Tag Archives: service

Celebrating AmeriCorps’ 25th Anniversary: Q&A with Hands On Nashville’s first AmeriCorps member

The AmeriCorps program celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. To commemorate the occasion, we checked in with Susannah Fotopulos, the first AmeriCorps member ever placed at Hands On Nashville. Fotopulos went on to found and direct Plant the Seed, a Nashville nonprofit that provides experiential education to children ages 4-14 through garden-based learning.

When were you an AmeriCorps member? Where did you serve and what role did you have?

In 2003 I served at Hands On Nashville as their inaugural Citizen Action AmeriCorps member. This was a specific type of indirect service position created in partnership with the HandsOn Network and designed to increase volunteer opportunities in HandsOn communities.

How did AmeriCorps prepare you to start Plant the Seed? 

My placement as the first AmeriCorps member at Hands On Nashville was during a time of rapid growth, which gave me an amazing chance to build a program from idea to delivery. It gave me a testing ground to conceive how to address a community need, deliver that program, and evaluate its effectiveness. My AmeriCorps service year was such an amazing way to grow my entrepreneurial spirit!

How does it feel to come full circle with AmeriCorps, having four members serve at your own nonprofit? 

It’s wild! I feel like having four AmeriCorps members is a cool indicator of our growth and a marker of scale and legitimacy in our ability to manage AmeriCorps members. I also see it as a way for Plant the Seed to live out our mission of being a learning organization by helping young adults develop the skills and next steps for their careers.

What’s something you are looking forward to teaching these members that you took from your own experience with AmeriCorps?  

I hope these new AmeriCorps members learn flexibility, gratitude, resilience, how to create something they can call their own, how to bring an open mind to new learning opportunities, and how to feel like they have made a legitimate difference to effect positive change in the world.

AmeriCorps Member Spotlight: Jasmine Lucas

Jasmine Lucas joined the HON AmeriCorps Program in late March. Read on to learn more about her!

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Jasmine Lucas

Community Outreach Coordinator at Hands On Nashville

What’s something you’ve done during your service term, or something you’re planning, that has been particularly rewarding?

Being out with the volunteers and recognizing them for what they are contributing to their community. It has been exhilarating to meet individual volunteers who walk completely different lives from one another meet up and commune over serving the community. I believe there is nothing more beautiful than that. I plan on recognizing our volunteers directly through social media in future Community Partner events. I’m excited to be the voice of HON and put forth the faces of our volunteers!

What drew you to serve with AmeriCorps?

What drew me to serve with AmeriCorps was that I saw it as a chance for me to be a part of something bigger than myself. That has been my driving force for a long while. I have made many personal, developmental decisions based on this standard, and it has yet to fail me. I have always grown to be a better person when I made a decision to be a part of something that is bigger than myself, and I am confident AmeriCorps is that next “bigger than myself” opportunity in this season of my life.

What’s the plan once you’ve completed your term?

After AmeriCorps I am not quite sure what I will start doing. So far, I plan to serve another term with a nonprofit here in Nashville. After that, I may begin working with a local nonprofit in Nashville, or I may travel the world teaching English as a Second Language (I have a lot of international friends who want me to visit 🙂 )

How do you spend your time when you’re not serving or volunteering?

In my free time I partake in a variety of hobbies including crocheting, writing/reading poetry, watching movies with my roommates, and going on excursions around Nashville with new friends. You will probably also find me staking out at local coffee shops as I read and write.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019-2020 AmeriCorps cohort. Learn more and apply here.

Introducing Hands On Nashville’s 2014 Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns!

This week, Hands On Nashville is kicking off Crop City, a six-week camp where community youth will learn how to grow food and make healthy eating choices! 2014 Crop City participants are youth served by the following organizations: Watkins Park Community Center, Y-CAP, Martha O’Bryan Center, Youth Villages, Sophia’s Heart, and the Nashville International Center for Empowerment.

