Tag Archives: Strobel Awards

Hands On Nashville announces 2022 Strobel Volunteer Awards recipients

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 13, 2022) – Middle Tennesseans were honored today for their volunteerism during Hands On Nashville’s 36th annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, presented by Jackson National Life Insurance Company® (Jackson®). Recipients were announced in an intimate ceremony that was also live-streamed on HON’s social media channels.

The Strobel Awards honor volunteers of all ages and backgrounds for their significant service to their communities, and celebrates the life of Mary Catherine Strobel, a Nashvillian who displayed an outstanding dedication to service. This marks the first in-person Strobel Awards ceremony in two years.

“Last year was a difficult one for Nashville residents as we all navigated flooding, COVID-19 and more; but these individuals recognized a need and filled it through their volunteer work,” said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “We are honored to join together to celebrate the incredible service exhibited by these volunteers and recognize the impact of their efforts in our community at this year’s Strobel Awards.”

Community members submitted more than 140 nominations for the 2022 Strobel Volunteer Awards, each of whom displayed the spirit of volunteerism. The public was invited to vote for their favorite stories of service and a panel of judges selected the seven award recipients, who will receive a $1,000 gift card to give to the charity of their choice. The other 14 finalists will receive $250 to donate to charity.

“Congratulations to all Strobel Awards recipients,” said Niya Moon, manager of corporate philanthropy at Jackson. “Your heart for service continues to make Nashville a better place to live. We are thrilled to join Hands On Nashville and others in our community in acknowledging the resilience of volunteers during an extremely challenging year.”

The award recipients are as follows:

  • Direct Service – Youth Volunteer: JohnThomas Atema
  • Direct Service – Adult Volunteer: Kimberly Webb
  • Direct Service – Older Adult Volunteer: Vera Coleman
  • Group Volunteer Service Award: Congregation of Alameda Christian Church
  • Capacity-Building Volunteer Award: Susanne Shepherd Post
  • Social Justice Impact Award: Linda McFadyen-Ketchum
  • Disaster Relief Volunteer Award: Hispanic Outreach Task Force

About the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards

The Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards are named in memory of the late Mary Catherine Strobel, known for her extensive and charitable efforts toward improving the lives of Middle Tennessee’s unhoused, underserved, and disenfranchised communities. The annual awards ceremony celebrates her service and recognizes those who continue her legacy. For more information, visit HON.org/strobel_awards.

About Hands On Nashville

Hands On Nashville (HON) builds capacity for individuals and agencies to meet needs through service. Its programs connect volunteers to opportunities supporting 200-plus nonprofits, schools and other civic organizations; help these partners reimagine volunteer potential; and bring awareness to the challenges facing the people and places in our community. HON also partners with the city to coordinate volunteers whenever there is a disaster. For more information, visit HON.org or call 615-298-1108.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Announcing the 2022 Strobel Volunteer Awards finalists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (April 1, 2022) – Hands On Nashville is pleased to announce the finalists for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, presented by Jackson National Life Insurance Company. The 2022 Strobel Awards honor volunteers from 2021 – which saw a devastating flood, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, and unprecedented need throughout our most vulnerable communities. Winners will be announced May 13 in a small ceremony that will be live streamed on HON’s social media channels.

“It was difficult to narrow this year’s phenomenal nominees down to just a few finalists,” said Hands On Nashville President and CEO Lori Shinton. “2021 was a challenging year, but the inspiring stories of these finalists show that Middle Tennessee is full of caring people who live out the spirit of the Volunteer State.”

The Strobel Volunteer Awards honor volunteers of all ages and backgrounds for significant community service achievements. This year’s celebration will be held with a small in-person reception, and community members are invited to visit hon.org/strobel2022 to show support and vote for their favorite stories of service between April 1-30.

A screener panel read more than 143 nominations this year and narrowed them down to three finalists in each category.

The finalists are:

Direct Service Volunteer — Youth

  • JohnThomas Atema
  • Maddie McDaniel
  • Riya Narayan

Click here to read the Direct Service — Youth stories of service

Direct Service Volunteer — Adult

  • Greg O’Loughlin
  • Kimberly Webb
  • Lina Londoño Tinsley

Click here to read the Direct Service — Adult stories of service

Direct Service Volunteer — Older Adult

  • Carole Sergent
  • Edward Arnell
  • Vera Coleman

Click here to read the Direct Service — Older Adult stories of service

Capacity-building Volunteer

  • Carole Purkey
  • Sunny Fleming
  • Susanne Shepherd Post

Click here to read the Capacity-building Volunteer stories of service

Group Volunteer Service

  • Congregation of Alameda Christian Church
  • Connect Us Outreach Ministry Volunteers
  • Come to the Table

Click here to read the Group Volunteer Service stories of service

Social Justice Impact Volunteer

  • John Bull
  • Linda McFadyen-Ketchum
  • Veronica Zavaleta

Click here to read the Social Justice Impact Volunteer stories of service

Disaster Relief Volunteer

  • Hispanic Outreach Task Force
  • Joe Gaines
  • Office of Emergency Management Emergency Support Unit

Click here to read the Disaster Relief Volunteer stories of service

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Strobel Finalists 2022: Direct Service — Adult

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Direct Service—Adult category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 at the button below!

