As most of you know, Nashville recently was hit by tornadoes, leaving a wake of destruction in their path. This picture is especially poignant because the “I Believe in Nashville” slogan was adopted after the devastating flood we had here in May 2010. It meant we would stick together to make it through, that recovery was possible. It was true then, and it’s true now.
Our Tennessee state motto is the Volunteer State. It’s on our license plates. It’s the mascot of our state university. And it’s proven over and over again in times of crisis. In the days following the tornado, so many volunteers signed up to help that it crashed the websites of the volunteer organizations. Multiple times. So many volunteers arrived in the devastated areas that thousands were turned away, at first for safety reasons and after that because the number of people outweighed the jobs that needed to be accomplished. In most hard-hit areas, volunteers outnumbered victims 50 to 1, and contracted employees sent to do their jobs found them already finished by volunteers. There were so many donated items, people were asked to STOP GIVING because there were more supplies and furniture and clothing and household items than current need. Go Fund Me campaigns raised millions within days. Businesses gave their employees time off to volunteer, and local restaurants and churches fed the victims and those helping to put the pieces of the community back together. Country music stars gave money and time. There are already several benefit concerts on the books, and I’m sure there will be more coming.
I don’t know what it’s like in other states or cities. What I do know is, we aren’t called the Volunteers for nothing. We Believe in Nashville. We Are Nashville, and We Are Nashville Strong. #Ibelieveinnashville #nashvillestrong