Two years ago, devastating floods hit the middle Tennessee area, including in our own hometown of Nashville. Many groups rose to the occasion to help the community rebuild, including those who purchased merchandise from our We Are Nashville line (proceeds continue to help victims recover).
And, another group that helped countless individuals and organizations in the aftermath, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, is commemorating their work and your support this week.
For starters, United Way Worldwide will hold its Community Leaders Conference Tuesday, May 1 through Friday, May 4, at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The United Way Worldwide Community Leaders Conference will be a meeting of community leaders, nonprofit professionals and volunteers from around the world engaged in advancing the common good and creating opportunities for a better life for all. The event is expected to draw between 2,000 and 2,500 leaders from the U.S. and abroad.
“The eyes of the philanthropic world are on Nashville this next week, and we have much to be proud of,” said Margaret Dolan, board chair of United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. “The conference falls on the second anniversary of Nashville’s historic flood and our Restore The Dream response by United Way of Metropolitan Nashville and its capable partners has become a tangible example of the high return on investment our organization is delivering in this community."
The Community Leaders Conference will launch the celebration of United Way’s 125th anniversary. Established in Denver, Colo., in 1887, this organization has grown into a network of nearly 1,800 United Ways in 41 countries and territories- officially making it the world’s largest privately supported nonprofit.
“Nashville is honored to host the community and nonprofit volunteers and leaders, from around the country and around the world, who are attending this week’s United Way Community Leaders Conference,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “Our city became nationally known for the way we responded to the historic flooding in 2010, but I know in my heart that it doesn’t take a natural disaster for our giving spirit to shine through. Compassion and charity are embedded in our culture, and we are fortunate to have an organization that embodies those values bring its leaders here.”
And today, the second anniversary of Nashville’s devastating flood, delegates will hear how United Way of Metropolitan Nashville played a key role in helping 70 percent of families impacted by the flood recover in less than 16 months.
Gregg Morton, President of AT&T Tennessee and Mary Jo Wiggins, CFO, United Way of Metropolitan Nashville will present and share with event participants best practices used and that are available when and if needed in the future. For United Way teams and conference attendees/participants this includes: using resources already at your fingertips, relying on available data, identifying partners "in the field," engaging community leaders and corporate partners who can advocate for you/your cause.
United Way's 2-1-1 Helpline was key in immediately providing data to determine specific areas of the community needing resources after the flooding. The United Way Restore the Dream centers, established through this collaborative partnership, focused on resource distribution and long-term case management. Partners shared and contributed resources in unprecedented ways and today those relationships have formed new key alliances in the community.