I wish I had a photo of this one. So there’s a meeting this morning at the Center for Nonprofit Management of all the nonprofits in Nashville affected by the flooding. From the time I bumbled into the nonprofit world I cannot even begin to tell you how many times the CNM folks have pulled my feet straight out of the fire. I am assuming that this is a meeting to inform us about the various types of help we can go after to put all our Humpty Dumpty lives back together.

And it was. What surprised me was seeing the other people who were there. Standing in the lobby is Joanne Pulles, executive director of the HCA Foundation. Next to her is Pete Bird, president of the Frist Foundation. Oh, and is that J.T. Elliott from the Memorial Foundation? Why, yes, it is. The Community Foundation is there. I sit down next to Eric Dewey, president of the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville.

If you are not in the nonprofit world in Nashville you do not understand that these are the Big Dogs. THE BIG DOGS.  A good number of nonprofits that do important, life-altering work would not exist without these folks. Or at least not exist in such a robust way. And here’s the charm about all of these people – they genuinely love us. The fact that they would all show up to support us this morning was just astounding and humbling to me.

I’ll tell you a quick story to illustrate how much I think of these Big Dogs. One day about two months ago, Eric Dewey came to visit me at CRC. He wanted to know more about us. It’s not like the man doesn’t have a million things on his plate, but he spent an hour and a half with me sitting in lawn chairs at the open dock door just talking about CRC and United Way and the nonprofit landscape of the future. I could tell you similar stories about all our funders. Well, maybe not sitting in lawn chairs in the warehouse. That was a first. But similar efforts of faith and support.

So, the information we got this morning was great. The FEMA guy was helpful and funny. And you know how far funny goes with Betsy and me.  Jen Cole from the Mayor’s Office was also great. We ♥ the Mayor’s Office in a number of ways, not the least of which is that they allowed us to take on the job of getting disaster relief supplies to flood victims.

But believe me, Big Dogs, it did not go unnoticed that you were there with us today—  in the trenches, fighting the good fight, propping us up emotionally.  It did not go unnoticed.


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