As we begin, we would like to introduce you to a group of outstanding Hands On Nashville Urban Agriculture Teaching Interns who will lead the farm-to-table, curriculum-based summer youth development program.

Guided by Hands On Nashville staff, these awesome interns will teach Crop City participants – who live in neighborhoods with limited access to fresh produce — how to grow healthy produce to share with their communities and useful leadership skills to foster future growth. Please join us in welcoming these young leaders who are making a difference during their summer break.


 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Grace Bryant

Grace Bryant is a rising junior at Glencliff High School where she is currently preparing for a future in biological engineering. After school, Grace can often be found researching diseases among insects in a biology lab. Grace hopes to share her knowledge of nutritious plants and food with the world this summer, and in the future.

Fun fact: If Grace could be any movie character, she’d be Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – he has a lot of fun but still helps others.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Maria DartyMariah Darty is a rising junior at Glencliff High School. From joining the garden club and working for the newspaper to tutoring students at two different middle schools, Mariah has taken on many new activities over the last year. She is ready to continue learning and teaching others while adding an Urban Agriculture Internship to the list this summer.

Fun Fact: If Mariah could be any cartoon character, she would be Sponge Bob because he is always happy, and positive.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Emily DunnEmily Dunn  is a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where she’s co-captain of the swim team; co-leads a club that raises money to fight cancer; and helps coordinate the school’s recycling effort. Emily is returning for her second year leading Crop City programming as an Urban Agriculture Intern. She’s driven to play an active role in eliminating food deserts.

Fun Fact: If Emily could be any cartoon character, she would be Phineas, from Phineas and Ferb – because they lived in an endless summer.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Jon EdwardsJon Edwards is a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School where he will serve as Student Body Treasurer next fall. As a volunteer, Jon has spent three Christmas holidays working at a school and orphanage in Managua, Nicaragua and has served as a tutor for elementary school students within the local community. This summer, he hopes to positively influence a child’s future out at the Farm.

Fun Fact: If Jon could only listen to one CD/album forever, he’d listen to, The Band by The Band.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Nikita HolbertNikita Holbert, a rising senior at Hume-Fogg Academic High School, absolutely loves to be outside. Nikita is excited to bring her gardening experience (she has planted tomatoes, squash, and peaches at her grandmother’s garden…yum), passion for helping others, and strong interest in teaching youth to the Urban Farm this summer.

Fun Fact: If Nikita could have superpowers, she would have the abilities to disappear, pause the world, and run fast.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Ameena KhoshnawAmeena Khoshnaw is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. As a dedicated volunteer, Ameena regularly serves at local Islamic churches and has assisted in disaster relief efforts as an ICNA Disaster Relief Group volunteer. Ameena strives to be a shining example for her younger family members and help those less fortunate take steps toward success in their lives.

Fun Fact: Photography is Ameena’s favorite hobby – she loves capturing nature’s amazing scenes.

2014 Urban Agriculture Camryn MagsbyCamryn Magsby is a rising sophomore at Hume-Fogg Academic High School. Camryn is a strong advocate of healthy eating, and has helped fight hunger as a volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Rescue Mission, and Mercy Ministries. Camryn aims to inspire others to see the value of growing their own food this summer.

Fun fact: If Camryn could have any superpower, it would be to read people’s minds, like professor X from X-Men.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Dina MikaielDina Mikaiel is a rising senior at Antioch High School where she is an essential part of the school’s Leadership Class. Dina helps fellow students through the Adopt a Freshmen program, serves as a Big Sister, and hopes to meet new people and help change lives of community youth through education this summer.

Fun Fact: If Dina could travel anywhere in the world, she would travel to Egypt.

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Leyla Mohamed

Leyla Mohamed is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School where she is a member of Beta Club, Red-Cross club and the Muslim Student Association. For the past three years, Leyla has volunteered at local mosques teaching children Arabic nearly every weekend. This summer, Lelya hopes to learn more about the agriculture system in Nashville and use her leadership skills to help improve it.

