Tag Archives: volunteers

Hands On Nashville Announces 2020 Strobel Volunteer Award Recipients

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Sept. 17, 2020) – Middle Tennesseans were honored for their volunteerism during Hands On Nashville’s 34th Annual Mary Catherine Strobel Volunteer Awards, presented by Jackson National Life Insurance Co. Recipients were unveiled during a multiday, virtual ceremony, which occurred Sept. 14–16.

The annual event recognizes volunteers for their outstanding contributions to the community, and celebrates the life of Mary Catherine Strobel, a Nashvillian who had 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.

“Mary Catherine Strobel was the living embodiment of generosity and service to others,” said Lori Shinton, president and CEO of Hands On Nashville. “In light of the recent events in our community – including the March tornado and pandemic currently impacting our country – it is more important now than ever to honor the amazing volunteers who do Mary Catherine’s legacy proud by giving back.”

Community members submitted 165 nominations for the 2020 Strobel Volunteer Awards.

“This event celebrates the spirit of giving that is so crucial to improving our city,” said Aimee DeCamillo, chief commercial officer and president, Jackson National Life Distributors LLC, the presenting sponsor for the awards. “We are thrilled to take part in such a proud tradition and help recognize all of these volunteers for their incredible dedication, in the hopes that they may inspire the next generation of givers to take up the cause.”

The award recipients are as follows:

  • Sherri Mitchell-Snider – Capacity-building Volunteer Award
  • Chicktime – Civic Volunteer Group Award
  • Creative Artists Agency Nashville – Corporate Volunteerism Award
  • Emily Phan – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 5 to 20)
  • Adam Crookston – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 21 to 49)
  • Claudia Prange – Direct Service Volunteer Award (Ages 50-plus)

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About the 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.

Photos by Nathan Morgan Photography

Survey shows volunteers want to help, but are concerned about exposure to COVID-19

In June, Hands On Nashville invited community members to take a survey gauging their thoughts and attitudes toward volunteering during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hope was to get a clearer picture of how volunteers felt about weighing the risks of volunteering against the expanding needs in our community, so that we can work with our nonprofit partners to carve out safe and impactful ways volunteers can help Nashville get through this tough time.

Thank you to everyone who took the survey and shared their thoughts with us! 

The survey was completed by 223 individuals, the majority of whom identify as having volunteered through HON before.

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Respondents indicate an increased desire to volunteer in part because of events including the March 3 tornado. However, more than half of respondents also report worrying that volunteering will increase their risk of exposure to COVID-19.

Respondents also report that they don’t necessarily have more time to volunteer now than they did earlier in the year, before the tornado and pandemic hit. A solid majority indicated they would volunteer more once the pandemic was over.

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We asked respondents to evaluate a handful of volunteer scenarios and and gauge their comfort levels with each. Overall they reported greater comfort levels with outdoor projects and projects capped at 10 people. Their comfort levels fell the larger the project attendance grew. Respondents also report feeling much more comfortable volunteering at a project where all the other volunteers are known, as opposed to volunteering with a group of strangers. (To create a volunteer team that can sign up for projects together, click here.)

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We asked respondents to share any additional thoughts they had on volunteering during the pandemic, and several respondents replied that they are in a high-risk category — either through their age, their baseline health status, or both — and do not feel comfortable volunteering. A good portion of Nashville’s volunteer base is retirement age, so we anticipate this consideration is having a substantial impact on the number of overall volunteers serving at this time. Some respondents also replied that they are a caretaker for someone in a high-risk category, and do not want to expose themselves for fear of transmitting the virus to the high-risk person in their care.

Several respondents also commented about how they would prefer to volunteer remotely — from home or delivering things in their car — during this time. (To see a roundup of virtual volunteer projects, click here.)

Some other comments:

I’m more than willing to volunteer as long as I am protected and those around me are as well. If proper guidelines are being followed and there aren’t a mass of people on top of each other, I would also feel comfortable.

I would absolutely love to help, but until the pandemic is over, I am extremely uncomfortable participating in any volunteering event where I’d be in close proximity to anyone else, especially if they aren’t required to wear a mask at all times.

I, like many, am unsure of what to do. Really want to volunteer, but unsure if bringing myself into a scenario will put others at risk. Also, unsure if I will need to limit my exposure to my workplace or to family, etc. as a result.

There is no question that fear of COVID-19 is limiting my willingness to volunteer these days though I have made some food deliveries and done a few solo clean-up projects.

I am reluctant to be around individuals I do not know. I am learning more and more that many people are being quite cavalier about their exposure to COVID-19.

