Doctor in the house

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There have been many blessings that have come from this flooding disaster. One of them is meeting volunteers who come to help us move and tote and sort at the warehouse. Now that we have a second warehouse for furniture, the movers and toters have much more on their plates.

A 53-foot semi full of furniture showed up at the warehouse last week from the TODAY show. And so did the Chen/Deng family.

They volunteered through Hands On Nashville because they like to show their children that volunteerism is important. Now I want you to look at this picture. See all those giant boxes behind the family? They moved every single one of those boxes off that truck. And they smiled while they were doing it.

When volunteers show up, it’s always interesting to discover what they do in their “day” jobs. Yong Chen, in the gray shirt and blue shorts, is a professor of religion and philosophy. Shujun Deng owned a restaurant in China before coming to the United States. Janie and Mathew are students at a magnet high school. An older daughter just graduated from Vanderbilt, as Dr. Chen did, and is entering law school. The little boy,  Ty, does not like fish. But he does like taking a bottle of warm Coke and shaking it up to make a geyser. Fortunately, he did this on the warehouse floor, clearly out of the way of any furniture.

The second group of volunteers on furniture moving day came from Youth Encouragement Services, a nonprofit that works with inner city youth to keep them out of trouble and develop their full potential. That guy in middle in the blue shirt is David Estes, who heads the program and who is relentless in his support of these bright kids who just need a helping hand.  You know these kids would rather be shooting hoops or playing video games. But here they came to help the chicks.

Our volunteers have included accountants, lawyers, unemployed middle managers, housewives, college students and pet sitters. We have had some with mental challenges who just wanted to find a way to help in the middle of this recovery from disaster. We have had elderly volunteers who by any right should not have been sitting in a hot warehouse sorting toilet paper and shampoo.

Just as CRC has extended a helping hand to victims of the flood, our beautiful volunteers have extended a helping hand to us. It’s an elegant chain of giving and support and hope that has extended through all of Nashville and Middle Tennessee. And reminds us, once again, that We Are Nashville.

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