After Nashville's recent devastating floods, we partnered with the Nashville Community Resource Center to donate all profits from our 24hr flash sale. CRC's Executive Director, Tina Doniger, kindly took the time to answer our questions for a deeper insight into the CRC.
1. How long have you been with the Community Resource Center, and what led you to become involved?
I have been involved with the CRC for over 20 years - I started as a volunteer at our annual fundraising event Oyster Easter (we are bringing it back in 2022, you will not want to miss the party of the year) where all the cool kids kicked off Spring with a celebration of oysters and beer. After a few years of volunteering and attending the party, I joined the Board which ultimately led to me taking over the leadership of the organization in 2019. I will say the reason I joined the organization in the first place was for the awesome party and rubbing elbows with Nashville's movers and shakers, but what has made me stay for the duration is the lack of personal hygiene and the gap in services surrounding personal hygiene and feminine care products and how the Community Resource Center is assisting in filling that gap.
2. Can you tell me about the work your organization does and the program or programs you run?
We work to relieve the burden of access to personal hygiene and cleaning products for Middle Tennessee's nonprofit community serving eight counties and over a million people annually. So what that really means is that we work with individuals, corporations and foundations to supply product donations, as well as financial donations, to provide things like soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, etc. to at-risk communities and populations through the nonprofits that serve them. Some of the awesome programs that we have done in the past year include: 10,000 student hygiene kits for Metro Nashville Public Schools, 40,000 hygiene kits for families impacted by COVID-19, supplying over 22,000 pounds in one week after a canned food drive with the Nashville Zoo. You never know what we will put together next to help our most at-risk neighbors in our community.
3. Why are volunteers so essential to nonprofit organizations like the CRC?
Volunteers are the blood line here at the CRC. We only have a staff of three and we serve people in eight counties, so we need volunteers to help us sort donations, build hygiene kits, prepare orders for pick up and every other thing in between. Without the additional student help, book club readers, families and just random individuals who find us through Hands on Nashville, we couldn't create over 50,000 hygiene kits in a year, respond to multiple disasters, and continue to operate as we do daily meeting the needs of our neighbors.
4. Besides making financial contributions, how can donors help?
While financial contributions are awesome, we also are in need of tangible goods being donated. Think about how many times you wash your hands in a day or how many times you shampoo your hair weekly....these are things that you and I take for granted, but our neighbors are struggling daily to have access to. I encourage families and individuals to host donation drives at school, your place of worship, where you work, or just between friends. Instead of asking for gifts for a birthday, ask just for shampoo or bars of soap. Slight changes like this allow us to provide hundreds of thousands of products a year, as we tackle the personal hygiene insecurity that is happening in Nashville and the surrounding counties.
5. What's your favorite thing about Nashville?
Wow... I have been in Nashville for over 20 years and it has changed. I miss my old stomping grounds like Boudry and Noshville in Midtown, but I am loving the craft beer choices (Blackstone will always be one of my favorites), a variety in food choices (no longer all fried catfish) - some of my favorites are Edley's, Mafiaoza's, & Tenfold, but one of the things I love the most about Nashville is the PEOPLE! When I took my first trip to Nashville, I fell in love with the people. They were so real and genuine, with a side of sweet tea, but just really down home. It's what made me want to live here and now I feel like I give back every day by supporting our neighbors and community.
Thank you, Tina.
Jen + Adriel