I have less time with kids home and a son with a mild heart condition. So, I can possibly do things out of my house or where I can run around in my car (with some of my kids possibly). My kids would like to help as well, just worry about Covid right now.

Show of Hands Week Day 7: Support volunteerism and HON during The #BigPayback

Between May 1-7, Hands On Nashville will highlight ways to stay connected and serve your neighbors even as our community honors social distancing guidelines. Check back here and on our social media channels to join in our #ShowOfHandsWeek: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

During the first week of March, 26,000 volunteers raised their hands in a massive show of support for their neighbors. Our city began its recovery: one brick, one meal, one neighborhood at a time.

One thing we know: We would do it all again in a heartbeat.  

But we know something else, too. The needs in our community didn’t begin with the tornado, or a flood, or any other disaster. And they won’t go away when disaster recovery efforts end.

And neither will we.

Today, during The #BigPayback, we ask you invest in Hands On Nashville and our vision for a city made #StrongerThroughService.

One brick, one meal, one volunteer at a time.

For 29 years, it’s been Hands On Nashville’s great honor to partner with countless individuals and agencies in the movement to make our city a better place to live and work. Thank you for joining us.

TODAY’S ACTIVITIES (MAY 7): Support volunteerism and Hands On Nashville during The Big Payback

For a week, we’ve been sharing creative and fun ways to stay connected to your neighbors through kindness and service. Today we’re asking for your help so that we can ensure a bright future for volunteerism in Middle Tennessee.

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#ShowOfHandsWeek Activities

While #ShowOfHandsWeek is officially coming to a close, you can revisit these activities and opportunities for inspiration any time!

FRIDAY, MAY 1: Raise your hand and tell us why you choose to be a helper

SATURDAY, MAY 2: Sign up to serve as a volunteer in May

SUNDAY, MAY 3: Bring color and hope to a neighbor with flowers 

MONDAY, MAY 4: Join the local mask-making effort

TUESDAY, MAY 5: Give thanks for those on the front lines

WEDNESDAY, MAY 6: Find a virtual volunteer opportunity

THURSDAY, MAY 7: Support volunteerism and Hands On Nashville via The Big Payback

 

Tornado Clean-up Efforts Planned for Weekend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 3, 2020) – The office of Mayor John Cooper, in partnership with Hands On Nashville, has announced plans for organized tornado damage clean-up efforts this weekend.

Sites for these efforts will be announced in the coming days. Emergency response personnel are on the ground assessing the situation and identifying high-priority areas. Those interested in volunteering can continue to sign up at HON.org. Volunteers will be notified as locations and specific opportunities come available, both for the weekend and during the rest of the week.

WHO
Mayor Cooper’s Office
Hands On Nashville
Volunteers across Middle Tennessee

WHAT
Organized weekend tornado clean-up efforts

WHEN
Saturday, March 7, and Sunday, March 8
Two shifts each day: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. / 1 to 5 p.m.

WHERE
Clean-up sites to be announced soon

Hands On Nashville is working closely with the City of Nashville and the Office of Emergency Management to ensure available resources are in place to help the Middle Tennessee community in wake of the tornadoes that tore through the city in the early hours of March 3.

Other ways to help

Those interested in making a monetary donation toward recovery efforts can do so through the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

Those wanting to donate items (there is a major need for personal hygiene items, bleach, trash bags, gloves, box cutters, baby and toddler clothes, formula, underwear, bras, batteries, flashlights, baby food and heavy-duty tarps) can do so by dropping off or mailing to the Community Resource Center at 218 Omohundro Place, Nashville, TN 37210.

Food donations can be done through Second Harvest Food Bank.

Resolve to Serve Stories: Doing Good

For nonprofits, the quest to get professional, effective brand messages out to the community takes time and resources that are sometimes hard to come by. That’s where Doing Good comes in.

Doing Good, founded in 2014 by Megan McInnis, pairs media-savvy volunteers with nonprofits in need of communications tools and resources. The organization is powered by volunteers with experience in marketing, public relations, and other skilled fields.

“Long-term volunteers are incredibly valued at Doing Good,” said McInnis, who serves as the organization’s president. “We try to match our volunteers with how Doing Good can benefit them.”

One volunteer, Charley Arrigo, joined Doing Good as a social media volunteer. Arrigo was also working as a courier and trying to figure out his career. He developed into Doing Good’s “Twitter Guru,” McInnis said, and organically increased the organization’s following to more than 1,200 from 200.

Arrigo had such a positive experience as a Doing Good volunteer that he decided to pursue a career in social media and marketing. He has since moved to Washington, D.C., where he landed a full-time job in marketing.

