Jack in the Box and Nashville News 2 teamed up on Friday to help provide school supplies to local school children.
The partnership helped spread the word about United Way “Stuff the Bus” campaign.
“We are trying to prepare Nashville’s at risk students to go back to school this year. Our goal is to fill 3000 backpacks with school supplies which will be distributed to these students through our partner agencies and our United Way Family Resource Centers,” said Courtney Warden, United Way’s Manager of Community Engagement.
Participants of the event received a Jumbo Jack burger for just $1 with all of the money going to the campaign.
Nashville’s News 2 on-air personalities Neil Orne, Julie Kroenig, Justin Bruce, Randy Rauch and Davis Nolan were all on hand to sign autographs.
“Most people are coming out because they want to support the United Way and that is kind of nice to hear,” Orne said, adding, “It has been a great response so far and hopefully the United Way benefits financially.”
Donations can still be made for the cause until Wednesday, July 25 at the United Way office located at 250 Venture Circle.
Next Thursday, the Stuff the Bus Sort-a-Thon will kick off at 11:00 a.m. at Napier Elementary located at 60 Fairfield Avenue.
Volunteers are needed to help sort the supplies.
$55 million invested in community
United Way of Metropolitan Nashville this week recognizes our many partners who made possible a unique and unprecedented milestone: a $55.1 million investment in the community to make an impact on education, financial stability of families and health.
Many of us remember the days when United Way was synonymous with the large thermometer located in a conspicuous place in every community, displaying progress toward a fundraising goal that was established each year. Although that image is memorable, it only captured part of the story.
Today, the fundraising thermometer has been replaced by a graph that shows ever-increasing quantifiable return on investment. Over the most recent year, measurable and quantifiable return on United Way investment here in Nashville grew from slightly under $50 million to $55.1 million.
Here are just a few of the highlights:
• United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline exceeded the 1.2 million-call milestone, representing efficient connection of individuals in need with organizations, programs and individuals who are able to help them.
• United Way’s network of 18 Family Resource Centers in sites all across the community served more than 30,000 individuals with services that ranged from tutoring to job skills development, primary health care to utilities assistance, and a myriad of other deliverables that further their ability to lead productive lives and emerge from poverty.
• United Way made Outcomes Based Investments totaling $7.4 million in 148 programs operated by 63 partner agencies. Additionally, United Way’s investments helped these partners leverage an additional $16.1 million from other funding sources, magnifying United Way’s impact even further.
• In another extraordinary year, United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program helped over 10,000 low-income working families access more than $17.1 million in tax credits and refunds. These dollars were returned to our community and used by hard-working Nashvillians to pay rent, put food on the tables, educate their children, or just buy gas so they could get to work.
• Through an innovative prescription health-benefit program, United Way made approximately $302,000 in prescription drug savings possible for working Nashville families.
• Through United Way’s Days of Action, volunteers from the community invested 4,374 hours and more than $100,000 of in-kind products in community-changing initiatives.
• United Way attracted another $6.9 million in foundation and government grants designed to address specific education, financial stability and health objectives.
• United Way’s Read to Succeed program raised the bar to combine social achievement with literacy in preparation of more than 1,200 low-income and at-risk preschoolers for kindergarten and beyond. Since the program began, the percentage of children who are prepared to learn when they enter kindergarten has increased from 30 percent to more than 90 percent.
These highlights reflect examples of high-return investment that can be quantified and measured. We celebrate a remarkable year of value and impact made possible by companies, organizations and individuals who partner with United Way in many different ways.
We hope you will join us this next year as we aspire to grow our impact to ever greater heights.
Bob Dennis is campaign chairman of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and chairman, president and CEO of Genesco Inc.
Reported By Anne Holt, Anchor
An innovative public-private partnership has raised scores at a South Nashville elementary school by nearly 85 percent.
The brand new classroom at Napier Elementary School is not for students but for the parents of students who attend the school.