Greg O’Loughlin

Greg O’Loughlin
Volunteers with the Oasis Center 

Nine years ago, Greg O’Loughlin joined Oasis, a nonprofit that helps young people in Middle Tennessee transition into a successful and content adulthood. He became a volunteer within Oasis’ bike workshop, where young Metro school students can pick out a bike and learn how to both build and maintain it. In 2014, O’Loughlin and manager Dan Furbish wanted to advance the program and launched the Oasis Mountain Bike Team, which coaches kids to practice and compete on bike courses all over the state.  

With hundreds of hours of service dedicated to Oasis’ bike workshop, O’Loughlin has acted as not only a teacher, but a mentor to over 120 of the students the organization works with each year in partnership with Nashville schools and community centers. The bike team has continued to be successful with national coverage from media outlet NPR that led to recognition in the Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Broadcasting. O’Loughlin’s first public school mountain bike team consisted of eight international Metro Nashville Public School students from El Salvador, Mexico and Egypt. Since then, he has continued to help connect the mountain bike team and the bike workshop to STEM teachers across Nashville schools. As the director of the Educator’s Cooperative, O’Loughlin has also applied his knowledge to go the extra mile for the students by helping bring attention to the bike program across the Nashville area.  

O’Loughlin has continued to be a reliable resource for the students he champions alongside students on the mountain bike team. Last year, the Oasis Bike Workshop was granted the Max Barry Fund, which was used to take the mountain bike team to the Appalachian Mountains on a three-day camping trip. With such responsibility and dedication to students, “Greg helped me ensure the children’s safety on some pretty treacherous terrain in a certified wilderness area with no cellphone service and miles from emergency help. My mind was at ease knowing that I could rely on Greg had an emergency occurred,” shared Furbish, co-coach of the mountain bike team.  


Kimberly Webb

Kimberly Webb
Volunteers with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) 

Kimberly Webb is no stranger to volunteering with children as she has been a mentor, advocate and peer to children at the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for the past decade, serving over 17 children and teens. At home, she continues to serve children as a foster mother who has provided a home and a safe environment for over 20 children.  

Eleven years ago, Webb joined the volunteer team at CASA Nashville as a peer coordinator and volunteer advocate and currently serves three additional youth in foster care. As a volunteer who prioritizes the relational aspect of serving, she is known to make children feel individually cared for and heard. Webb’s colleagues have said that she is a dependable and consistent role model to the organization and children as she steps into a gap wherever she can. Her services have no limitation on distance and cost, as she has continued to visit, deliver snacks and spend time with former Nashville-residing children who have grown up and moved to different cities and states.  

In 2020, Webb lost her 20-year-old son, David, in an unexpected and tragic accident. Amid her grief, she remained faithful to her commitment to advocacy work to the children of Tennessee. As she is a foster mother and children’s advocacy volunteer, all her services and volunteer work are motivated by her son. Webb further leaned into the volunteer opportunities at CASA even more after the loss of her son by taking on the role of peer coordinator, mentoring new CASA volunteers, continuing to open her home to foster children and working on two cases as a CASA volunteer advocate.   “I didn’t expect CASA volunteer work to be so involved when I joined 11 years ago. CASA really makes a difference when a child or teen sees your face. Other adults come in and out of their lives, both family members and professionals; but seeing a face they recognize and trust makes all the difference,” Webb shared.


Lina Londoño Tinsley

Lina Londoño Tinsley
Volunteers with Conexión Américas 

As a global marketing manager and life coach at Conexión Américas, Lina Londoño Tinsley has provided many Latino community members with advice to help them obtain the fulfilling life many strive to achieve. Tinsley has volunteered with members of the adult Latino community and is continuing to help them navigate their business, discover their passions and find their voice.  

Conexión Américas is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities for Latino families to succeed, and Tinsley’s work consistently continues to be one of the most highly attended and engaged classes throughout the program, even during virtual classes for the past two years. Tinsley continues to receive rave reviews from her students that exemplify her ability to connect with others authentically as well as impart powerful guidance that leads small-business owners in the right direction. As a mentor who empowers the women of the Latino community, Tinsley has encouraged the community to do the controversial among the community and take risks to pursue their passion. Tinsley has created a bridge between herself and her students by emphasizing the importance of prioritizing mental health within her classes. This holistic approach has granted students the space and environment to fully trust and act on Tinsley’s advice with their small businesses.   Tinsley continues to have a huge impact on the members and students of Conexión Américas, specifically on a student who began the Negocio Prospero program at the nonprofit. Tinsley’s guidance and support to the young student helped her create a business model that capitalized on her strength of cooking. The student now owns a successful catering business that Tinsley helped guide her toward not just personally, but professionally. 

