Tag Archives: NashvilleStrong

Lori Shinton, the CEO of Hands On Nashville and Board Chair with Nashville VOAD, talks with a volunteer following the March 2020 Tornado.

A word from our CEO: How Nashville’s volunteer group is prepared to support city through any disaster 

When tornadoes ripped through Tennessee in the middle of the night on March 3, 2020, the devastated Nashville community scrambled to respond. Helpers came out in droves with chainsaws, supplies, food, and donations. Hands On Nashville alone saw more than 20,000 volunteers in the week after the tornado.   

Lori Shinton, CEO of Hands On Nashville and Board Chair of Nashville VOAD.

The city relies on me, as the CEO of Hands On Nashville, and my team to lead volunteer efforts after a disaster. It’s what we do.  

Following the tornado, we immediately snapped into action to lead these efforts – our first disaster response effort since 2010. Our 15-person team worked around the clock to connect volunteers with needed resources. We were inundated with emails, phone calls, and walk-ins from folks wanting to or needing help. For a week, we had about 30 – 50 administrative volunteers helping us with all those things, often late into the evening. It was a challenging, heartfelt, and sometimes chaotic effort. 

Since then, we’ve dedicated significant resources to disaster preparation, hiring a full-time Disaster Response Manager, and creating a comprehensive emergency response plan, which relies on Disaster Volunteer Leaders (DVL). If you are interested in supporting the city when the next disaster strikes, please sign up to be a DVL and take our free online training. 

Recognizing that Hands On Nashville is stronger when we are connected with key players in the disaster response realm, I also advocated for the reformation of the Nashville VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), reached out to key community members, and now chair the volunteer-led coalition. The group strengthens area-wide disaster coordination and preparedness by sharing programs, policies and information while engaging in joint planning, education, and training. 

The VOAD’s first activations came after the Christmas Day bombing in 2020 and the South Nashville flood in 2021. Our mighty group of 41 nonprofits now stands ready to respond to whatever comes next. We also recognize that bringing in key neighborhood leaders, including those at religious institutions and neighborhood nonprofits, is critical to the success of disaster recovery. 

Disaster response is exhaustive work, and our community has been stretched thin over the past two years. The sad truth is that it is difficult to convince people to dedicate resources to disaster preparation when there is not a disaster at hand, but disaster prep work is crucial to disaster response, and any support you can give will help us as we continue to do the work.  

Hands on Nashville is so grateful to the amazing volunteers in this city and is up to the challenge of coordinating whatever crisis comes our way. We stand ready to provide services and to support our friends and neighbors when the next disaster hits — whether it is severe weather or, perish the thought, something like a shooting or bombing. We are #nashvillestrong, and we’ll get through it together.  

-Lori 

Lori Shinton is President and CEO of Hands On Nashville and the Chair of Nashville VOAD. For a full list of Nashville VOAD member organizations, visit NashvilleResponds.com. 

Hands On Nashville’s 2020 Impact Report

2020 was a year marked by immense challenges, but also by so many stories of people stepping up and coming together to support their neighbors. Volunteers played a huge part in helping Nashville get through a tough year. We’re honored to share Hands On Nashville’s 2020 Impact Report, which shows the strong and inspiring impact of volunteerism.

If you’d like to receive a PDF copy of this impact report, fill out the form below!

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:

Screen Shot 2020-03-07 at 11.24.45 PM

Portion of Design Group artwork sales to benefit Hands On Nashville

Screen Shot 2020-03-10 at 12.01.58 PM

Anderson Design Group is donating 50 percent of its profits from the 2020 Tornado Relief posters to The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Hands On Nashville for the month of March. The team at Anderson Design Group writes:

“We are heartbroken at the devastation and ask that you please donate, help out, pray for, and think of our neighbors in Germantown, North Nashville, East Nashville, Donelson, Mt. Juliet, and Lebanon. We are so proud to be Nashvillians and to live and work in a community that lifts each other up. We will stand alongside one another to get through this disaster like we’ve done so many times before. We love you, Nashville!”

Hands On Nashville loves the city and Anderson Design Group, too. We’re honored by the group’s generosity and grateful to share the news of Anderson Design Group’s generosity.

The 2020 Tornado Relief series features eight different poster designs. Two of these designs are brand new. Anderson Design Group founder Joel Anderson began sketching the concepts the moment he turned on the news and saw the first images of devastation. These new designs depict a broken guitar rising from the rubble with a branch of fresh new growth sprouting from the shattered guitar neck. Staff artist Aaron Johnson rendered Joel’s sketch concept to depict green leaves and a flower springing to life from the debris, symbolizing the hope, grit and beauty that is always present among neighbors in the Volunteer State when adversity strikes. There is a Spirit of Nashville version and a Spirit of Tennessee version.

For each of these special Tornado Victim Fund-Raising Designs, you can purchase prints, canvases, canvas banners, and metal signs of varying sizes as well as individual and framed postcards and sets of notecards.

Click here to see the full slate of designs.