Fun Fact: If Leyla could have any superpower, she would have all of the knowledge in the world.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Miranda MooreMiranda Moore is a rising sophomore at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. She loves working with kids, and has many years of experience as a camp counselor. Miranda is looking forward to sharing her knowledge of healthy foods and nutrition with campers this summer, and is excited to learn more about urban agriculture throughout the process.

Fun Fact: If Miranda could only eat one type of food forever, she would choose Clementines.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Megnot Mulugeta

Megnot Mulugeta is a rising senior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School where for the last two school years she has helped organize fundraisers for FEED, an organization that helps feed and clothe children in Haiti. With a newfound interest in gardening, Megnot aims to help others to make healthier choices this summer.

Fun Fact: If Megnot could have any superpower, she would be able to read minds.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Farhiya Omar

Farhiyo Omar, a rising junior at Hillwood High School, is very excited to be spending a second consecutive summer teaching at Crop City this year. Farhiyo says that being able to watch the kids smile and grow last year was a very rewarding experience and is looking forward to again sharing her knowledge of farming with others.

Fun fact: If she could do anything she wanted, Farhiyo would travel the world.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Rayan OsmanRayan Osman is a rising junior at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School. Rayan is co-founder of her school’s Muslim-Student Association and regularly tutors elementary and middle school students. After college, Rayan plans to go to Somalia to help residents fight poverty. She hopes to gain knowledge about agriculture this summer.

Fun Fact: Reading is Rayan’s favorite hobby – it’s a really fun activity, she says.

 

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Intern Carson ThomasCarson Thomas is a rising senior at University School of Nashville where she co-leads USN’s Environmental Club, is captain of the Ultimate Frisbee Team and is involved with the Student Sustainability Initiative. Carson has served as a fellow at the Urban Farm for the last year, and is thrilled to be joining us again for her second consecutive summer as an Urban Agriculture Intern at Crop City.

Fun Fact: If Carson could only eat one type of food forever, it would be pasta.

 

2014 Urban Agriculture Chloe VaccaroChloe Vaccaro is a recent graduate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet School and will attend UT Knoxville in the fall. As an Urban Farm Fellow and Urban Agriculture Intern for the past two summers, Chloe continues to make an impact at the Urban Farm. Chloe’s long-term goal is to help increase access to healthy food for families located in food deserts and hopes to continue to learn about organic farming this summer.

Fun Fact: If Chloe could only listen to one CD/album forever, it would be Live by Erykah Badu.

Through music, Jenny Sai shows the world to neighborhood youth

Written by Audrey Jackson, YVC Outreach AmeriCorps Member, Hands On Nashville

This first appeared in Be More, a publication that promotes intercession opportunities for Metro Nashville Public Schools families.

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Jenny Sai, a Hume-Fogg student, serves as a Hands On Nashville YVC Intern. She teaches kids at McFerrin Park Community Center about music, art, and different world cultures.

For 18-year-old Jenny Sai, music is a way to show younger youth how vast and diverse the world really is.

A senior at Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet in Nashville, Jenny first began devoting her time to volunteering in the community after participating in a seventh-grade fundraising event. “We were trying to keep my tennis team’s program from shutting down,” says Jenny. “We hosted a parade to raise funds, and there were a ton of people. The atmosphere was just special. It felt like what we were doing was for a good cause.”

This experience inspired her to find other ways to donate her time, energy, and talents. Shortly after entering high school, Jenny discovered ways to volunteer with Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) and began serving as a YVC Intern during her sophomore year.

For Jenny, volunteering is an opportunity to share her passion for music and the arts with younger youth. In her role as a YVC Intern, she designs and facilitates educational and skill-building lessons for youth served by area nonprofits. During her three years as a YVC Intern, she has volunteered at The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and is now serving at McFerrin Park Community Center.