To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Strobel Finalists 2022: Direct Service — Older Adult

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Direct Service—Older Adult category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 using the button below!

Carole Sergent

Carole Sergent
Volunteers with Tennessee Resettlement Aid, Nashville International Center for Empowerment, The Branch of Nashville, and individual refugee families

Carole Sergent was one of the few independent volunteers who saw a need and carved her own path to meet it. When the Afghan refugees began to arrive in Nashville, Sergent immediately acted by collecting donations needed for survival. Since then, she has recruited over 200 people who help to donate and deliver items to over 250 Afghan refugees who have arrived in the United States.  

When refugees began arriving in Nashville, official relief agencies were not fully staffed, which is when Sergent jumped in to provide crucial services to those in need. She began working with the Tennessee Resettlement Aid (TRA) to create a network of donors through word-of-mouth and social media to provide clothing, linens, household items, toiletries, toys, and more. The TRA now works alongside the Nashville International Center for Empowerment (NICE) to receive necessary information about new Afghan arrivals and volunteers. This system provides emergency boxes of food from The Branch of Nashville food bank to families two or three times per day.  

Through her service, Sergent has served many Afghans and has hundreds of success stories for providing resources and opportunity for refugees. She not only provides refugees with the items they need for survival, but has also helped them find schools for children, jobs, documentation needed for work, and even opened her home to those who need a place to do laundry.  “There are hundreds of success stories from Carole because she has created a huge volunteer network and is managing it to work efficiently and effectively. Every volunteer who has delivered emergency food or clothing or transportation can tell you a story that would make you cry,” shared a colleague of Sergent’s. 


Edward Arnell

Edward Arnell
Volunteers with Preston Taylor Ministries 

Edward Arnell has been a consistent and dependable face to many of the students at Preston Taylor Ministries. Serving the students of Mt. Nebo four days a week, Arnell has become not only a mentor to many of the students, but also a friend, tutor and spiritual adviser.  

Within Preston Taylor Ministries, many of the people who dedicate their time do not reflect the population of the surrounding neighborhood and the culture of the students. Arnell not only lives in the neighborhood but is also a volunteer of color. With Preston Taylor Ministries serving a majority African American population, students can relate and feel more connected to Arnell and his service. “When students see Mr. Edward serving, they can see themselves doing the same. This is what causes change in communities, people being inspired to be the difference,” shared a colleague of Arnell’s.  

He has become a role model and inspirational guide for many of the students at Preston Taylor Ministries by providing them with homework and reading tutoring that has allowed them to exponentially increase their grades in school. Arnell also provides meals to students once a week through his own income. His full-course meals with homemade desserts have become a favorite of the students at Mt. Nebo.  

As a deacon at Mt. Nebo, Arnell also acts as a spiritual adviser for the students at Preston Taylor Ministries. He is known to give truthful and inspiring advice to the students while also providing them with scripture that he encourages them to memorize and live out daily.   


Vera Coleman

Vera Coleman
Volunteers with FiftyForward 

As a National Community Engagement Partner for the All of Us Research Program, Vera Coleman joined the nonprofit organization FiftyForward to help advance precision medicine with the National Institutes of Health. 

As one of the All of Us Research Program’s first ambassadors, Coleman has been volunteering alongside the program since its launch in 2018. The newly founded program’s goal is to recruit 1 million volunteers from historically underrepresented communities in biomedical research to share their health information and transform the current one-size-fits-all health care system. Because of Coleman’s contribution, the All of Us Research Program has enrolled over 450,000 individuals so far, with over 80% of those representing historically underrepresented communities in biomedical research. The All of Us Research Program team helps staff community events and health fairs and speaks at in-person and virtual events. Vera has additionally gone the extra mile to sit on nationwide panel discussions on the need for diversity, including older adults, in medical research. The volunteer role requires a heavy amount of in-person interaction that requires a sense of trust from the potential program enrollees.

Coleman has been known to not only earn the trust of those enrollees, but also become a respected leader in her community as she is quick to address fears and concerns of those she’s created relationships with. She has been known to her team and program enrollees for her wisdom, expertise and compassion in her personal interactions.  

