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37208 Fund helps North Nashville man improve life in his community


The '37208 Fund' allows residents to tackle issues in their zipcode.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 7:41 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - An organization is enabling one North Nashville man better his community with the help of a $10,000 grant.

The organization is called the 37208 Fund and with its help and Larry Turnley, alleys in the neighborhood are being cleared daily.

“I was given a grant by the 37208 Fund and the job that I’m doing is removing debris or anything that’s been dumped in the alleys in North Nashville. I go through and pick it up,” Turnley, owner of the Refuse Engineer, said.

The 37208 Fund was started a little over a year ago. The organization helps fund solutions for improving life in North Nashville. The only requirement – whoever want to help solve some issues has to live in the 37208 Zip code.

Turnley wants to improve his community, and he does it one alley at a time.

“Being that I’m from here, I feel that it’s my responsibility,” Turnley said.

That sense of responsibility is why Turnley applied for a grant from the 37208 Fund to clear alleys in his community.

“For one, people don’t have enough money to live in the city, so definitely they don’t have enough money to go to the dump to dump something off. So you know, this is the quickest thing for them, and the cheapest way,” Turnley said.

He removes everything from sofas to toilets to tables in the alleys.

“The faster I can get on top of it and remove it, the better it is for the environment, not breed criminality or whatever the can may be, or despair and hopelessness,” Turnley said.

His commitment is why the organization gave him the $10,000 grant.

“As you probably know, this community needs someone to pick up the trash in this area, which is rarely done by the public works,” Louis Holiday with the 37208 Fund said. “I will hope that it will inspire people to take more pride in our community, and I also hope that it will allow the powers that be, whether that’s the Council or whatever, to be more proactive than reactive,” Turnley said.

Clearing alleys isn’t the only way Turnley helps his community. He said he is a former inmate and got his sentence overturned. He said he tries to hire people to work with his company who have had run-ins with the law.

“And in the process of getting a fresh opportunity. I know how hard it is to crack that glass ceiling of being a convicted felon and trying to work for someone,” Turnley said. “I want to give people an opportunity to share their gifts or share whatever skilled they have, and then let’s leverage it and then put some money behind it. Now you provide a service for someone and you can provide a living for your own self.”

Officials with 37208 Fund want people to know they can make a difference by making a difference.

“This is a very high crime, low-income area and we want to give the people in this area the opportunity to do something for the community,” Holiday said. “It’s one thing to live in a neighborhood, to reside in a neighborhood, but it’s a different thing to live in a community.”

The 37208 Fund is privately funded and last year they gave out about $80,000 in grants to people to improve the 37208 community.

“With this program, we give you something, we grant you something for a project that you want to do, but we expect something in return to better the community,” Holiday said.

“When a community member can take pride in their community in helping just bring forth a better quality of life, it will attract more people to do the same thing,” Turnley said.

Residents of North Nashville and the 37208 Zip code can apply for a grant from the 37208 Fund to improve their community can complete the online application or contact Holiday via email at holidayllouis329@gmail.com. You can also call 615-248-9811.

To contribute to the 37208 Fund, mail checks to Corner to Corner, P.O. Box 60646, Nashville, TN 37206 and designate 37208 Fund in the Memo line.

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