Having played the flute and piano since elementary school, she sees music as a way for kids to connect to something bigger than themselves. Jenny’s lessons have included everything from creating homemade instruments to sharing music and traditions from other cultures.

HONphoto2“One of my favorite lessons was making henna hand tattoos with the girls [at Catholic Charities] and listening to Bollywood music to learn about the culture of India. While Indians use henna for celebrations, some of the Ethiopian girls I was working with use henna to dye hair or clothing. The girls thought it was so cool; it connected them to another culture.”

With only a few months until graduation, Jenny is savoring the rewarding moments she’s experienced at McFerrin Park Community Center this school year. Located in East Nashville, the center offers after-school activities for neighborhood youth. Jenny hopes to expose the kids to the diversity of other cultures.

On a recent visit to the center, Jenny spread out a colorful map on the floor and pointed out different Latin American countries. She talked about the different types of music that can be found across Latin America. “This was one of my favorite volunteer days,” says Jenny. “The kids and I talked about how big the world really is. They began to understand that while people are all different, really, we’re all the same. Volunteering has opened my eyes to what goes on in our communities and in our world.”

Are you interested in getting more involved in your community? Hands On Nashville offers a variety of youth leadership opportunities that empower young people to learn, grow, and become effective community leaders. Applications are now being accepted! Learn more and apply today at www.HON.org/youthleaders.

Thank you for voting us #1 Best Nonprofit!

We are feeling the love this week in a big way. What great enthusiasm our city has for volunteerism!

FIRST: Thank you, Nashville, for voting us “Best Nonprofit” in the 2013 Nashville Scene Readers’ Poll. We are honored to share this recognition with two great organizations, Ronald McDonald House Charities and Thistle Farms. A special thank you to the Nashville Scene and Jackson National Life Insurance for awarding us $5,000 – this money will go to support our work to meet critical community needs through volunteerism.

This city sure is proud of its culture of service, and we are truly honored to play a part in making volunteerism something that Nashvillians value. All of our good work is made possible by the remarkable gifts of time and talent provided by selfless volunteers and community partners.

LAST (but certainly not least!): We were also honored this week when our fearless leader and CEO, Brian Williams, received The Bank of America CEO of the Year Award at the 2013 Salute to Excellence awards dinner. This award highlights the importance of executive leadership in an organization’s achievement of mission-related results. Thanks to the Center for Nonprofit Management and Bank of America for this wonderful recognition!

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Back to School Tutor Fair Recap

The Salvation Army was just one of many nonprofits at the Tutor Fair.
The Salvation Army was just one of many nonprofits at the Tutor Fair.

The need for tutors who can assist both youth and adult students in Middle Tennessee is greater than ever. Believe it or not, there are usually more than 100 tutoring opportunities listed on the HON website at any given time. But while such a large number of openings provides potential tutors with a nice variety from which to choose, it can be overwhelming for them as well.

With a new school year underway, Hands On Nashville welcomed 18 local nonprofits and more than 75 volunteers to its offices for the inaugural Back to School Tutor Fair on September 5.

The goal of the event was to connect potential volunteer tutors with the nonprofits who need them most and simplify the process that matches individuals with tutor openings. The gathering also provided an opportunity for Hands On Nashville and its nonprofit partners to address some of the common questions and concerns individuals have about tutoring in general.

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A prospective volunteer learns more about tutoring opportunities.

Overall, the Back to School Tutor Fair was an enormous success. Individuals were able to meet a variety of nonprofits in a personal, face-to-face setting and learn about tutoring opportunities that they can fit into their busy schedules.

“It was fantastic to see such a large turnout for this important initiative,” said Kirsten Floyd, HON’s Nonprofit Program Manager, who helped organize the event. “Having nonprofits and potential tutors meet in person, rather than be connected over email, was a great way to start filling the many tutor openings available in the area.”