During the pandemic, Coleman continued her dedication and services to the All of Us Research Program as a virtual panelist on discussions of diversity and a podcast guest on FiftyForward’s new podcast, Squeeze the Day, where she discusses overcoming online barriers.   With a strong scientific background as the first African American woman in the field of research at Meharry University and Vanderbilt University, Coleman is a trusted source among many. “I’ve always believed in the merits of research. Now, I have an awesome opportunity to be involved in something that will prove beneficial not only for me, but for my family and community as well. The All of Us Research Program has become my passion,” she shared.


To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Strobel Finalists 2022: Disaster Relief

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Disaster Relief category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 at the button below!

Hispanic Outreach Task Force
(Marcela Gomez)

Hispanic Outreach Task Force
Volunteers with Hands On Nashville, offers assistance to Latino community in need

In the aftermath of the March 2021 flood, south Nashville was in particular need of disaster relief. While there were many volunteer organizations making recovery efforts at the time, it was quickly realized that a task force of community members who could understand and navigate the cultural nuances of the largely Latino community was needed. This task force consisted of Diane Janbakhsh, Jennifer Novo, Veronica Selcedo, Wendy Silva, Karla Vazaquez and Veronica Zavaleta, all well-known and influential community members. The team immediately crafted a plan to reach members of the Latino community who were in need and let them know that relief was available.

Before the Hispanic Outreach Task Force was assembled, only a handful of Latino residents felt comfortable reaching out for help; after several outreach events and media pushes conducted by the team, over 300 requests for disaster relief from homeowners and renters in the area were received, allowing volunteers to mobilize and help residents. Without this task force, many members of the Latino community in south Nashville would not have had a trusted avenue to reach out for help with disaster recovery. Although the members of the task force didn’t expect any recognition for their work, they are honored to be nominated. “Offering the talents and skills life has given you for the service of others is an honor,” said Marcela Gomez, who was instrumental in assembling the task force. “You don’t volunteer with the mindset that you will get something back; you volunteer because you are grateful to be alive.”


Emergency Support Unit volunteers

Emergency Support Unit
Nashville Office of Emergency Management

During Nashville’s tremendous rainfall and historic flash flooding in March 2021, crews were quickly needed to help rescue residents who had been trapped in dangerous situations. That’s when the Emergency Support Unit (ESU), a team of roughly 30 community members ranging from CEOs to teachers, mobilized. This team volunteered their extensive training to help Nashvillians in need.

When Nashville started flooding, this team, several of whom are trained specifically in flood and swift-water response, put their skills to use and saved dozens of lives. The ESU conducted numerous home, vehicle and high-water rescues. When a Metro Nashville police officer was swept from his vehicle during the night and into rushing, debris-filled, 20-foot-deep water, the ESU team conducted an emergency rescue in the dark, saving the officer’s life.

“ESU volunteers are dedicated to serve their community and its citizens during their time of need during emergency and non-emergency incidents that affect our community,” said a representative from the Office of Emergency Management. “This is a great honor for us.”


Joe Gaines

Joe Gaines
Volunteers with Waverly Flood Survivors and Westminster Presbyterian Church

Joe Gaines has been an active disaster relief volunteer since Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans in 2005. He volunteered to help during Nashville’s 2010 flood, and after the 2020 tornadoes in Putnam and Davidson Counties. When flooding devastated Waverly, Tenn., Gaines’s actions were no different – he jumped in to help.

Since the August flooding, Gaines and his team have worked on 12 homes impacted by the storms. His team works on the most severely damaged homes, the ones many other teams walk away from. What makes Gaines’s work special is he recognizes these houses are more than damaged buildings, they’re people’s homes. When on site it’s a priority of his to introduce volunteers to the home owners to show just how important their work is.

“I feel that there is a call to help others in their time of need,” Gaines said. “I also enjoy hands-on labor and the fellowship of my fellow volunteers. My life has been rewarded by seeing the appreciation of those we help.”

Gaines is tireless, and works with a quiet determination and thorough knowledge of his skill set. After the attention has diverted from Waverly and the resources have dwindled, he’s remained dedicated to the flood victims. He continues to gather a crew two days a month to help those who have lost so much, and is often found working long after other volunteers have headed home.

He is the heart of his group, and the motivation to keep everyone positive throughout the day. He says he’s fortunate to work with his fellow members at Westminster Presbyterian Church, and continue their long tradition of service.

To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Strobel Finalists 2022: Group Volunteer Service

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Group Volunteer Service category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 at the button below!

Come To The Table
(Jennifer Ray and Gloria Damron)

Come to the Table
Volunteers who founded an initiative to feed the hungry while offering physical, emotional and spiritual support.

