The Memorial Foundation is pleased to announce that it awarded grants to 65 nonprofit organizations during the first quarter of 2017. Grants will support a wide variety of vital services in Middle Tennessee.
Assistance League of Nashville
A local chapter of the National Assistance League, Assistance League of Nashville (ALN) is a volunteer driven organization that provides new standard school attire to economically disadvantaged elementary students attending Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and five stand-alone pre-K sites through its Operation School Bell program. All MNPS elementary schools are contacted prior to the start of the school year to inform them of the request process which must come from a school official, principal or guidance counselor via email. Volunteers then fill these requests at ALN’s Distribution Center space which is provided at no cost by the PENCIL Foundation and MNPS. In 2015-16, the ALN provided 3,408 students with standard school attire that consisted of two polo shirts, two pants, a belt, and three pairs of socks and three underpants. 96% of principals and guidance counselors surveyed stated that their students’ self-esteem and confidence improved when wearing their new clothing; 86.2% of principals reported that time out of the classroom was reduced, and 96.5% reported a reduced need for emergency clothing. Since it was established in 2005, ALN has served over 33,700 children and donated over 79,500 volunteer hours. Funding will support ALN’s 2016-17 goal to clothe 3,400 students with new standard school attire that consists this year of two polo shirts, one long sleeved shirt, two pairs of pants, three underpants, three pairs of socks, and a belt.
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt (Children’s Hospital) is a nationally recognized provider of pediatric health care services and is committed to addressing our community’s most pressing health care issues, including diabetes, obesity, opioid dependence and cancer. With more than 400 physicians trained in 30 pediatric and surgical specialties, the 267-bed facility provides the highest level of pediatric health care services and is also a top-tier teaching and research facility. Funding will provide support to establish an interdisciplinary program that will provide carefully coordinated, evidence-based care to address the specific and intense needs of newborns diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Annually, Children’s Hospital cares for an estimated 400 opioid-exposed infants and admits 100 infants yearly with NAS. Research has shown that treating infants with NAS on the general inpatient ward rather than the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, enables families to stay overnight, promotes bonding, decreases the need for additional medications and improves families’ satisfaction. This initiative will apply best practices in clinical care developed through their research. From birth until discharge, their interdisciplinary team consisting of a program coordinator, child life specialist, and lactation consultant will provide critical services and support to mother and child. This will include: extra hours of rocking, holding and other non-pharmacological interventions for the baby; coaching, education and support for the mother; and ensuring optimal breastfeeding support.
Nashville Children’s Alliance
Nashville Children’s Alliance (NCA) was established in 1992 to reduce the trauma of child abuse victims and their families. NCA is a fully accredited child advocacy center by the National Children’s Alliance and facilitates a comprehensive multidisciplinary team called the Davidson County Child Protective Investigative Team (CPIT). The CPIT consists of representatives from the Office of the District Attorney General, Metro Police Department, Juvenile Court, and the Department of Children’s Services to help coordinate the detection, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of child abuse. In 2016, CPIT met 47 times and reviewed 1,332 child abuse cases. NCA also provides a safe, private, caring place where a child alleged of being abused can tell their story. Programs and services are provided free of charge and include trauma-informed cognitive behavioral therapy and advocacy for children of abuse (including bilingual therapist for Spanish speaking community), support groups for children and non-offender parents, tracking cases being prosecuted, community education and awareness, and forensic interviews that are video-taped, age appropriate, non-leading and legally defensible for children alleged of being abused. In 2016, 674 children were interviewed by a forensic interviewer; 167 children were served in individual therapy (1,736 sessions); 452 families received family advocacy services; and, 55 non-offending parent support group sessions were provided for 16 parents/caregivers. 82% who completed individual therapy services decreased identified symptoms and increased improved functioning and/or positive coping at home and at school as evidenced by parent report and /or the pre and post-test trauma assessment tool.
Together, these and other recipient organizations are making a lasting impact in the lives of people in Middle Tennessee.