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10 Ways to Give Back in Nashville—Help Make a Difference Now

ThriftSmart gives you many ways to feel good about your shopping experience with us—by giving back!

We can all impact our community and world for the better. The beauty of philanthropy is that it does not have to be extravagant.

And from finding those fantastic diamonds in the rough to donating your used items, ThriftSmart wouldn’t be what it is today without your help.

We truly value your business, but you make a big difference in other people’s lives when you shop with us because, with ThriftSmart, 100% of proceeds benefit nonprofits.

We work with many different charities that help so many people around the world.

Here are 10 meaningful ways to give back to the Nashville community and begin your journey of positive impact with ThriftSmart!

#1 Way to Give Back in Nashville: Donate and Shop at ThriftSmart

Your older or used items are not garbage.

Many items like clothing, furniture, or toys can be donated to us. When you make a tax-deductible donation to ThriftSmart, your generosity supports our local neighborhoods, our beneficiary charities, and other locally-based nonprofits.

You can even specify which community partner you want your contribution to benefit.

You can also donate items through many drop-off boxes around Nashville, Smyrna, Brentwood, and Franklin. In addition, you can schedule a pick-up for items that might be too big to bring down to a drop-off location, all for free.

#2 Way to Give Back in Nashville: Volunteer at ThriftSmart

Donating items and making purchases are not the only way you can support African Leadership. Because we run an altogether not-for-profit business, we need exceptional people willing to donate their time to help out in our stores.

Volunteering at ThriftSmart is a hands-on way to make a real impact in our community. Since we are open seven days a week, our enthusiastic volunteer opportunities can fit most schedules.

We welcome both individual volunteers and groups of up to 15 people.

Without volunteers, we couldn’t do all the things we’ve been doing in our community or continue to expand in ways we dream of doing everyday.

#3 Way to Give Back in Nashville: African Leadership

African Leadership is, above all else, a non-profit organization that wants to help young leaders grow and learn to shape the future of the great continent.

African Leadership believes communities rise and fall based on leadership.

That’s why they invest in community leaders actively improving their communities. These men and women are the starting point for tackling the moral, cultural, and physical challenges their communities face.

Through their Common Ground Initiative, African Leadership provides a theological education, a framework for community development, and an opportunity to grow a sustainable, Gospel-focused mission.

This leads to impact in five main project areas—clean water, economic freedom, education, healthcare, and orphan care—and all these initiatives are locally-planned and locally-led. Consider African Leadership in your year-end giving, or visit their website to learn more.

#4 Way to Give Back in Nashville: The Belize Project

The Belize Project is a Christ-centered non-profit organization committed to the holistic development of Belize.

They seek to come alongside Belizeans, empowering and equipping them to continue in the transformation initiatives they have started.

The Belize Project partners with Belizeans to serve people through health care, education, micro-enterprises and the local church.

By giving financially, with The Belize Project you can:

  • Support the salary of one of our ministry leaders for a year.
  • Pay for one man’s expenses during his 6 month stay at Jacob’s Farm.
  • Buy teacher manuals and student readers so they can start a literacy program at a new school.
  • Provide a single mother with the funding she needs to start her own baking business.
  • Invest in a local Belizean whose vision is to provide a free coding academy to students who can’t afford education and formal training.

Whatever way it stirs your heart and captures your spirit, they ask you to join them!

By ensuring Belizeans remain in the lead position, they work toward sustainability, minimizing dependence on foreign support.

#5 Way to Give Back in Nashville: Mercy Community Healthcare

Mercy Community Healthcare exists to reflect the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by providing excellent healthcare to ALL and support to their families.

Mercy is patient-centered, and providers take the extra time to focus on working with each patient to get well, be well, and live well.

Need to know a few ways to support this holiday season? Consider these options:

  • Monetary Donations- More than anything else, this ministry hinges on the support of our neighbors and friends. It’s the $25, $50, $100, and larger gifts from individuals that make our work possible.
  • In-Kind Donations- For more information about in-kind donations and our “Wish List,” click here.
  • Angels of Mercy- Angels of Mercy are supporters who provide monthly gifts of $100 or more. This group exemplifies the spirit of giving and fulfills the ministry of Mercy by this type of monthly contribution. Click here to learn more about becoming an Angel of Mercy!
  • Ways to Help During COVID-19- Looking for ways to help Mercy during the COVID-19 crisis? Learn more here. Your support is appreciated. They exist because of the generous support of our community.
  • AmazonSmile- AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support Mercy every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at smile.amazon.com, you’ll find the exact same shopping experience as Amazon.com with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to Mercy.
  • Kroger Community Rewards- Support Mercy and enroll in Kroger Community Rewards! Get started by signing up with your Kroger Plus Card at kroger.com/communityrewards. Select Mercy Community Healthcare (Organization Number: 64336). Once you’re enrolled, you’ll earn rewards for Mercy every time you shop with your Plus Card.
  • Volunteer- They are always looking for volunteers to assist with fundraising events as well as other tasks at the clinic. Click here for more information!

Services are compassionate, convenient, and comprehensive—including pediatric and adult primary care, mental health and behavioral health services, and care coordination.

#6 Way to Give Back in Nashville: New Hope Academy

New Hope Academy is a Christ-centered community school with an economically, racially, and culturally diverse student body.

It exists to serve low-income families by establishing a solid biblical worldview, instilling vision, confirming hope, and preparing each young person for a life of service.

New Hope Academy is dedicated to a unique educational experience, equipping children from all backgrounds to become a generation of leaders who will reflect our Creator and transform our culture.

You can give financially knowing that every gift makes an impact. New Hope Academy depends on the gifts of those who support our mission to continue providing an exceptional educational experience at New Hope Academy, since tuition only covers about 50% of our expenses.