Hands On Nashville still has plenty of tutoring openings available throughout the Fall. If you missed the Back to School Tutor Fair but you’re interested in tutoring a local student, contact Kirsten directly, and she’ll help you out.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Back to School Tutor Fair!

Introducing the 2013 YVC Interns

Meet our 2013 Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) interns! These twelve outstanding teens will serve as part of a leadership team that works with Hands On Nashville staff to develop and lead youth projects that impact the community. Each Intern has chosen one of the following three concentrations – Arts, Fitness and Nutrition, and Technology – and will design and facilitate educational and skill-building lessons for youth served by area nonprofits. All of these Interns have proven themselves to be truly kind and hardworking individuals, so without further ado…
ArthurArthur Liu loves to go fishing and set up aquariums. Now in his senior year of high school, he wanted to become a YVC intern because he saw it as an opportunity to make a difference in his community while practicing some teaching skills.
BrittanyBrittany Taylor Paschall, a senior at MNPS Middle College High School, enjoys reading, writing, singing, good football, and spending time with the people she loves. Being part of the YVC will allow Brittany to serve her community while exploring her passion for health and fitness. Brittany is very excited to work with HON, the YVC, and to serve the clients of Preston Taylor Ministries!
Caroline DruryCaroline Drury is a Junior at Hume Fogg High School. She is very excited to be working as a YVC intern. She loves teaching, encouraging, and motivating others!
Esther PhambuEsther Phamabu is a junior at Martin Luther King Magnet school. Her passions include traveling, dancing, and volunteering. Esther wanted to be a YVC intern because she felt it was an opportunity to help out in her community and grow as a person in something that she loves to do. Esther is very excited to be a part of the YVC family this year!
Jenny Head ShotJenny Sai is a senior at Hume-Fogg High School, and this will be her 3rd year as a YVC intern in the arts track. She enjoys sharing her love of music with others and exposing students to new musical varieties, which was her inspiration to start teaching. Community service has been a huge part of her high school career, and Jenny aspires to keep it up during college and beyond!
Julian TurnerJulian Turner is a senior at Mt. Juliet High School. He believes that everyone has a duty to contribute to the betterment of their communities. Julian saw the YVC internship as an opportunity to elevate his involvement in the Nashville community and to make that contribution.
Kara CobbKara Cobb is currently a junior at Hume-Fogg. Kara wanted to be a YVC intern because she wanted a chance to give back to the community and help others.
LaurelLaurel Cunningham is a junior at Harpeth Hall High School. Laurel wanted to be an intern with YVC in order to work with kids and teach them about healthy lifestyles so they are set for the rest of their lives. She also wanted the experience of working with and meeting new people her age to solve issues in our community.
LaurenLauren Levy is currently a senior at Brentwood High School and is an active member of the Interact club as well as the tennis team. Becoming a YVC intern is more than a leadership opportunity for her. It is also a chance to lead in the community and directly help and impact the lives of youth throughout Nashville.
Rachel WestRachel West attends Brentwood High School. She enjoys running cross country, playing lacrosse, and helping run the Habitat for Humanity chapter at her school! Rachel joined YVC because she really wanted to make a positive impact in the community, and thought it would be a great opportunity to do so!
RuiqiRuiqi Chen (pronounced Ricky) is a sophomore at Hume-Fogg. She really loves anything to do with the arts, and is especially into music. Ruiqi wanted to be a YVC intern because it seemed like a lot of fun and a good way to give back to the community at the same time.
Zach GradyZach Grady wanted to become an intern for Hands On Nashville to help the community and become a more well-rounded leader. He enjoys helping others & making new discoveries. Zach feels that there’s always an opportunity for change if you’re willing to apply yourself.
Learn more about HON’s youth programs here!

Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Dance Theatre of Tennessee

DTTlogoNashville may be known as Music City, but music isn’t the only art form flourishing here.