“Children who come to this school have some of the greatest needs of any children you’ll ever see,” said Dr. Jesse Register Director of Metro Schools. “They are beautiful children, but they need more.”
Realizing the challenge, the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville brought together a Nashville corporation and local architectural firm to provide more resources for Napier school and the community. What started as a welcome back for parents and students on the first day of school has blossomed into a renovated family resource center.
“When we created the Willis Foundation two years ago, [and] today was the sort of day we had in mind,” said Todd Jones of the Willis Foundation. “This is what the foundation is about. This is what we’re trying to do in the community.”
Willis volunteers tutored students at Napier, which has historically been one of the lowest performing schools in the state.
The school’s new resource center will meet many of the student’s needs from school supplies to food and clothing.
“This is what you and I would think of as a community center for families whose kids go to Napier,” said Eric Dewey of United Way. “When they come here they can get a lot of things addressed and they can focus of learning.”
The United Way hopes the project at Napier Elementary will be a pilot program to repeat the success at other schools in the district.
Each week millions tune in to watch contestants compete on the televised singing shows Duets, The Voice and American Idol. Hopefuls sing their hearts out in front of a panel of judges for a chance at becoming a national recording artist.
Now, the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville has taken this competitive formula and come up with a unique way to combine its mission and the talents of Nashville’s musicians for a worthy cause. With its third annual Stuff the Bus songwriting campaign, the group is looking for songwriters and singers to compete by writing a unique song about the power of helping those in need. The initiative helps at-risk students by providing them with back-to-school supplies.
Its goal is to prepare 2,000 backpacks for needy students with pens, pencils, crayons, rulers and other essentials for their first day of school.
“This is a wonderful way to get the music people involved, as well as the community,” said Marty Slayton, a United Way volunteer and advocate. Slayton, a judge for the competition, also is a backup singer for George Strait. “We are looking for songs with a positive message about lending a hand, volunteering and giving back — all of which is the mission of the United Way.”
The competition is open to professional and amateur songwriters and singers. Ten finalists will perform their songs live. Songs will be judged on lyrics, melody, production and relevancy to United Way’s mission. The winner will be announced that evening, and his or her song will be credited in a United Way of Nashville video, which will include a link to the winner’s website.
Interested individuals have until Monday to submit their songs through the United Way’s site: http://www.unitedwaynashville.org. There is a $10 contest entry fee.
The Stuff the Bus initiative already has helped schools, including Napier Elementary in South Nashville.
“The dedication and commitment from the United Way has helped us tremendously,” said Terri Lawson, director of the FRC Family Resource Center at Napier Elementary. “We were faced with children who did not begin school on time because they did not have the necessities. The United Way has been able to give every single student supplies and backpacks to begin school on time.”
Many families struggle to obtain the basics to get their children ready for school, Lawson said. “The relationship with the United Way allows us to remove these barriers and provide a basic and fundamental education for these children.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—Dr. Thomas F. Frist Jr., a founding member of Hospital Corporation of America, has received the inaugural United Way Lifetime Achievement Award in Nashville.
Frist, brother of former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, was given the award Wednesday night. He was recognized for initiating one of the largest philanthropic leadership societies in the world, the United Way Alexis de Tocqueville Society, and other endeavors.
The award was made at United Way’s Community Leaders Conference.
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)
Frank Daniels III: We each benefit from living united in giving
I’m not sure about trickle-down economics — personally I think we’d all rather be close to the spigot, versus waiting for the run-off — but I am a believer in the trickling impact of community leadership and investment. And Nashville has benefited greatly from the vision laid out by Dr. Thomas Frist Jr. in 1981.
In the late 19th century, communities began looking for ways to extend charity beyond the very important work being done by individual churches and religious groups. Church leaders wanted to band together and make their work more effective. This idea, originally developed in 1887 in Denver and called the Charity Organization Society, blossomed until the various and numerous “community chest” groups came under the umbrella of The United Way of America. And it, therefore, celebrates its 125th anniversary this year.
