A Few Can Make a Difference
May 6, 2011
Cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Hands on Nashville founder Hal Cato shared this quote during HON’s first year, as he and the board worked to recruit 200 volunteers to carry out projects in the city. The work of Cato and others helped make HON Middle Tennessee’s volunteer center, and in 2010, the organization worked with 200,000 volunteers. The dedication of HON volunteers was highlighted during Nashville’s May flood – when Nashville pulled together and showed the world what it means to live in the Volunteer State.
This week, HON released the commemorative book, “Take My Hand: The Story of a United Nashville in the Wake of the 2010 Flood,” to document the flood relief efforts of volunteers and celebrate the organization’s 20th anniversary. MP&F staff members and interns were thrilled to have the opportunity to write many of the stories featured in the book.
I was honored to interview and write about Rev. Harold Moses Love Jr., pastor of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in the Bordeaux area. Like Mead, Love and his 50-member congregation believed a few thoughtful individuals could make a difference … and they did. The church, one of the only churches accessible to neighbors during the flood, served as a relief center for weeks, and the congregation is now working on plans to help with tornado devastation in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
St. Paul’s story, “Commitment to Others,” and the other inspiring volunteers in “Take My Hand” remind us that it does not take a lot of money or a lot of time to help others – just a heart to guide you.