Tag Archives: Points of Light

Volunteer during Fall Break!

With the leaves beginning to change and the smell of fall in the air — it’s time for this year’s fall roundup! Opportunities range between Oct. 8 – 17 and are great for college students home for Fall Break, or a parent looking for wholesome (and free!) ways to spend time with their kiddos.

Reminder: Many of our nonprofit partners have opportunities available all year long. Click the title of each opportunity to learn more and sign up. You can also find opportunities to volunteer all year long by visiting our calendar!

Pick up litter and keep Shelby Park beautiful
Friends of Shelby Park
Minimum age: 18, or 6 with an adult
When: Saturday, Oct. 9

Join the Friends of Shelby Park and your neighbors for a park-wide sweep of Shelby Park. Volunteers will be picking up trash to keep the park beautiful and keep litter out of our streams and rivers.

Share a meal with residents at Dismas House
Dismas House of Nashville
Minimum age: 18, 12 with an adult
When: Monday through Thursday, Oct. 11-14

Prepare dinner as a family (or order something in) and dine with the residents of Dismas House! Volunteers can prepare a meal in the Dismas state-of-the-art kitchen, or attend a Thursday night meal and help prepare dinner with the group.

Help prune and prep Nashville’s first permaculture park space
Grow Enrichment
Minimum age: 18, or 8 with an adult
When: Oct. 11  

Spend time as a family learning more about Nashville’s first permaculture
park. This park explores urban farming and woodlands to maximize food
production and utilizing space. Volunteers will help spread wood chips, mulch,
and transplant trees.

Sort and pack items for relief and hygiene kits
The Community Resource Center
Minimum age: 15, or 8 with an adult
When: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays 

Set up production stations, sort materials (like soaps, shampoos, and toothpaste) and compile kits for distribution. These kits are then given to people in need all over the community, from tornado survivors to those currently experiencing homelessness.

Prepare and distribute food bags to guests in need
The Branch of Nashville
Minimum age: 15, or 8 with an adult
When: Mondays through Saturdays

Volunteers and their families will be assisting with guest intake and preparing and distributing food bags for guests, while the little ones can help clean and assemble empty carts.

Help improve the farm at Mill Ridge Park
Friends of Mill Ridge
Minimum age: 18
When: Fridays, Oct. 8 – Oct. 15

Volunteers will help construct improvements to the farmyard and farmhouse, which involves planting, mulching, and pruning trees; removing invasive plants and weeds; debris and trash removal; farmhouse repairs; fence work, and more.

Prepare dinner as a family to share with local hospital guests
Hospital Hospitality House – Nashville
Minimum age: 18, or 10 with an adult
When: Tuesday and Thursday, Oct. 12 and 14

Prepare dinner at home with your family, then bring the meal to the Hospitality House to share with its guests. Dinner guests consist of patients and caregivers that stay at Hospitality House while seeking medical treatment in Nashville. Meals should feed approximately 30 people.

Help deep clean and organize the reuse center
Turnip Green Creative Reuse
Minimum age: 18
When: Monday, Oct. 11

Organize, clean, sort, and find fun ways to display donations at Turnip Green’s Reuse Center! Deep cleans are held on Mondays when the center is closed to the public. This is a great way to keep shoppers safe, and keep the store organized and tidy!

Direct guests and offer assistance at the Fall Craft Fair
Tennessee Craft
Minimum age: 18
When:  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, Oct. 8 – 10

Volunteers are needed to direct vendors to their booth locations, bring in artwork and tents, keep traffic flowing, and assist fairgoers as they come to explore.

Tend to the community garden and prepare for the next planting season
Friends of Shelby Park
Minimum age: 18, or 12 with an adult
When: Oct. 16

Spend time as a family in nature helping the Friends of Shelby Park prep the community garden! Volunteers will help plant herbs, weed, and tend to existing plants. This is a great opportunity to teach young minds more about gardening!

11,689 vaccines in arms, all because of volunteers like you!

WOW. That’s about all we can say about the mass vaccination event on March 20. Hundreds of volunteers — including many medical professionals — helped vaccinate thousands at Nissan Stadium, Lee Chapel AME, and Music City Center on Saturday. It was an emotional day, but many volunteers said they would do it again in a heartbeat. In total, 11,689 people were vaccinated with the help of volunteers. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Photographs by Madison Thorn, HON volunteer 

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!

Hands On Nashville welcomes Starbucks fellows

Hands On Nashville is excited to welcome David Bradley and MaryBeth Konkowski to the team. David and MaryBeth are part of the Starbucks Foundation Service Fellows Program, a culmination of efforts from Points of Light and The Starbucks Foundation, created to help nonprofits build capacity while giving employees a chance to get more involved in their communities. Through the program, 100 Starbucks employees will serve for six months at agencies in 20 cities across the United States.  

