Written by Zac Cooper
Nashville’s April Volunteer of the Month is Tiffany Love Harden, a visionary leader and inspiring presence in our community. One of Tiffany’s favorite quotes underscores her belief in the power of positive intentions: “Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are seeds. You can plant flowers, or you can plant weeds.”
Tiffany was raised in a family environment that included drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and other difficulties. Instead of letting this environment control her life, Tiffany focused on her track and field pursuits. This resulted in a full scholarship to study Social Work at East Tennessee State University. Tiffany’s path eventually led her to becoming the first African American Miss Tennessee in 2008.
After a mentally abusive relationship with a cocaine addict, Tiffany recognized her own mental trappings and understood how she positive thinking could save her life. She went on to create Beauty Behind Bars, which is described as “a life changing movement helping women become responsible role models in their home and communities while being leaders for the next generation.” Tiffany’s life is a “testimony of delivering [herself] through God” and she strives to deliver others into their best selves as well.
Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month is a program of Doing Good, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization which educates and inspires people by celebrating the real stories of real people who volunteer. For additional information about Tiffany, Doing Good, or other volunteers, visit the website www.DoingGood.tv or @DoingGoodTV on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube.
By: Annie Low
Carleigh Frazier, this month’s Nashville Volunteer of the Month, is a senior Biology major at Fisk University. She recently had the pleasure of running for Miss Fisk University and her platform was based on Deuteronomy 1:5-8. This verse reminds her that in the midst of struggle and grief, “that my purpose is promised to me and that all I need to do is persevere.”
Carleigh used her campaign as a way to help others grow closer to God. When she didn’t win the title, she remained happy for the woman who won. She was able to do this by remembering that her plan is not God’s plan.
She is able to incorporate this idea into her work with Project Transformation and the Nashville Rescue Mission. Carleigh works with children who don’t have the best opportunities and can be frustrated. She reminds them, “You are important, you are royalty. Your plan is already laid out for you, and it is good.”
Written by: Cole Gray
Keith McLean of Franklin is Doing Good’s Nashville Volunteer of the Month for his work in advocating for the North Nashville community around Jefferson Street.
McLean, a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, is involved with Jefferson Street United Merchants’ Partnership, Elam Mental Health Center at Meharry Medical College and The SONS Organization (Solving Our Negative Stereotypes), all of which focus on different aspects of advocacy around North Nashville, but ultimately relate to community development.
Where does his passion come from? McLean cites his mother as one of his biggest influences. A longtime social worker, she created a school-partnered backpack program for underprivileged children that enabled them to eat on weekends. But after college, he found himself in the for-profit worlds of the music, healthcare and finance industries.
Attending the Temple Church in North Nashville, however, caused McLean to adopt the North Nashville community, particularly Jefferson Street, a hub of minority-owned businesses and predominantly black residents.
“I was looking for something to be involved in in Nashville that spoke to people that looked like myself,” McLean said. “Me, myself, I am black. I wanted to speak to something that spoke to the black community.”
The many facets of McLean’s volunteer work are making him a pillar of his adopted North Nashville community.