Our featured nonprofit, The Dance Theatre of Tennessee (DTT), has been fostering the development and expansion of dance throughout Middle Tennessee for nearly ten years. As the performance arm of the Asian American Performing Arts Society, the DTT bills itself as “storytellers on toes” and delivers the pageantry of ballet and live dance theater to enthusiastic fans here in Nashville through a variety of programs and initiatives.

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Just some of the many students learning dance at the DTT.

Founded with a goal of exposing new audiences to the diversity and beauty of dance, the DTT has made tremendous strides in fulfilling that mission and has carved out a solid niche among the numerous performing arts organizations in Nashville under the leadership of Artistic Director Christopher Mohnani.

The organization provides affordable and accessible professional performances throughout the area, offers superior academy dance training, fosters enlightened outreach programs, and works to bring eminent national and international artists, choreographers, and premiere works to Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

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DTT dancers with local students after an outreach event.

The DTT is headquartered in a 14,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that plays host to many of the group’s performance events. It is also home to an expansive slate of dance classes that annually engage more than 150 students. Additionally, the DTT enjoys partnerships with more than 25 local arts organizations and nonprofits, and the organization has reached more than 20,000 Middle Tennesseans through professional and community performances in the last three years alone!

One such individual, Pennington Elementary teacher Kathryn McCarthy, was inspired and touched by the DTT’s outreach work with students in her school:

The Dance Theatre of Tennessee enjoys a strong presence in the local community.
The Dance Theatre of Tennessee enjoys a strong presence in the local community.

“Dance Theatre of Tennessee’s programs, especially those bringing ballet to the people and the schools, should be applauded,” she says. “(They) showed all students a different way to tell a story by using the beauty of dance and music. It not only enriched the lives of my students, but also of those throughout the school community.”

The DTT is heavily reliant on the work and support of volunteers to further its mission. In particular, operational functions for live performances at various venues in Middle Tennessee are almost entirely staffed by volunteers.

>Click here to volunteer with the Dance Theatre of Tennessee!

The group’s second annual “Ballet in the Park” performance series in Centennial Park will take place later this month, and volunteers will be needed to fill a number of roles, including welcoming park goers, handing out programs, ushering, and assisting at the information booth and kids tent. Individuals can also volunteer to help in setting up and ‘striking out’ lights and equipment for performances during the series.

Important dates for Ballet in the Park is as follows:

September 17-19: Setup Days
September 19 and 26: Full dress and technical rehearsals
September 20-22 & 27-30: Performances
October 1: Post-performance/strike out day

Be sure to visit the DTT’s website for more information about the group’s offerings. If you’re interested in volunteering with the Dance Theatre of Tennessee, contact Christopher Mohnani at 615-391-5500 ext. 3 or via email: cmohnani@dancetheatretn.org.

A Match Made in Service: A HON Day Love Story

Guest Post by: Lauren Repass

Two years ago I was given the opportunity to volunteer at Hands On Nashville Day. Even though I had other friends volunteering and I knew it would be a good experience for me either way, another motivating factor for me to participate was to hopefully make a connection with a co-worker I had a crush on named Marcus.

I got up two hours before I had to be at the school site so I could do my hair and make-up and pick out the perfect outfit. I arrived at the school at 8 a.m. that Saturday morning. Once I arrived, I met up with all of the other volunteers and we gathered around so we could get instructions. I was assigned to the same team Marcus was (surprise!) We were outside painting the portable classrooms when we made our first connection.

After a day full of painting and some yard work, we continued on to the HON Day afterparty, which was great. We were able to meet some of the people that were volunteering at other schools that day and ask how their projects went. We also got to meet some of the students and teachers. The Hands On Nashville staff was very appreciative of everyone’s efforts and how much we achieved in that one day. They also catered a lunch for us at the afterparty and had raffle prizes. I won a CMT One Country bag with tons of cool stuff in it and Marcus won tickets to the play Holes at the Children’s Theatre.