David Bradley

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Why Hands on Nashville? 

I started at Starbucks because it does a lot of secular good, just for the sake of being good. When I found out about the Starbucks Service Fellows program, and looked up Hands On Nashville, it seemed like Starbucks’ mission to do good lined up with HON’s mission.

How do you hope to grow throughout this term of service? 

I would like to increase my knowledge of the nonprofit world in general. I don’t have a nonprofit background; however, I have always been interested in social change and social theory. I’m currently working on a minor in sociology, but rather than just reading theories and understanding why things are wrong, I’d like to be a part of how to make things better.

What is one of your most memorable experiences as a volunteer?

I did a river cleanup with the Cumberland River Compact in Gallatin, Tennessee. We were able to go into the water beds and pull massive amounts of construction waste out of the river. A week later, CRC followed up with us, reporting exactly how much trash we pulled out. It was cool to see the extent of the impact we had on the health of the river.


MaryBeth Konkowski

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Why Hands on Nashville? 

I was really excited when I found out we would be working with Hands On Nashville! I moved here after graduating from college and found it difficult to make friends. HON was an organization that I used to get involved with the community, find volunteer opportunities, and meet some good friends.

How do you hope to grow throughout this term of service?

I was in the corporate world for a while, and it’s always been interesting to me how nonprofits get the funding to do the things they want to do, all while supporting other nonprofits. I’m interested in learning more about the behind-the-scenes of how a nonprofit operates.

What is one of your most memorable experiences as a volunteer?

My mom and dad instilled a heart of service in me at a young age. One of the earliest memories I have of volunteering was being toted along by my mother, who was volunteering at a senior care center near my hometown. I was too young to volunteer, but I remember sitting and listening to these older women talk and tell funny stories. Looking back, I have warm, fuzzy feelings and it makes me realize how spending time at this care center really warmed my heart.

 

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!

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

 

 

 

Volunteer Service Organizations Awarded $100,000 in Grants at Conference on Volunteering and Service

Hands On Nashville earns top grant of $50,000 through innovative competition
supported by JPMorgan Chase

HandsOn Nashville earns top grant of $50,000 through innovative competition  supported by JPMorgan Chase
Hands On Nashville President and CEO Brian Williams accepts grant at first-ever HandsOn Network Innovation and Social Impact Forum.


ATLANTA (June 17, 2014)
– Volunteer service organizations from across America are leaving Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service this week with $100,000 to implement innovative, high-impact programs, thanks to an ongoing commitment to volunteer service by JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Four volunteer organizations participated in the first-ever HandsOn Network Innovation and Social Impact Forum, supported by JPMorgan Chase, where they competed before a panel of service leaders for a top grant of $50,000. The remaining three organizations shared $50,000 in grants to enhance their volunteer programs.

Hands On Nashville was awarded a $50,000 grant to continue growing its Home Energy Savings Program, which engages volunteers in improving the energy efficiency, comfort and safety of Nashville homes owned and occupied by low-income homeowners. Other volunteer service organizations receiving grants included the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County (CA), HandsOn Twin Cities (MN) and HandsOn Genesee (MI).

“The passion and creativity that these finalists utilized to solve important problems in our communities was impressive,” said Lois Backon, head of corporate partner marketing for JPMorgan Chase. “JPMorgan Chase is committed to investing in service innovation because we know that when we harness what our best and brightest have to offer, we can make a tangible difference in every local community we touch.”

The Innovation and Social Impact Forum was part of the Business Track at Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, which unites thousands of volunteer and service leaders from around the world each year. At the forum, candidates each had 10 minutes to promote their organization and answer questions before a panel of judges including Lamman Rucker from Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns; Laura Turner Seydel of Captain Planet Foundation; Taproot Foundation President and CEO Liz Hamburg; and Coxe Curry & Associates Senior Consultant Ann Cramer. Moderating the panel was Joe Sibilia, CEO of CSRWire.

JPMorgan Chase and Points of Light, the world’s largest organization devoted to volunteer service, have a history of collaborating to find new ways to support and facilitate volunteer service. At last year’s Conference on Volunteering and Service, JPMorgan Chase and Points of Light kicked off a nationwide One America tour focused on uniting unlikely allies to help students succeed, tackle food insecurity and improve the environment.

“The key to strengthening America’s communities is inspiring, equipping and mobilizing people to take action,” said Points of Light President Tracy Hoover. “We’re proud to work with corporate partners like JPMorgan Chase who are providing the resources and commitment needed to spark innovative approaches to service.”

For more about the Conference on Volunteering and Service, visit www.pointsoflight.org or www.volunteeringandservice.org.

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About Points of Light
Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities and partnerships with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages more than 4 million volunteers in 30 million hours of service each year. We put people at the center of change. For more information, go to http://www.pointsoflight.org.

About JPMorgan Chase
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.5 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of consumers in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.