Quarterly News

The Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce that it awarded grants to 64 nonprofit organizations during the third quarter of 2017. Grants will support a wide variety of vital services in Middle Tennessee.

American Red Cross-Nashville Area Chapter

The Nashville Area Chapter, which serves nine counties throughout Middle Tennessee, provides relief to victims of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services include response, recovery, and readiness activities such as sheltering, client casework, and assistance to meet disaster victims’ immediate needs and reduce the suffering. The American National Red Cross developed the Home Fire Campaign in 2015 to help save lives, diminish injuries, increase awareness in vulnerable populations about safety precautions related to home fires, and reduce the number of clients served as well as the amount of financial resources needed for relief and recovery assistance. The Disaster Cycle Services program includes home fire preparedness, response, and recovery, but also other disaster types such as flash floods, tornadoes, etc. In 2017-18, the Disaster Cycle Services will: 1) Reduce home fire injuries and fatalities by installing 1,700 smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods, helping 717 residents create home fire escape plans, and engaging 1,400 third and fourth graders to help them understand how to prevent fires by identifying potential fire hazards in the home and to gain skills needed to respond when fires occur through the Pillowcase Project program. 2) Provide timely disaster services from trained volunteers to stabilize families by returning them more quickly to economic self-sufficiency which may include financial assistance. Last year, the Nashville Area Chapter provided in Davidson, Robertson, and Sumner counties: $214,447 in financial assistance to families impacted by home fires, assisted 296 families after a home fire, installed 1,596 smoke alarms, created over 534 safety plans, and reached 1,144 children through the “Pillowcase Project” youth preparedness program. The Memorial Foundation funding provides support to the Disaster Cycle Services in Davidson, Robertson, and Sumner Counties in 2017-18 and Emergency Support to assist in disaster relief related to Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Operation Stand Down Tennessee

Established in 1993, Operation Stand Down Tennessee (OSDTN) provides a wide range of support services for veterans and their families, primarily those who are homeless, at-risk or in transition, to help them be self-sustaining and better connected to the community. OSDTN operates the Veteran Service Center which provides a wide range of supportive services that include immediate needs (food, shelter, clothing and transportation), employment readiness, placement assistance, transitional housing, housing assistance and referral services to other community and social service agencies. The Center provides a full range of advocacy services including benefits information, healthcare referrals, mail service and computer access, coordination and referrals with other agencies, job listings, telephones and personal care items. All services for veterans are provided free of charge. Last year, 2,104 Veterans received services in the Veteran Service Center (9.7% increase from 2015). OSDTN also operates a Transitional Housing Program for homeless veterans that provides 42 beds in seven transitional homes – two for women (7 beds) and five for men (35 beds). Case managers work one-on-one with each veteran to develop an individualized action plan to achieve independent living. Last year, 108 men and women participated in the Transitional Housing Program; 66% of these veterans successfully left the program and are now living on their own.

Project Transformation Tennessee

Project Transformation Tennessee seeks to engage young adults in purposeful leadership and ministry, support underserved children and families, and connect churches to communities in need. Since 2011, Project Transformation has served more than 1,500 elementary and middle school students by provideing an 8-week summer literacy and enrichment program for at-risk children (grades 1-6) at nine sites in Nashville, Memphis, Murfreesboro, Clarksville, and Woodbury. In the Fall of 2015, Project Transformation expanded their 8-week literacy and enrichment summer programming to include a year-round Afterschool and Leadership Development Program at three sites: Matthews Memorial UMC in Madison, Trinity Community Commons in East Nashville, and Antioch UMC in Antioch. The afterschool program includes daily enrichment activities, homework assistance, art enrichment, science and math exploration, healthy decision-making, fitness activities, Bible lessons, a daily snack provided by Second Harvest, and nutritional education. Literacy development is the primary focus. Last year, 99 children, grades 1-6, received academic help in the afterschool program; 91% increased literacy mastery by one guided reading level; 100% progressed to the next academic level; and 149 trained volunteers served 2,099 hours providing homework assistance, positive mentorship, and facilitating individualized literacy intervention. Each child received approximately 348 hours of instruction and 81% are now on or above grade level in reading. Participating college age interns commit to a year-long fellowship in which they receive intensive training one week prior to implementing the afterschool program, ongoing training, participate in weekly leadership courses, and meet regularly with community leaders to examine careers in service. Four times a year, interns and partner organizations collaborate to host Family Fun Nights. Parents commit to attending a mandatory parent meeting at the beginning of the semester, volunteering for at least four hours during the course of the year, and ensuring their child maintains consistent attendance. Grant funding supports the Afterschool and Leadership Development Program in 2017-18 school year.

Together, these and other recipient organizations are making a lasting impact in the lives of people in Middle Tennessee.