Come to the Table Tennessee is a faith-based nonprofit community organization established in January 2019 by Jennifer Ray and Gloria Damron, out of the desire to feed the hungry while offering physical, emotional and spiritual support. Each week, Jennifer and Gloria serve a free hot meal at Damron’s Restaurant to anyone in need — children, the elderly and all ages in between. Since 2019, they have grown Come to the Table by recruiting new volunteers to the cause, who now serve between 95 and 150 guests weekly. 

What sets this organization apart is not just feeding the hungry and meeting basic needs. These women and the other volunteers strive to meet emotional needs as well, lending an ear, offering friendship free of judgment, and providing a community where people can eat, talk and laugh – filling a void that too often goes unnoticed in the lives of the hungry. As their colleague explains: “These two ladies are committed to lessening the burden of hunger in our town. There are other food sources in town, but the difference in this one is not only do they strive to feed those who are hungry but they also minister to them through non-judgmental friendship and caring.”

“[Gloria] and I began the ministry in January 2019, hoping to feed the hungry in our community a hot meal one night each week. Together we are making a difference in the lives of 100-plus each week,” Jennifer said.  We laugh together, pray together and share life together. It is about more than feeding their bodies; it is about feeding their souls and sharing hope with them.”

 


Connect Us Outreach Ministry
(Mary Yarbrough and Kathy Morrison)

Connect Us Outreach Ministry Volunteers: Frank Brooks, Mary Yarbrough, and Evang. Kathy Morrison
Volunteers who serve locally to provide food boxes, clothing, and household goods for those in need.

For years, Frank Brooks, Mary Yarbrough and Evang. Kathy Morrison have volunteered at Connect Us Outreach Ministry, a locally owned outreach center that provides hands-on work to make a difference in the lives of those across the Nashville community. 

Throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Frank, Mary and Kathy have risen above the call of duty, diligently preparing and distributing food boxes, clothing and household goods for those in need, distributing masks and sack lunches to homeless populations throughout the city, and providing necessary supplies to tornado victims. They have embodied Connect Us Outreach Ministry’s core mission each day, treating all whom they serve with grace regardless of religion. For those with needs that outstrip the Ministry’s resources, Frank, Mary and Kathy have worked tirelessly to connect them with the necessary resources through other organizations. 

This trio has dedicated their lives to serving the community. This past summer, Frank tragically passed away, a significant loss for the Ministry, his fellow volunteers and the city. In a true testament to his love for this community, Frank spent his last day assisting Kathy and Mary with food box assembly. To this day, Kathy and Mary continue to volunteer with Connect Us, and do so in Frank’s honor and memory. 

When asked about her nomination, Mary said, “I was drawn to this Ministry by the work of the director working with women that were homeless, in the jail system, and those in the community that are in need by providing clothing, food boxes and household goods when they find housing.”

 


Alameda Christian Church Ministry Volunteers

Congregation of Alameda Christian Church
Volunteers who serve with the Society of St. Andrew to coordinate and facilitate large-scale food distributions for communities in need.

The congregation of Alameda Christian Church has volunteered with the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) for five years, aiding the nonprofit in their efforts to provide healthy food, reduce food waste and forge community bonds by ensuring no one goes hungry. 

Alameda has striven to involve as many members of their congregation as possible, from youth groups to deacons. In the last two years, they have hosted three “crop drops,” which are large-scale events to distribute food boxes and thousands of pounds of freshly grown produce to those in need. In addition to hosting, they ensured the event was accessible for all, so that all volunteers, regardless of age or ability, were able to take part in dropping off the food, organizing food bags, and distributing to agencies and others in need. In total, their work to host the last three crop drops increased the amount of food shared in middle Tennessee by 76,000 pounds.

Through their diligence and dedication, Alameda has helped SoSA reach new, underserved areas of the Nashville community.

“We are a small church with a BIG heart. Our members are a diverse, inter-generational team of volunteers with a singular mission to put healthy, fresh, nutritious produce in the hands of those in need in the community,” said Alameda Christian Church representatives about their work. “We are blessed and grateful to volunteer with the Society of St. Andrew to be change agents making a difference in alleviating hunger issues in the community.”

To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Strobel Finalists 2022: Social Justice Impact

Congratulations to these three finalists in the Social Justice Impact category of the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! Vote for your favorite story of service until April 30 at the button below!

John Bull

John Bull
Volunteers with Open Table Nashville

John Bull is a longtime volunteer for Open Table Nashville (OTN), an interfaith, grassroots nonprofit that seeks to disrupt cycles of poverty, journey with the marginalized and provide education about issues of homelessness. Whether on the streets, in the woods, under bridges or in encampments, OTN meets Nashville’s homeless population where they are — and no one exemplifies this more than Bull , who assists with outreach efforts day in and day out. In his daily visits to encampments, Bull acts as the eyes and ears for OTN among the unhoused community, providing the supplies they need to survive outside, communicating when the overflow shelter is open, monitoring flood activity and transporting those in need of medical attention. On their own, these actions are vital to humanizing those impacted by homelessness, a population that has grown substantially over the years in number and need. However, to do it the way Bull does – tirelessly, daily and totally ingrained into his routine – is lifesaving. 

