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Do Something Good

photo-allison-sittingAllison showing the love letters written by volunteers
Photography by: William Fahrnbach Photography
Written by: Kingsley East

“I volunteer because I believe the meaning of life is to make a difference in the lives of others.”

Allison Plattsmier began volunteering when she was sixteen years old because she wanted to leave her imprint on the world. Since the day she realized her personal need to give back to the community, Allison has worked with a multitude of non-profits and volunteer organizations. Allison is the associate director for a non-profit called the Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, and she volunteers weekly through DoSomething.org.

DoSomething.org is a website that offers people easy access to volunteer opportunities based on their interests and availability. Allison tries to volunteer with one organization or event each week, where she creates a network of people who open the door for her to take new volunteer opportunities. Allison said, “I have learned the value of learning from people with a variety of backgrounds and gained the ability to work with many different personalities.”

Allison loves volunteering because she gets to impact her community and meet new people. Among the multitude of non-profits and events that Allison volunteers with, she also works with Doing Good. Allison is known at Doing Good as a proven, professional, and passionate volunteer. We are thrilled to recognize her as this month’s honored volunteer.

 

 

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Bringing Life to the Radio

photo-justin-singleton
Justin’s passion of music
Written by: Kingsley East

“I volunteer because it brings joy to my heart to give back. I was always taught to give back because sharing your time and talents can bring life to the world.” Justin Singleton brings joy to himself and others as a co-host for a non-profit radio station. He, along with two others, hosts the radio segment “Noize” on a station called “Radio Free Nashville.” From three to five on Saturday afternoons, Justin teams up with his friends to create an atmosphere full of laughter and independent music.

Justin describes his team like family, which makes volunteering such a joy to each of them. They are always trying to bring smiles to their listeners through their own passion for current events and music. Not only does “Noize” consist of discussions and humor, but it also features independent musicians. Justin explained that the artists really enjoy coming on the show because their music is broadcasted, and it’s not always easy for independent artists to be heard. “Noize” makes great musicians feel appreciated for their talent and accomplishments.

 Justin said that his family motto is to give back. He believes that a million smiles is far better than one million dollars. “Noize” offers Justin an outlet to live out these ideas as he gets to help independent artists and bring joy to local listeners. Justin is passionate about making the world a better place, as he says, “I really do enjoy serving the people. Service is the greatest gift you can give back to the people. Doing good feels good!”

 

 

 

Prioritizing Your Passions

Photo.Misty.headshot
Written by: Kingsley East: 
Misty Woodford is a mom, a daughter, a real estate broker, and a volunteer. She leads a life full of caring for others, including her family and the community within her church and children’s school. Misty is passionate about many things, but her children are her top priorities when it comes to choosing how to invest her time. Extending from her family, Misty gives much of her time to the community and the causes surrounding it. Misty believes that the best way to impact and create change is to be involved.

Misty is an incredible example of a working mom who still values giving back to her community. She uses her skills and innovation to find volunteering outlets that align with her own passions and organizational abilities. Misty primarily volunteers at her children’s school through fundraising and training other parents there; however, she also leads a community group with her husband at their church. Misty is gifted in managing groups and events, and she loves to make teams operate more efficiently to meet their goals. Misty believes,

“It doesn’t matter how much time you have or what your skill set is, there’s a place for everyone.”

Misty explained that we’re all talented at something; so, people should use their gifts to improve their communities. We can’t all feed the homeless or go to nursing homes, but when you do something that you’re passionate about, it doesn’t feel like work. Then you get to encourage people more and impact those around you because you enjoy what you’re doing. 