If you want to give a little more of your time, this organization greatly benefits from volunteers and would love to help you find a way to connect.

To volunteer with New Hope Academy, contact Volunteer Coordinator Dana Andrews at DAndrews@NHAFranklin.org. She can discuss your interests and help match you to a position!

This vision is cultivated through the convergence of three commitments: excellent, classical education; the mission to the underprivileged; and the belief in a connected, purposeful community.

#7 Way to Give Back in Nashville: Nashville Rescue Mission

Nashville Rescue Mission is a Christ-centered community committed to helping the hungry, homeless, and hurting by providing programs and services that focus on a person’s entire life—physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and social.

The mission is committed to restoring the whole person through a Christian approach that helps the homeless and addicted learn how much God loves them and gain the biblical insight they need to lead a productive life in and for Christ.

Established in 1954, the Mission first opened its doors to provide food, clothing, and shelter to homeless men in Nashville. In 1968, services were expanded to include women and children.

Each time a person serves in the kitchen, teaches a class, makes a donation, drops off clothing, organizes a food drive, leads chapel, or prays for Nashville Rescue Mission, the impact is felt throughout the entire ministry.

Lives are changed every day because of you. Partner with us in bringing hope to the destitute men, women, and children in Nashville’s homeless community.

Here are some ways your support gives hope:

The Nashville Rescue Mission also partners with thousands of volunteers each year to touch lives for today and for eternity.

The minimum volunteer age is 10 years old, and volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Join the Mission’s team of volunteers and show compassion, love, and kindness to our neighbors in need!

Today, the Mission serves over 600 men, women, and children daily. The desire drives us to share the Gospel, and they strive each day to spread this unending message of hope.

#8 Way to Give Back in Nashville: Second Harvest Food Bank

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee opened its doors in 1978 with commitment from several community leaders.

Each year, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee depends on the countless hours of volunteers to help us serve the needs of our community.

Volunteers from school and church groups, companies, homes, civic organizations, and individuals from the community take time out of their schedules to help sort and pack food, deliver meals, and much more. Without the contributions of these volunteers, they would not be able to do what they do.

Here are a few ways Second Harvest Volunteers can get involved:

  • Sort and Pack Groceries- Volunteers sort, label, and repackage nonperishable food items, frozen food, health aids, and paper goods.
  • Backpack Program- Volunteers pack bags for income eligible children in participating schools, providing them with meals over the weekends.
  • Office Work- Volunteers assist in the front office with various routine office tasks, such as answering phones, filing, and stuffing envelopes.
  • Special Events- Volunteers help Second Harvest staff organize special events throughout the year.

Volunteers are the backbone of their success.

But due to the conditions created by the pandemic, and in an effort to protect Second Harvest staff and you, the volunteer, they are not having volunteers in the warehouse at this time.

During fiscal year 2019, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee distributed close to 11 million pounds of food and 8.8 million meals to people in need throughout our 8-county service area in Northeast Tennessee.

People in the Northeast Tennessee area are struggling with hunger every single day. Food donations are always needed to meet these basic humanitarian efforts.

You can also help ensure more nutritious food is available for the community, hosting a food drive or donating to a food drive near you.

#9 Way to Give Back in Nashville: The W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School

The W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School is a nonprofit educational institution created to provide quality music instruction to talented, interested, deserving children from low-income families at the nominal fee of 50 cents per lesson.

The school also seeks to encourage student participation in the cultural life of the community through concert attendance and performance.

Students involved in the W.O. Smith private lesson program are offered one-on-one instruction once a week with a qualified volunteer teacher. Generally, volunteer private teachers donate an hour of their time per week, teaching two students for a half-hour each.

If you are interested in volunteering as a music teacher, instruction is offered for the following instruments:

  • Piano
  • Guitar & Bass
  • Drums & Percussion
  • Brass Instruments
  • Woodwind Instruments
  • String Instruments
  • Voice

Since 1984, W.O. Smith Music School has introduced music to thousands of deserving children in Nashville. And your time can help continue this streak!

#10 Way to Give Back in Nashville: The Tennessee Kidney Foundation

Over the years, TKF has continued to receive honorary achievements for raising awareness of kidney disease and their programs.

Whether you can volunteer regularly or only occasionally, TKF has opportunities for you. You can participate in their programs, such as:

  • Transportation Assistance Program

TKF provides transportation assistance for dialysis patients, transplant candidates and transplant recipients who, without TKF support, would face missing life-sustaining treatments.

  • Kidney Disease Prevention and Screening Program

TKF offers a volunteer physician or nurse practitioner to speak one-on-one with each participant at the end of the screening to provide TKF educational resources and encouragement for seeking follow-up care with a primary care physician as needed.

  • Kidney Transplant Education Program

TKF provides education about the kidney transplant process for both potential donors and recipients. Living kidney donation saves thousands of lives each year, and more education is needed to help people understand the ability to donate a kidney.

  • Emergency Assistance Program

The Emergency Assistance Program provides funds to help those affected by kidney disease with any expenses related directly or indirectly to end stage renal disease. Individuals may request up to $250 per year in assistance for rent, mortgage, utilities, medication, food, dental, emergency transportation, medical equipment, and other basic needs.

TKF appreciates any time you can give, and they guarantee you’ll feel great about your work to help them improve the lives of all individuals at risk or affected by kidney disease.

It’s Time to Increase Your Impact

ThriftSmart isn’t just a way to get nice and cheap clothing or home goods.

It’s a way to give back to those who need it the most.

One of the best parts about thrift shopping is seeing how it can bring people together unexpectedly.

So, our staff is also ready to assist you in any way they can, should you have questions about how to give back.

To learn more about ThriftSmart, visit thriftsmart.com!

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