Bull ’s efforts extend beyond daily checks. In 2021 and for many years now, he has attended WeGO board meetings, city council meetings and other community meetings to better campaign for accessible resources for the unhoused, the decriminalization of homelessness and affordable housing. He is a one-of-a-kind volunteer who does the direct, daily work while also advocating for sustainable, systemic changes that our city needs.

“John makes a huge difference in so many people’s lives that just need someone to help them access the systems of care that currently are not accessible in our city,” his nominator shared. “They just need someone on their side, and John is this someone for so, so many of our unhoused friends. It is rare to have someone who shows up for our unhoused friends in the capacity he does — always advocating for our friends, never judging, all as an organic, authentic part of his own lifestyle.”

When asked about his nomination, Bull simply said: “We are all in this together.”


Linda McFadyen-Ketchum

Linda McFadyen-Ketchum
Volunteers with Moms Demand Action Tennessee

Linda McFadyen-Ketchum has given almost 50 years of volunteer service to the city of Nashville and the state of Tennessee. As a full-time volunteer activist for national organization Moms Demand Action, she gives a voice and power to those who are impacted by gun violence. In 2013, McFadyen-Ketchum jump-started the organization of Tennessee’s ‘Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America’ following the Sandy Hook massacre. Through determination and grassroots leadership, Linda helped grow from a Nashville chapter of five moms to a fully-fledged, nationally recognized organization that includes nine local groups statewide. 

Since founding the Tennessee chapter of Moms Demand Action, McFadyen-Ketchum has devoted her life to achieving justice and peace for those impacted by gun violence. Her dedication extends to legislative efforts, such as educating lawmakers; testifying before the legislature; establishing a “State Legislative Rapid Response Team” in Middle Tennessee; and coordinating with other statewide organizations serving vulnerable populations affected by gun violence like Tennessee trauma surgeons, LGBTQ+ advocacy groups, the NAACP and racial justice organizations, foster care agencies, and suicide prevention organizations. Most importantly, however, Linda lifts up survivors: She invites survivors and families who have lost loved ones to meetings to offer respect and healing. 

“Linda’s exceptional volunteer work with Moms Demand Action Tennessee gives a voice and power to those who are impacted by gun violence and gun deaths in our city and state,” a colleague shared. “Many of those victims are African American children and their mothers and families, many deeply in need of a voice for their pain and loss.”

“Many [survivors] don’t have power or resources, and are especially vulnerable in the face of such grief. We lift up survivors by using our power and resources to assist them,” McFadyen-Ketchum said. “I am a survivor of gun violence and a retired public school teacher. The Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012 woke me up to the gun violence epidemic we Americans are living with now. We don’t have to live like this, and I am doing everything I can to save Tennesseans from gun death and injury.”


Veronica Zavaleta

Veronica Zavaleta
Volunteers with Hands On Nashville and Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition

A local and national community organizer and activist, Veronica Zavaleta has availed herself to Nashville’s immigrant community and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients since 2010. Amid changing legislation and uncertainty, she has gone above and beyond the call of duty, helping to coordinate an event to benefit Nashville’s Hispanic community impacted by the flood, recruiting other volunteers and organizing outreach to assist with everything from supplies to paperwork for immigration cases. 

Immigration issues hold a personal element for Zavaleta, yet she takes great personal risk each day to fight for the local immigrant community, one which has historically been ignored and underserved. Her selflessness is evident in the breadth and depth of her service — she not only gives her all to uplifting this community, but also recruits others to the same cause, amplifying her impact and maximizing the potential for change. In the words of a colleague, “What sets Veronica apart is that she goes beyond what is being asked of her. She is always an advocate at heart. For Veronica, anybody in need regardless of the reason needs to be addressed, and she ensures that happens.”

“I was called to serve in this world, and if I don’t serve, I don’t know what I would do,” said Zavaleta about her nomination. 

To see a full list of the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, click here.

Congratulations to the 2022 Strobel Volunteer Awards nominees!

We’re so excited to announce the nominees for the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards! 2021 was full of incredible acts of service and responding thoughtfully and creatively to help meet our communities’ needs. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers nominated, and for those who took the time to nominate! Read on for a full list of nominees in each category.

What’s next: We’ll announce the finalists on April 1, and the public will be able to vote for their favorite stories of service between April 1-30.

Save the date for the celebration: Join Hands On Nashville on Friday, May 13, when we’ll announce the award recipients on our website and social channels. Sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any important announcements!

