: Trevecca Volunteer Fair
9:30-10:30 a.m.
Contact: Daniel Neiderhiser (dlneiderhiser@trevecca.edu)

September 4: Lipscomb Volunteer Fair
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Contact: Christin Schatzer (Christin.shatzer@lipscomb.edu)

September 12: Nashville State Resource Awareness and Volunteer Day
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Contact: Evelyn Hadley (evelyn.hadley@nscc.edu)

September 30: Belmont Community Connections Fair
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Contact: Tim Stewart (tim.stewart@belmont.edu)

Does your Middle Tennessee college or university have a service fair you’d like us to include in this roundup? Let us know!

Resolve to Serve Stories: Weed Wrangle®

Cayce McAlister remembers how different the forest looked when she was young.

“You saw tree trunks. You didn’t see all this low-level scrub,” she says. “All that green scourge you see in the woods is invasive plants.”

cayce mcalister
Cayce McAlister

McAlister says that native plants and trees don’t stand a chance in areas that are overgrown with non-native species. Invasive plants reproduce and spread quickly, often out-competing native plants. This leads to a reduction in plant diversity and the loss of habitat and food for wildlife.

Now McAlister is on a mission. A former president and longtime member of the Garden Club of Nashville, she was instrumental in founding Weed Wrangle®, an annual event where volunteers gather in parks and public spaces to remove problematic plants. The annual pull puts a dent in the problem, but McAlister says that alone won’t solve the issue of invasive plant growth. There must be public education, too.

Each Weed Wrangle® site will have an official on hand to show the participants clippings of the pesky plants to target and tell them the best tactics for removal.

“Invasive plants have no borders, and the success of our effort is affected dramatically by landscaping practices of neighbors to all of these public areas,” she says. McAlister encourages attendees to take their new knowledge home and eradicate invasive species in their own yards. Then talk to the people next door about doing the same.

In 2015, its first year, Weed Wrangle® drew more than 500 volunteers to 13 sites across Nashville. McAlister says the event has grown quickly and now exists across multiple Tennessee markets and in 13 other states. Since its inception, Weed Wrangle® has engaged 3,164 volunteers in Tennessee, who have contributed a combined 27,528 volunteer hours.

This year’s event, slated for March 2, has 20 Middle Tennessee sites where volunteers will wrangle weeds. You don’t have to be a gardener to help, says McAlister, who, as the event’s National Chair, is a full-time volunteer and travels the country spreading the seed of an idea that first took root in Nashville.

“There is a job for everyone out there. Little kids can pick up debris and drag it to the pile. Big buff people, they’re all trying to yank everything out of the ground instead of using tools,” she says with a laugh. “It’s a fun day.”

You can join the fun by browsing Weed Wrangle® opportunities here.

Interested in signing up to host your own Weed Wrangle® site? Visit the Weed Wrangle® website or email Ampage158@gmail.com.

Photos courtesy of Weed Wrangle.

 

Resolve to Serve Stories: Senior Ride Nashville

A couple of times a week, Sara Stewart drives to the home of an elderly man named Richard. She helps him into the car, then takes him to doctors’ appointments or to the grocery store. Also on their list of stops: Coffee.

“There for a while we were trying to figure out what the best coffee was. He’s decided it’s McDonald’s,” Stewart says with a laugh.

Stewart, a volunteer for Senior Ride Nashville, says that what started out as a four-hour-a-month commitment has, over 120 trips, turned into a friendship. Volunteers for SRN use an online portal to select rides that work with their schedule, location, or interest.

“It’s become such an experience for both of us,” she says. Stewart supports Richard in ways big and small — from helping him with his grocery list to reaching out to his city council member to advocate for improved sidewalks near his home.

“I’m always there for Richard, no matter what he needs,” Stewart says.

That doesn’t surprise Carrie Brumfield, SRN’s executive director.

“We often hear the phrase, ‘It’s more than just a ride’ from our volunteer drivers,” she says.

Brumfield says reduced mobility can put a person at higher risk of poor health, isolation, loneliness, and depression, and that Nashville’s lack of public transportation options means many seniors may experience reduced life expectancy as a result.

Stewart, who’s been driving for the organization since its inception, says that she initially was drawn to act when she realized how isolating it would be to not have access to transportation. She said once it dawned on her that she might someday be in that same situation, she knew she had to do something.

“Pay it forward,” Stewart says. “It’s not even really a payment, because you get it back immediately.”

To find out more about volunteering as a driver, or to learn about other ways to help Senior Ride Nashville, click here.

Photos provided by Senior Ride Nashville

‘Pursue Purpose’: A culture of giving back at Change Healthcare

American workers have spoken: It’s the job perks — like company culture, paid time off, and chances to serve the community — that employees are finding increasingly valuable.