McInnis said that some volunteers, like Arrigo, come to Doing Good seeking résumé-building experience, while others are more interested in finding out about the variety of nonprofits in Middle Tennessee.

“Some want to use their talents for good, some simply want to give back, and others want to meet like-minded people,” McInnis said.

Some creative long-term roles at Doing Good include graphic designer, marketing committee member, video producer, public relations consultant, and grant writer.

“Doing Good spends time up front with each volunteer to talk about what they are looking for and how Doing Good can help,” McInnis said. When the volunteer is better matched up front, she said, the volunteer, nonprofit, and community benefit.

 

Marketing PR Conference for Nonprofits

Doing Good is hosting a marketing and PR conference for nonprofits.

When: Oct. 11 from 1-5 p.m.

Where: TBD

To register: Sign up here or email director@doinggood.tv for details

Doing Good’s mission is to educate and engage communities by promoting and celebrating “Doing Good” through volunteerism. Browse all volunteer opportunities with Doing Good here. 

Photos courtesy of Doing Good.

Resolve to Serve Stories: Insight Counseling Centers

At Insight Counseling Centers, VIPs are more than just celebrities (though they’re still very important people). Volunteer Intake Practitioners (VIPs) serve as the front line for Insight. They field callers’ questions, conduct intake interviews, and match new clients with the right mental health professionals.

Formerly known as the Pastoral Counseling Centers of Tennessee, Insight Counseling Centers offers spiritually integrative counseling services for individuals, couples, and families. The organization also offers training and mental health awareness education.

Victoria Driver, one of Insight Counseling Centers' first VIPs
Victoria Driver, one of Insight Counseling Centers’ first VIPs

As one of the first volunteers in the Intake Department, VIP Victoria Driver began taking potential clients’ phone calls. Victoria learned Insight’s electronic medical records software in order to enter client information and make appointments, and then offered to help Insight’s Financial Coordinator, Brydget Carrillo, with additional tasks. Driver developed an integral front-of-house role to include indispensable behind-the-scenes service.

“We rely on her, and she does not disappoint,” Carrillo said of Driver. “Whenever I volunteer, Victoria is the person I want to emulate.”

While volunteers support Insight, Insight supports its volunteers. Many VIPs hope to someday become counselors themselves, and Insight gives them practical experience in a unique and progressive agency. Volunteers also often connect with Insight’s mission because their family members, or they themselves, have healed through counseling. At Insight, they’re able to give back the life-changing and life-saving service they received.

Volunteers like Driver have helped extend Insight’s reach in Middle Tennessee. Since 1985, Insight has expanded to eight centers throughout the area and delivers 5,000 hours of counseling each year. Insight’s Advisory Council meets monthly to promote community outreach and to fundraise for the organization’s financial assistance program. In 2016, volunteers on the council contributed to a 46 percent increase to the financial assistance provided between 2015 and 2016.

 Insight Counseling Centers provides quality, spiritually integrative mental health counseling services for individuals, couples, and families; training for professionals; and mental health awareness education for communities in Middle Tennessee. Browse all volunteer opportunities with Insight here.

Photos courtesy of Insight Counseling Centers.

 

Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Lamers

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Hands On Nashville volunteer Alex Lamers planting trees at Meigs Middle Magnet School during the fall 2014.

“Don’t be afraid to try something new.”

These are the words Alex Lamers recalls using as encouragement when getting involved with Hands On Nashville more than a year ago. He says they still ring true today. Continue reading Volunteer Spotlight: Alex Lamers

Volunteers Give Refurbished Bikes to Nashville Youth

200 Youth Benefit From Hands On Nashville’s Third ReCYCLE for Kids Giveaway 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On Sunday, two hundred youth served by Metro Parks community centers took home “like-new” bicycles, and brand new helmets and locks as part of Hands On Nashville’s third ReCYCLE for Kids Giveaway event. Continue reading Volunteers Give Refurbished Bikes to Nashville Youth

Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville Receives Top Honor

NASHVILLE NAMED ONE OF THE TOP YVC PROGRAMS IN NORTH AMERICA

Hands On Nashville's Youth Volunteer Corp was named a Gold Level Aff
Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps was named a 2015 Gold Level Affiliate. #hypedonhelp

Nashville, Tenn. – Hands On Nashville’s Youth Volunteer Corps was named a 2015 Gold Level YVC Affiliate, one of only nine throughout the U.S. and Canada. The youth service program, hosted by Hands On Nashville, offers volunteer opportunities for more than 800 youth who serve more than 4,000 volunteer hours every year. Continue reading Youth Volunteer Corps of Nashville Receives Top Honor