Capacity-building Volunteer 

Recognizes individuals who provided significant operational or administrative support in 2021 to a nonprofit agency, faith-based ministry or community organization, or developed an innovative approach to significantly improve an existing program.

  • Bob Teague
  • Brian Morris
  • Carole Purkey
  • Erin Samuelson
  • Holly Therrell
  • Jaclyn Mothupi
  • Jacobia Dowell
  • Kamilah Sanders
  • Kiersten DeVore
  • Kristen Adams
  • Leslie Hooper
  • Maddi Vowell
  • Marc Bussone
  • Maureen May
  • Nathan Webb
  • Sunny Fleming
  • Susanne Shepherd Post

Group Volunteer Service 

Recognizes any group of two or more individuals who volunteered together in 2020 for a specific issue or cause. Some group examples are faith-based, civic, membership, and corporate. 

  • Alamada Christian Church
  • Blair and Robin Gilley
  • Bridge Builders
  • Catholic Charities Diocese of Nashville – First Impressions Unit
  • Co-Historians for the Cordell Hull Chapter of the United Nations Association
  • Come To the Table
  • Connect Us Outreach Ministry
  • Cross Point Church
  • Designed Conveyor Systems, LLC
  • Dr. Robert Stein’s Group
  • ELL Teachers: Brian Disney, Karen Disney, Lisa Mosley, Lu Smith, & Paula Stephens
  • Feeding Music City
  • FortyAU
  • Founding Members of the Native American Indian Association of Tennessee
  • Friends Life Community
  • Greater Nashville Chapter of National Charity League
  • GROW Enrichment
  • HCA Healthcare
  • Keith and Meryl Kraft
  • Legacy Mission Village
  • Melissa Kaiser and Chandler Anderson
  • My Friend’s House
  • Nashville Angels Volunteer Board Members
  • Open Hands Nashville
  • Patchwork
  • People Loving Nashville
  • The Greater Nashville Church
  • Tractor Supply Company

Disaster Relief Volunteer 

Recognizes those who made a significant contribution to helping Nashville recover from the tornado, pandemic, or bombing in 2020. 

  • Anthony Lopez
  • Hispanic Outreach Task Force
  • Joe Gaines
  • Maria Elena Amado
  • Nashville OEM Emergency Support Unit
  • Sherry Nicholson
  • Tami Hilbert
  • Thomas Fortney
  • YAIPak Outreach

Social Justice Impact Volunteer

Recognizes individuals whose volunteer work in 2020 was centered on dismantling or calling out systemic injustice or oppression and lifting up disenfranchised communities. 

  • Amy Hodges Hamilton
  • Caitlyn Herrington
  • Dawn Warner
  • Jasmyn Cheatham
  • John Bull
  • Kathy Halbrooks
  • Khandi Marthel
  • Linda McFadyen-Ketchum
  • Maureen Organ
  • Rocio Zenon Honorato
  • Veronica Zavaleta

Direct Service Volunteer — Youth  

Recognizes individuals who contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources in 2020 to help the community. Volunteers ages 5-20 are eligible for this award.  

  • Anjali Babu
  • Bailey Bonde
  • Chandler Sheridan
  • Connor Parr
  • Cora Funk
  • JohnThomas Atema
  • LeeAaron Berks
  • Maddie McDaniel
  • Riya Narayan
  • Ronae Briley
  • Sarah Lowe
  • Shreya Priyadarshi
  • Sterling Gale Lekki
  • Sydnee Elizabeth Floyd

Direct Service Volunteer — Adult 

Recognizes individuals who contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources in 2020 to help the community. Volunteers ages 21-49 are eligible for this award.

  • Amanda Fermstad
  • Amanda Healan
  • Bernard Britton
  • Beverly Stanton
  • Britta Roach
  • Brittany Parker Short
  • Cassandra Fecteau
  • Chuka Onuh
  • Crystal Clark-Chatman
  • Daniel Craig
  • Emily Bratton
  • Greg O’Loughlin
  • Jahnari Edwards
  • Jared Elzey
  • Jennifer Meadows
  • Jeremy Trujillo
  • Kari Leigh Ames
  • Kat Shaoul
  • Kevin McKellar
  • Kimberly Webb
  • Lina Londoño Tinsley
  • Liz Rogers
  • Maria Arvizu
  • Simone Lampkin
  • Walter Enrique Polanco Díaz

Direct Service Volunteer — Older Adult

Recognizes individuals who contributed significant volunteer time, energy, and/or resources in 2020 to help the community. Volunteers ages 50 and up are eligible for this award. 

