If the last year has proven anything, it’s that Middle Tennesseans come together in times of crisis.
So as flood recovery picks up speed in Nashville and surrounding counties this week, WPLN News has compiled this list of places offering resources for those affected and ways to contribute time and money for those who want to help.
Know about more places to get or give help? Email [email protected].
Remember, the safest way to help clean up the potentially dangerous aftermath of severe weather is through a coordinated group. We’ve included links to groups that require sign-up (which might be full by the time you check) as well as those with an open call for volunteers. Many organizations, due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, are recommending people 65 and up do not volunteer, nor those with compromised immune systems.
Hands On Nashville is working closely with Nashville’s Office of Emergency Management in areas hit hardest by the recent flash flooding. Those who have volunteered with HON before, perhaps during their March 2020 tornado relief efforts that brought 18,000 volunteers out in the first few days, may remember their opportunities fill fast. The easiest way to find one is to sign up for email alerts when new opportunities are posted. Volunteers will be expected to maintain social distancing, wear protective gear and follow other safety practices.
Samaritan’s Purse is assisting Nashville homeowners clean up and remove debris, with both daytime and overnight volunteering opportunities. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and require a parent or adult chaperone with them depending on their age before 18. Following CDC guidelines, masks will be provided to volunteers. Non-local volunteers who are not returning to their own home at the end of the day must provide proof of a negative COVID test to staff when checking in at the volunteering site.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has revived the Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund and Tennessee Emergency Response Fund to help those affected by the flooding. The funds, which began in response to the March 3 tornadoes last year, raised more than $1 million from individuals in its first few days in 2020. Grants from these funds will, again, be made to nonprofits providing vital services in both the immediate and long term.
The Community Resource Center (218 Omohundro Place, Nashville) is accepting donations of new items. The most-needed items include: for debris removal — tarps, shovels, rakes, outdoor trash cans, brooms; for those experiencing homelessness — tarps, sleeping bags, flashlights, tents; and for first responders — flashlights, pre-packaged snack foods and cookies, and sports drinks. CRC also has a shoppable Amazon wish list and is accepting monetary donations as well. There are some in-person volunteer opportunities with the CRC, but they are coordinated through Hands On Nashville. So, sign-ups can be found there.
American Red Cross is accepting donations as they continue to house hundreds of people in Tennessee, as well as Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia and Hawaii, all of whom were affected by severe weather this season.
Open Table Nashville, an interfaith homeless outreach nonprofit, has been visiting encampments, like the one where two victims of the deadly floods had been staying, and distributing supplies as well as organizing an emergency shelter with the Metro Impact Homeless Division, People Loving Nashville, Park Center Nashville and City Road Chapel United Methodist Church. Open Table says in a recent Instagram post that its greatest needs are monetary donations, items on their shoppable Amazon wish list and gift cards to Kroger, Walmart and McDonalds, which allow people to get specific things they need. You can drop off gift cards by emailing [email protected], or send them to PO Box 110266, Nashville, TN 37222.
Park Center Nashville, a nonprofit helping those who have mental illness and substance use disorders, is working in conjunction with Open Table Nashville (above). Park Center is accepting monetary donations, items on their shoppable Amazon wish list, and those on their site’s wish list, which can be purchased and brought in by contacting contact the Development Office at [email protected] or 615-242-3576, ext. 111.
Room In The Inn, a nonprofit providing support services, housing and workforce training for Nashvillians experiencing homelessness, says in a recent Instagram post that it is working closely with its community partners to collect urgently needed supplies and to get the items distributed as soon as possible. The greatest needs as of Monday are tents, sleeping bags, ponchos, tarps, sleeping mats, socks, bottled water, non-perishable food (pop-top cans), and flashlights and batteries. Local donations can be dropped off 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday at 705 Drexel St., Nashville, TN 37203.
ShowerUp is accepting monetary donations for its mobile shower units, which it is taking to the hardest hit areas like Clay County, where water is not running or is not safe due to flood damage. The organization also has a Venmo @ShowerUp and a shoppable Amazon wish list, and there are in-person volunteer opportunities available as well.
These organizations are providing direct aid to those impacted by the flooding.
There is also Nashville VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), which works in coordination with nonprofit and volunteer members. If a nonprofit appears “missing” from this list, it’s because they haven’t shared individual aid efforts on their website or social media. But many are part of this network and have shared the general crisis helpline to be activated as needed through it.
The number to call is 615-244-7444 or go to nashvilleresponds.com/assistance to fill out a form with your specific needs.
You can also contact hubNashville for assistance, especially debris removal, by calling 311 within Davidson County.
American Red Cross is housing hundreds of people in Tennessee, as well as Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, West Virginia and Hawaii, all of whom were affected by severe weather this season.