NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Local non-profit groups are gearing up to give more help to survivors of the Nashville bombing.
Their goal, to bring in the new year with new hope.
On Friday at 1PM, the Community Resource Center will start offering hygiene kits as well as food boxes from the Second Harvest Food Bank during a “Nashville Strong” drive thru.
Thursday, volunteers at the CRC were assembling about 1,500 kits in preparation. Executive Director Tina Doniger said, “Primarily focused on the 41 businesses and their employees that need a little love right now.” Their efforts also include help for residents.
Doniger said, “This might alleviate a little bit of need for them, kind of fill a bit of a gap but the goal also is that they receive the information in order to get into case management.”
Since Christmas Day, CRC has been working to gather needed supplies. Doniger explained they’ve had an Amazon wish list going since that morning.
“Everything on that wishlist has been bought as of Tuesday morning and we replenished it, so now, because we’re really focused on our neighbors and what their needs are. So now it’s full of shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, razors, things like that. That will go to these individuals that have been impacted.”
Other supplies they’ve collected are trash cans, trash bags, shovels, rakes, and brooms. “We have a lot of broken glass out there,” said Doniger. She even says they’ve needed extra sawhorses, gas cans, and saws, to help residents get safely into their area to see it and secure it.
“This is what we do everyday so everyday we work with about 350 non-profits through 9 counties,” she said.
Help will also soon come in the form of financial or counseling support.
Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville Executive Director Judy Orr said local non-profits were already in talks about meeting in January to create a structure among one another and be ready for the next disaster after the year we’ve had, but this accelerated those conversations.
One little known resource they were able to tap into is the VOCA (“Victims of Crime Act”) funding they’re eligible for, to work with families who have been through traumatic situations.
“In a matter of less than 48 hours we had put together a contract,” she said. Orr continued, “This is federal money, there’s again a sensitivity to people that have been victims of crime and their needs which could be material, it can be emotional, physical.”
Orr said they anticipate there are about 2000 people affected who either live or work in the perimeter and the funding is strictly for those people. “We understand that people who might be beyond the actual crime scene perimeter, may be deeply affected and may need counseling for instance. And we do have counselors who specialize in people who have been victims of crimes.” Still, Orr said they’ll likely need longer term assistance since it’s a 6-month program.
“The longer term need will be counseling frankly, from a traumatic event like this that will change Christmas forever for everyone who had to work, live, experience this in any way,” she added.
If you’re looking to donate, the city recommends the following:
- United Way of Greater Nashville is partnering with Mayor John Cooper’s office to accept gifts to its Restore the Dream Fund which will provide long-term disaster recovery support to nonprofits for the survivors. People who wish to donate by clicking here or text RESTORE20 to 41444.
- The Salvation Army – Nashville Area Command believes “we are stronger together” and is assisting survivors with urgent needs of food, transportation, and healthcare through Kroger Gift Cards, UBER Rides and UBER Eats. Gifts can be made in support of this disaster response by clicking here.
- Catholic Charities, Diocese of Nashville provides a range of services that help clients through crises and toward self-sufficiency. Services include emergency financial assistance, counseling, job training, housing stability, hunger relief, and more. Gifts in support of their disaster relief efforts can be made by clicking here.
- Community Resource Center of Nashville will be actively engaged with long-term recovery efforts to provide basic essentials, clothing, household goods, and is collecting items to assist with debris removal, clean up and first responder needs. To donate, click here.
Anyone looking to volunteer, can reach out to Hands on Nashville at hon.org.
Additional Resources for Survivors include:
- Nashville Strong Assistance Fund: Catholic Charities will provide assistance to those who live or work in the explosion perimeter area in the historic downtown area, through a specially funded program that will begin Monday . An online application for assistance will be go live on Friday afternoon . The application can be accessed from the following: nashvillestrong2021.org. Those who are unable to access the online application can call 615-352-8591.
- hubNashville: For assistance from Metro Nashville Davidson County Government, affected individuals should visit hub.nashville.gov, use the hubNashville 311 app or call 311.
- Food Assistance: Individuals in need of emergency food assistance can text ‘FEEDS’ to 797979 or visit www.secondharvestmidtn.org/get-help to access Second Harvest’s Find Food tool to locate the nearest food distribution, including Emergency Food Box sites in Davidson County. For additional assistance, individuals can call 211.
- Cash Assistance: A limited supply of gift cards, provided by Salvation Army - Nashville Area Command, will be available for immediate cash assistance for those affected. Individuals can receive more information by texting the word ‘STRONG’ to 484848.
- Housing and Immediate Needs: The American Red Cross of Tennessee is providing assistance for those displaced from their home, apartment or townhouse. Those needing assistance should contact the Red Cross at 800-RED-CROSS to help with their immediate needs, which may include food, shelter, clothing, health and mental health services, community referrals and recovery assistance.
- Assistance for Spanish Speakers: Spanish speakers impacted can call Conexión Americas at 615-270-9252 for assistance beginning on Monday.
- Resource and Referral Line: Individuals in need of assistance can contact United Way of Greater Nashville’s 24-hour resource and referral line for help by dialing 211 or visiting 211.org.