CNN reports that 17,000 people in Middle Tennessee have requested FEMA assistance. 17,000! And the Volunteer State responds. Volunteers have mobilized all over the greater Nashville area. Hands on Nashville is coordinating many of the volunteers. Churches are bringing out large groups to help. Individuals are driving up with their boots, gloves and trash bags to help. DonateNashville is helping organize this along with many Facebook groups.
This morning we attended The People’s Church in Franklin, TN. Pastor Rick White said they had mobilized 1,000 volunteers in the last week to help in Franklin and with another church community in East Nashville headed by Matthew Costner. Pastor White asked for 400-500 volunteers to come back each of the next few Saturdays to continue working. I have no doubt that there will be that many or more that show up.
It’s hard work. It’s dirty work. And it’s rewarding and gratifying. Under so much sorrow and heartache, there is still laughter, smiles, hugs and helpful advice. And it is one house at a time. 1 x 17,000. Some neighborhoods are mostly gutted at this point. Others haven’t even began. Mostly based on how quickly the neighborhood could rally and what resources they had available. This is what I know for sure. Nashvillians will continue canvassing neighborhoods until every last house and apartment is gutted. Nashville’s corporate community is and will continue to step up to provide what’s needed to rebuild. The music industry is and will continue to rally to build back peoples lives, replace lost instruments and bring back the music to Music City.
The last time there was such a spirit in this city, the Tennessee Titans were in the Superbowl. This is deeper. Success here doesn’t depend on who’s on the field. You can’t cheer this one on from the sidelines or from your couch. All of us are in this game. No armchair quarterbacks, please.
How proud I am of the city I call home. What amazing, kind, generous, and wonderful people we have around us. We’ll be right back!
Give me an N! Give me an A! Give me an S! Give me an H! Give me a V! Give me an I! Give me an L! Give me another L! Give me an E! Go NASHVILLE!