But Jonny Woo doesn’t need a study to tell him that. Woo, a Regional Volunteer Chair at Change Healthcare, has completed around 10 corporate service projects since joining the company two years ago.

“I actually think giving back makes me a higher performer,” Woo says. “It’s a really good way for me to get my work done and it’s a good way for me to meet people in the company.”

This year, Woo led a team for the Nashville Heart Walk. He recruited participants, put up flyers, and solicited donations. The team raised more than $150,000 for the Nashville Chapter of the American Heart Association.

“What’s so great about AHA is that all those funds are going back directly into the community to support research and healthcare for those that have been affected by cardiovascular disease in Nashville,” says Ashley Bostic, Change Healthcare’s Director of Culture and Community Giving.

Bostic echoes Woo’s excitement about Change Healthcare’s commitment to a culture of service and giving. She says a guiding light to community giving at Change Healthcare is one of their core values, Pursue Purpose. As the value states, Change Healthcare is here to make healthcare work better. The opportunity to help improve a person’s life propels them forward.

“Focusing on improving a person’s life in any way, shape, or form in our communities is really the foundation of our community-giving programs,” Bostic says. That means encouraging employees to use their paid volunteer hours to support local nonprofits, she says, but it also means giving Change Healthcare employees space to share their passions and concerns with their colleagues and build awareness-raising campaigns around those concerns.

“You’re helping improve others’ lives and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to do that,” Bostic says. Since July of this year, Change Healthcare’s employees have logged more than 5,000 volunteer hours nationwide.

Volunteers from Change Healthcare worked with Hands On Nashville in 2018 to code and organize medical supplies for Project Cure; stain tables and benches for an outdoor classroom at Rosebank Elementary; pack snacks and hygiene kits for those served by the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center; and tend the garden at FASHA Urban Farm.  Most recently, Change Healthcare volunteers sorted gift bags for the Salvation Army Angel Tree.

“Our teams are more connected following those volunteer events,” Bostic says.

If your company is interested in partnering with Hands On Nashville to help support the community, let us know!

Altria’s volunteer leader talks about the company’s culture of service

 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. 

 

Horses and Healing: The Story of Hillenglade

In September, Hands On Nashville partnered with the Home Depot Foundation and Points of Light to implement facility upgrades and improvements for Hope and Healing at Hillenglade. More than 220 volunteers tackled projects that included building children’s playhouses, screening in porches, building office and recreational spaces, landscaping, building benches and picnic tables, and more. The work done will allow Hillenglade to offer year-round programming and increase the number of veterans its services can reach. To view more pictures of the project, click here

 

Jennifer O’Neil has always loved horses.

“God was in a good mood when he made a horse,” said the 70-year-old actress, model, and director, who has spent much of her life training and showing horses. “They’re so amazing and sensitive for such a giant animal.”

Jennifer O'Neill

In 2009, O’Neill bought Hillenglade, a 7-acre farm in north Nashville, and founded Hope and Healing at Hillenglade. HHH is an equine-assisted program that helps veterans and their families reconnect to heal the emotional wounds sustained during combat.

“What happens in the magic of equine therapy is, it’s all about creating relationship, communication, responsibility, and partnering with that animal,” O’Neill said. She said that horses mirror the emotions they see in people. To gain a horse’s trust, a person must put forth a calm confidence in a way that sets the horse at ease — that it’s not about dominating the animal.

“Depending on what you’re carrying when you come in there — be it anger, or rage, or shyness, or a lack of ability to communicate — they’ll size that up,” O’Neill said. She said it’s a powerful moment when someone who is working through their own anger or fear has a breakthrough with a horse.

Since 2010, HHH has served more than 4,000 military and first-responders and their families.

“The whole family unit often bears the brunt of the warriors’ experiences,” O’Neill said, recalling her own experiences in a family affected by post-combat PTSD.

O’Neill’s father served as a pilot during World War II. His plane was shot down and he was held in a German prison camp for two and a half years. He suffered lingering effects from the plane crash and aftermath that O’Neill believes would have been diagnosed as PTSD if the disorder, which wasn’t officially recognized until 1980, had been understood at the time.

As O’Neill has overseen the evolution of Hillenglade, she’s been driven by a desire to build an atmosphere of respite and peace for those who have sacrificed so much.

“I feel firmly that we in the private sector have to stand up and honor and help our veterans and our warriors and our heroes and their families in any way we can,” O’Neill said.

A Benefit for Hope and Healing at Hillenglade 

What: A fundraiser for HHH, featuring The Righteous Brothers, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Nate Sallie

When: Saturday, Nov. 3, beginning at 5:45 p.m.

Where: Franklin Theatre

Tickets: http://www.hillenglade.org