Cindy Corona, a new Nashvillian, shares how the feeling of community was immediate from day one.
I arrived in Nashville on June 6 of this year. Moving from the southwest, my consistent comment to family and friends was, 'Wow, this Southern hospitality is a real thing!'
As I began work at Hands On Nashville, I discovered that the sense of hospitality runs much deeper than pleasantries: Nashvillians are dedicated to their neighbors and community.
Time after time, I’ve witnessed Hands On Nashville volunteers demonstrate this commitment. I’ve spent the past six months working closely in North Nashville, getting to know partners in an effort to better serve the area through targeted outreach and volunteer planning. Within my first few weeks, I was struck by the commitment of many leaders in the area. I spoke with leaders who grew up in North Nashville, with deep roots in the neighborhood and an even deeper desire to create positive change. Honestly, I was intimidated as the new kid on the block. I feared reluctance from community members to work with an outsider coming to help “fix” the community. My worries were unfounded, as I was warmly welcomed, and many took time out of their schedule to explain the history of the area, and discuss its strengths and needs.
Stronger than my new friends’ desire to welcome me to Nashville, was their desire to serve. They've carved out time in their already busy schedules to work collaboratively with us to prioritize needs in the area that can be filled through volunteerism. Although not everyone’s “cause” can be identified as a goal - the willingness for everyone to commit to the larger goals established by the group truly exemplifies the spirit of service I've heard so much about.
My new friends and colleagues made my first few months special and successful, better than I could have wished for! Thank you Nashville, for being you!