Radio Outreach

Photo.Krystle Couch.radio

Krystle Couch volunteering – on the radio!
by: Kingsley East

Tune in on Saturday afternoons from 3-5 to hear this month’s honored volunteer, Krystle Couch. Krystle is a part of the team that puts on “Radio Free Nashville” (RFN). This non-profit radio station works weekly to bring information, laughter, and new music to locals at no cost. RNF is operated by volunteers like Krystle who strive to give a voice to the people of Middle Tennessee, and it runs on donations from the community. This is a radio station for the people, run by the people, operating under the mission statement:

“Believing that democracy cannot function if only a few have access to the media, Radio Free Nashville, Inc. (RFN) intends to be a community forum for the music, voices, and viewpoints generally ignored or misrepresented by the corporate media.”

Krystle’s role in this organization stems from her own passions for journalism and music. Every week, she researches the latest news and compiles a playlist of local artists for Saturday’s show. Krystle received a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. RFN provides Krystle with an outlet to use her journalism and technology skills to give a voice to the community and local artists. Krystle loves this work because it’s fun. She said,

“I don’t see it as work. I see it as friends coming together and hanging out and talking about common interests.”

After talking to Krystle, her charisma and passion for life, Nashville, and music is evident. RFN showcases this enthusiasm while updating and inspiring the community weekly. Krystle’s volunteerism is unique and life-giving to the community in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

 

“All children deserve the same opportunities, regardless of disabilities.”

By: Kingsley East

Families of disabled children and local communities believe this truth, but it takes workers and volunteers like Annah to set this statement into motion. Annah Slayton abides by these words as she works to bring therapy, growth, and hope to disabled children. Working with a nonprofit called Special Kids, Annah’s goal as a volunteer is to give back to the community and support an organization that makes the world a better place.

Special Kids operates out of love to meet the needs not only of disabled or medically fragile kids, but also to treat entire families in Murfreesboro and eighteen surrounding counties.

“I loved going and working with the kids and seeing them smile.”

Annah serves Special Kids to make children’s lives better, and she is inspired every day by their smiles and growth. Annah is passionate about children and artwork. At Special Kids, she gets to fulfill both of these desires through service and creativity. From desk work to artwork, Annah uses her own skills and passions to help Special Kids change hundreds of lives.

Annah never thought she would be a dedicated volunteer, but three years later, her time with Special Kids proves otherwise. Annah now loves working alongside the Special Kids team to invest in children’s futures. Giving a few hours of her time each week to this organization provides Annah with a sense of purpose and joy in seeing a child grow while working with an uplifting team that lives to carry out a mission of service.

Protector & Defender

Photo.Lynn Ewing.headshot

Lynn Ewing

“We are our brother’s keeper. What we do matters because it (how we treat others) does affect others,” says Lynn Ewing.

In Hebrew, “keeper” means more than “protector” or “defender.” Fortunately, Lynn exemplifies this every day. She lives out her definition of “protector” and “defender” through her volunteerism.

Lynn is a local mediator who uses her gift of communication to serve children throughout the community. She volunteers as a hands-on volunteer for Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and CASA Nashville as well as on the citizen volunteer Board of Directors for the Davidson County Foster Care Review. While each agency is separate and different, they share the same cause – assisting children in crisis.

“I want to share and ignite a passion and encourage people to volunteer!” she happily says.

Asha, Lori & Ghandi

MTSU Chapter group photo.making cards

 VSA Tennessee Ambassadors

Asha Patel, a junior at MTSU, was encouraged by MTSU Communications Professor Lori Kissinger to look into the collegiate chapter of VSA Tennessee. She is one of many VSA Ambassadors who serve children, teenagers and young adults with disabilities. “This past fall, the group has had more student participants than at any time in the four year history of the group. They have also had more programs and activities to reach out to the community. It has been wonderful to see the group thrive and grow.  Its success is greatly due to Asha,” says Lori Kissinger, Executive Director.

A native of India, Asha is trilingual! She is achieving a double major at MTSU in Political Science and International Relations. Prior to VSA Tennessee, she had not previously volunteered. Yet one person suggested she get look into VSA Tennessee. She did, and she “decided to stay.”

Asha considers Ghandi an educational role model. As he said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”