Marcus and I were the last guests to leave the afterparty because we were having such a good time talking. As we were leaving, Marcus asked if I would like to see the play with him soon. Of course I said yes! We ended up having our first date together before we made plans to see the play. That was almost two years ago and now we have a little boy named Lincoln who is seven months old and we are getting married in October in Florida!

Hands On Nashville Day not only gave me the opportunity to do some good work in my community, it helped start my wonderful family as well. I have no doubts that we were meant for each other and that things would have worked out for us no matter what. But the fact that our first encounter was at HON Day really helped make our connection strong right from the beginning. We were able to see each other’s charitable side immediately, and that is something that helped us grow together as a couple and will help our new family grow in the future. Marcus and I continue to volunteer and promote this great opportunity.

A true HON Day family: Lauren, Marcus, and baby  Lincoln.
A true HON Day family: Lauren, Marcus, and baby Lincoln.

Hands On Nashville Day 2013, the community’s largest day of service to public schools, will take place Saturday, September 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 Noon. More than 1,500 volunteers will take part in done-in-a-day improvement projects such as painting and landscaping at 50-plus Metro Nashville Public Schools, greatly enhancing learning environments for both students and teachers alike. Following the school projects, all HON volunteers are invited to attend the CMT One Country Celebration at The Listening Room Café for a complimentary lunch, free entertainment, and door prizes. Learn more about HON Day 2013 and how you can participate at: www.HON.org/honday.

Nonprofit Partner Spotlight: Mid South Chapter, National MS Society

imageChances are, you probably know someone who suffers from multiple sclerosis (MS). The disease affects an estimated 2.1 million people worldwide and does not discriminate between men and women or adults and youth. While great strides have been made in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of MS in recent years, the battle against this crippling disease continues.

Leading the fight in the U.S., the National MS Society works toward its organizational vision of a world free of multiple sclerosis by funding research initiatives, facilitating professional education and advocacy efforts, and providing programs and services that help those with MS and their families move their lives forward.

Our featured nonprofit, the Mid South Chapter of the MS Society, is based in Nashville and serves more than 9,000 individuals in Tennessee, northern Georgia, northern Mississippi, and eastern Arkansas.

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An enthusiastic youngster shows support for the MS Society.

They offer an array of support services and educational programs for MS patients and their families, including a lending library of books and audio materials, empowerment seminars, employment programs, wellness and exercise program referrals, and much more. The Mid South Chapter oversees 25 different self-help groups, all of which are led by volunteers. Plus, they organize a number of events throughout the year that help raise awareness about the disease and the Society’s work.

Volunteers are a driving force in the movement to cure MS. For the Mid South Chapter, committed and dedicated volunteer help is an essential component of the group’s advocacy efforts, programming, and day-to-day activities. The Chapter has a variety of flexible volunteer opportunities available, both ongoing and short-term.

>Click here to volunteer with the National MS Society’s Mid South Chapter!

Three of the Chapter’s biggest annual events are right around the corner and volunteers are needed to assist with all of them.

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Both recreational and serious riders alike can participate in the MS Society’s bike tours.

At Fall Crush, a unique wine tasting and auction that takes place in mid-September, individuals can volunteer to assist with guest registration, silent auctions, and wine pairing stations. During two separate bike tours – Bike MS: Bike to Jack and Back and Bike MS: Rock ‘N Roll – volunteers will help with registration, staffing rest stations, assisting with traffic flow, loading luggage, and setup and cleanup projects.

Individuals can also assist with in-office work, such as bulk mailings, phone calls, and event organizing. Those who are skilled at using programs like InDesign or Publisher are also needed to help with the group’s marketing and promotional efforts.

Be sure to visit the Mid South Chapter’s website to learn more about their outstanding work. If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Michelle Stewart at michelle.stewart@nmss.org (event volunteer opportunities) or Abby Mullen at abby.mullen@nmss.org (in-office volunteer work).