  • Alan Hulst
  • Angela McLoughlin
  • Biars Davis, Jr.
  • Bill Kaludis
  • Carole Sergent
  • Charles High
  • Dana Morrow
  • DeeDee Sudarshan
  • Doris Ann Hendrix
  • Edward Arnell
  • Edward Kothera
  • Jim Neely
  • Joan Clayton-Davis
  • Judy Meskell
  • Leigh Barnes
  • Lesa Prime
  • Linda McFadyen-Ketchum
  • Mark Brown
  • Mary Dionne
  • Maureen May
  • Michelle Giffen
  • Mike McAllister
  • Pierre Hunt
  • Robin Salyers
  • Ronny Lewis
  • Ruthann Getz
  • Sandra Frank
  • Sharon Berenfeld
  • Teresa “Terri” Smith
  • Teresa Barry
  • Tom Mulgrew
  • Vera Coleman
  • Vince Zaccardi
  • Walt Grooms
  • Yvonne Joosten

Thank you to our generous Strobel Volunteer Awards sponsors 

Join us next week for the 36th Annual Strobel Volunteer Awards!

After a year of significant challenges, we are SO READY to hear some amazing stories of service. We’re very excited to share that the 36th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards will feature fun prizes and categories that honor the unique service of Nashville volunteers.

Plus, the public will get a chance to vote for their favorite story of service!

ACT FAST! The first 25 nominators will receive a $50 giftcard to Hattie B’s!



Award Categories 

Capacity-building Volunteer 

Disaster Relief Volunteer 

Group Volunteer Service

Social Justice Impact Volunteer

Direct Service Youth (Ages 5-20) 

Direct Service Adult (Ages 21-49)  

Direct Service Older Adult (Ages 50+)

 Learn more about categories and submission criteria.

Make a difference by nominating!

Award recipients will receive a $1,000 gift card from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and finalists will receive a $250 gift card to donate to the charity of their choice. The public will get a chance to vote on their favorite story of service before the recipients are announced May 13.


About the Awards  

The Strobel Volunteer Awards were created to honor the memory of Mary Catherine Strobel, a Nashville volunteer known for her compassion and generosity. The ceremony, now in its 36th year, has grown to become Middle Tennessee’s largest celebration of service. 
Learn more here.


Hands On Nashville announces 2021 Strobel Volunteer Awards recipients

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 1, 2021) – Middle Tennesseans were honored for their volunteerism during Hands On Nashville’s 35th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, presented by Jackson National Life Insurance Company. Recipients were announced on HON’s website, social media channels, and featured on Lightning 100.

The annual event recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the community, and celebrates the life of Mary Catherine Strobel, a Nashvillian with an outstanding dedication to service. Winners are typically honored during a luncheon at the Music City Center; however, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit opted to recognize recipients virtually.

“Last year presented challenges that could only be met by the unbreakable spirit of this community and its volunteers,” said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “We are so honored to celebrate that incredible spirit and some outstanding individuals through the Strobel Volunteer Awards.”

Community members submitted more than 160 nominations for the 2021 Strobel Volunteer Awards. The public was invited to vote for their favorite stories of service, and a panel of judges selected the recipients, who will receive $1,000 to give to the charity of their choice. Finalists will receive $250 to give to charity.

“Congratulations to all Strobel Awards recipients,” said Aimee DeCamillo, Chief Commercial Officer and President, Jackson National Life Distributors LLC. “This has truly been a shared celebration of service, and we are honored to join Hands On Nashville and others in our community to acknowledge the resilience of volunteers during one of the most challenging years for our city.”

HON introduced two new categories this year — Social Justice Impact Volunteer and Disaster Volunteer — to acknowledge the extraordinary volunteer work that took place in 2020.

The award recipients are as follows:

  • Direct Service — Youth Volunteer: Sydnee Floyd, Jumbled Dreams Changing Lives
  • Direct Service — Adult Volunteer: Teaka Jackson, Love Thy Neighbors
  • Direct Service — Older Adult Volunteer: Dennis Caffrey, Siloam Health
  • Group Volunteer Service Award: Bridge Builder’s Program, Inc.
  • Capacity-building Volunteer Award: Corrie Anderson, Community Resource Center
  • Social Justice Impact Award: Greta McClain, Silent No Longer
  • Disaster Relief Volunteer Award: Maria Amado, Community Resource Center

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About the Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards

The Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards are named in memory of the late Mary Catherine Strobel, known for her extensive and charitable efforts toward improving the lives of Middle Tennessee’s homeless, impoverished and less fortunate populations. The annual awards ceremony celebrates her service and recognizes those who continue her legacy. View all nominees for the 2020 awards.

About Hands On Nashville

Hands On Nashville (HON) builds capacity for individuals and agencies to meet needs through service. Its programs connect volunteers to opportunities supporting 140-plus nonprofits, schools and other civic organizations; help these partners reimagine volunteer potential; and bring awareness to the challenges facing the people and places in our community. For more information, visit HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.