The original purpose of community-chest organizations was to help raise more funds for charity. The role expanded as businesses took a more active interest in them and advocated ways to help groups manage more effectively, find professional board members, and rationalize the delivery of services to match the needs of their communities.
By the 1960s, business leaders across the country were engaged in pushing the United Fund concept. Charitable giving became embedded in corporate America.
In 1981, Dr. Frist suggested the next step of that leadership.
At his behest, Frist and 27 other leaders in Middle Tennessee forged a pact to commit at least $10,000 a year to the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville (UWMN) to help their fellow citizens. These benefactors would be members of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of the UWMN, named in celebration of the compassion and generosity among Americans that French historian Alexis de Tocqueville observed during his 18th-century visits to the United States.
Dr. Frist’s innovative idea revved up the commitment to human-need charitable giving in the Nashville area. He persuaded other cities to join; in 1984, 355 people gave $4 million. Now, more than 500 communities have de Tocqueville societies, and in 2011, 25,725 families made gifts worth more than $514 million.
In recognition of his seminal idea, Dr. Frist will be awarded the inaugural United Way Lifetime Achievement Award from United Way Worldwide at the Community Leaders Conference at Gaylord Opryland on Wednesday.
The innovation and commitment that Frist pushed in 1981 seems to be an inspiration for the UWMN. They have moved well past the traditional role of acting as an efficient money manager and accountability board for local service providers. Now, they focus on: “What is all this investment doing to reduce the problems in our community?”
“We want to focus on outcome-based investment,” said Eric Dewey, president and CEO of UWMN. “How can we as an organization help solve the problems we face? How can we use the nonprofit network to make our community better?”
As Chairman Margaret Dolan said, “We should be the catalyst that brings people together to solve hard problems, and once solved, we move on to the next.”
Dolan’s day job is vice president of community relations for Ingram Industries, and she brings a no-nonsense approach to attacking the ills that beset our community in education, health and financial stability.
“The mission of United Way is not to get people to give money,” she said. “It is to get results.” She points to the 2-1-1 program where, with UWMN leadership, the community can find quick access to help secure financial stability; to the Bank on Music City program, where UWMN supports Mayor Karl Dean’s initiative to served the under- and un-banked population in Nashville; and to the Read to Succeed program that aims to have every child reading at grade level when they reach third grade.
Leadership benefits us all.
Read the original article here:
A recent GOOD article showcases the benefits (health-wise, money-wise, and environment-wise) of the fast growing food truck movement. In short, these eateries on wheels can provide affordable, high quality food to anyone and everyone. Food trucks are more than a marketing gimmick; they have a real chance to make a difference.
From the article:
Meanwhile, food trucks are providing a healthier answer to fast food chains. Our economy has irrevocably sped up. We’re knee-deep in the era of 15-minute lunch breaks and work days that extend far past our dinner times. The reality of ever-longer hours has cut across class lines. Even though food activists beg us to cook instead of eating out, sometimes a quick, cheap meal is the only option, and food trucks can provide us with a healthier alternative than McDonald’s or Subway. There is, of course, a huge difference between the greasy-spoon truck and the one that serves only grass-fed beef and cage-free eggs. Most food trucks aren’t yet stocked with bourgie, high-end food. But even if what you’re buying isn’t healthier than Panera, you’re at least supporting a small business owner at a corporate fast-food price point.
And, when we heard about how food trucks are making a difference in our hometown of Nashville, we had to share. Our friends at United Way of Metropolitan Nashville are benefiting from some food truck action.
If you’re in the area tomorrow (April 26), check out what’s going down around lunchtime:
The Food Trucks are coming to Donelson! Come join the fun and enjoy some great food while benefiting the community.
As part of Bridgestone’s 2012 United Way campaign, a diverse selection of food trucks serving the Nashville community will be visiting Bridgestone Americas (535 Marriott Dr.) on Thursday, April 26.
Food vendors including the following will be serving from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Ten percent of Thursday’s luncheon sales will benefit United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and community partners.
