Last updated on January 17th, 2020 at 06:23 am
While some people participated in the march from Jefferson Street to Tennessee State University campus, other activities took place all over the city on January 20 in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Presenting sponsor Regions Bank and event sponsors Advance Financial and Belmont University helped Hands on Nashville (HON) coordinate approximately 700 volunteers who gathered at 10 sites of Metro Parks and Recreation community centers and the Nashville Rescue Mission for a painting project as a part of the MLK, Jr. National Day of Service.
While visiting the South Inglewood Park Community Center, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean offered a sincere thanks to the volunteers that volunteered to assist in painting these facilities.
“Nashville citizens are beginning 2014 in a meaningful way by honoring Dr. King’s legacy and choosing to serve others,” said Mayor Dean. “Thanks to the spirit of generosity that fuels these types of community-building efforts in our city. This is even more meaningful today as we honor Dr. King’s vision of service uniting communities.”
“Metro Parks community centers serve as one of Nashville’s most important neighborhood resources,” said Tommy Lynch, director of Metro Parks. “We are grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who spent their days off in honor of Dr. King to help make these center events more inviting to community members.”
“We’re thankful for HON volunteers who took time out to come to the center,” said Adrean Gregory, Metro Parks facility coordinator. The entire building, from the gymnasium to the offices and hallways, were being painted with the exception of the restrooms. As recreational leader for South Inglewood Park, Tammy Smith is always glad to see the community come out and support the park activities.
Brian Williams, CEO of Hands On Nashville said: “MLK Day of Service is a very appropriate way to honor King. As we were looking for ways to serve we wanted it to be very public. We feel that community centers show that kind of public service as they serve all people.”
As this is the third year of painting during the MLK Day of Service, Williams noted that they find this a great opportunity to raise awareness of service.
“It shows that people can engage and will volunteer,” Williams said. “This day seems to kick off volunteer services for Hands on Nashville each year. And Nashville ranks number 12 of the largest cities in the United States in terms of volunteerism, according to the Corporation for National and Community services released in a recent report, ‘Volunteering and Civic Life in America 2013.’”
Painting guide, Alix, led a busy task force as she instructed volunteers that ranged from the extremely inexperienced to elected officials and office workers.
Councilman Scott Davis, employers of sponsors and other community volunteers were busy painting as Congressman Jim Cooper paid a visit to the Community Center to express his gratitude of service to the public parks.
Advance Financial works to improve local community centers
Advance Financial, a financial services retailer with locations throughout Middle Tennessee, partnered with Hands On Nashville’s Annual Martin Luther King Day of Service on Jan. 18 and Jan. 20. Over the holiday weekend, Advance Financial employees volunteered more than 75 hours to restore the Hadley Park Community Center in North Nashville and the South Inglewood Community Center in East Nashville.
“We are excited to be working with the Hands On Nashville organization to improve our local parks and community centers,” said Tina Hodges, Chief Executive Officer of Advance Financial. “We are dedicated to the neighbors and communities we serve and we are proud to support organizations that are making a difference in Nashville.”
In the past year, Advance Financial has donated more than $10,000 and hundreds of volunteer hours to support Hands On Nashville’s community improvement efforts.
“We have enjoyed a long-term partnership with Advance Financial and its very dedicated workforce,” said Tara Tenorio of Hands On Nashville. “It truly takes a village. Their financial contributions combined with their employees’ dedication to their neighborhoods makes a real difference in the community.”