Preparing taxes can be stressful for even the most organized individual. Getting paperwork in order, filling out forms and meeting with professionals while unsure of whether you will receive a refund or owe additional taxes, can be an overwhelming process.
IRS-trained United Way volunteers offer expertise and process thousands of returns through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Providing a valuable service to others, these volunteers have a heart for community and the people they serve.
VITA is a critical resource offering free tax preparation assistance for individuals or families in the community who earned up to $57,000 in 2011. In Metropolitan Nashville alone, it’s estimated that more than $25 million in tax credits are unclaimed. Since its launch in 2004, more than 40,000 individuals and families have received nearly $60 million in tax refunds and Earned Income Tax Credits through the United Way-supported VITA program.
Following are firsthand accounts about individuals using United Way’s VITA sites this year:
• Tired of paying others to do his tax return, Paul visited the Dream Centers of Tennessee. Thanks to a VITA volunteer, he had his taxes done free and learned a small change on his W-4 may save him money in the future.
• After being informed of a $1,100 refund from a paid tax preparer, a client visited the Sam Levy site for assistance. Following a series of questions with the IRS-trained volunteers, she learned she qualified for the Earned Income Tax Credit and ended up with a refund exceeding $5,000!
• With the assistance of a volunteer, an onsite computer and software, a United Way client e-filed his return from a mobile VITA site and directly deposited a refund of almost $11,000!
• After completing her night-shift job, a client with a pounding headache showed up at St. Luke’s Family Resource Center to file her taxes. The headache disappeared when the thankful visitor learned of her $8,500 refundAs we count down to April 17, this year’s tax day, now is the time to tackle your taxes and tell others about the free United Way VITA program. With 19 sites in operation across Nashville, there is a site nearby for those meeting the income guidelines.
Call the United Way’s 2-1-1 Helpline to determine the site most suitable for your needs. Just dial 2-1-1. With approximately $25 million in unclaimed tax credit still available, don’t wait!
Margaret Dolan is board chair, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, and vice president, community relations, Ingram Industries Inc.
- United Way 211 gives free help with everyday life(PDF)
- Where can tax filers get help today?(PDF)
- Procrastinators up against tax deadline
- United Way campaign raises $15 million(PDF)
- United Way meets “Board Books for Babies” goal(PDF)
- Action Line: United Way can help find aid(PDF)
- Nfocus covers United Way Boyd Society event(PDF)
- United Way announces fundraising results at campaign rally(PDF)
- United Way’s results of campaign rally announced(PDF)
- Free tax help is available as April 15 deadline nears(PDF)
- Thrifty Tennesseans take on filing their own taxes(PDF)
- United Way offers free tax prep services in Davidson County (PDF)
- Program gives books to low-income families (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Programs help young parents (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Donations create second chances (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE:Legal aid helps bring stability (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Working families get helping hand at St. Luke’s (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Stand Down helps Veterans stand up (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Mental Health group helps save lives (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Dental clinic brings relief, smiles (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Next Door helps women in crisis (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Fifty Forward’s Adult Day Care (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Nurses for newborns (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Fannie Battle school helps kids to succeed (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Neighborhood clinics care for peole in need (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Charities find strength in unity (PDF)
- TENNESSEE SEASON TO GIVE: Ways to give transcend the current economy (PDF)
- TENNESSEE VOICES: Small donations are appreciated by United Way (PDF)
- TENNESSEE VOICES: Volunteers help give the gift of healthy smiles (PDF)
- TENNESSEE VOICES: Giving a little goes a long way (PDF)
- Creative Thinking: Area nonprofits take on new tactics to dampen recession’s impact (PDF)
- United Way event helps pregnant women and mothers (PDF)
- Program makes strides to get kids school-ready (PDF)
- Tax prep volunteers honored for service, results (PDF)
- Community Baby Shower gives little ones strong start (PDF)
- Reaching Higher Ground with United Way’s Boyd Society (PDF)