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HomeUncategorizedWanna Spread Cheer? Your Guide To Making A Difference In Nashville

Wanna Spread Cheer? Your Guide To Making A Difference In Nashville


Wanna Spread Cheer?

Yeah, we know you know…it’s the most wonderful time of the year. We all fall into different categories on the Christmas enthusiasm spectrum. On a scale of 1 (Scrooge/any picture ever taken of Sean Penn) to 10 (Buddy the Elf/the crowd at Oprah’s Big Giveaway), we respect wherever you’re at right now. However, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, December is a time that people tend to focus on spreading cheer, peace, and good will to men. Brightening the day of someone else almost always brightens our day as well (and Lord knows Nashville could use some brightness, because it gets pitch black at 4:30 these days). With that in mind, we wanted to help all of Nashville spread some cheer this December (follow us on Twitter for daily cheerful challenges). Here we go, y’all: the best Nashville ways to:

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Serve A Meal & Change Your Perspective:
Room In The Inn




Room In The Inn is one of the best ways to volunteer in the city. They’ve struck the perfect balance between offering way-too-generalized solutions to end complex problems and just providing awareness (with a lack of action). Room In The Inn serves meals to some of the homeless men and women in Nashville, provides shelter, and constantly connects people who might have never been in the same room together. RITI is all about relationship-building. We’ve heard that the conversation is out-of-this-world great between the guests and the servers. This is really worth it, folks.


You’re in luck! There’s a Room In The Inn event TONIGHT (find the details in Wannado here), and it is a doozy. It’s a shotgun wedding, y’all! Come to 3rd and Lindsley in your best vintage wedding reception attire with a $10 donation and/or a gift of a personal item for Nashville’s homeless population (you can find the list here). The music line-up is killer too – The Westbound Rangers and Rosewater are bringin’ us some super-fun classic country tunes. Seriously, TWR shows are the absolute best. If you can’t go tonight, you can find tons of volunteer opportunities throughout the month!

Forego Your Coffee Money & Get Some Reading Material:
Buy The Contributor




Most Nashvillians are familiar with The Contributor. The men and women who sell the newspaper blanket the Nashville area with cheerfulness on dreary mornings, and seeing their dedication and persistence brightens our day pretty consistently. The Contributor is an organization that puts out a “street newspaper” filled with content designed to raise awareness of homelessness. Not only does it create awareness, but it supplies those who sell it with a source of income and a way out of homelessness, which is just really great.


Simple answer: buy a paper! You can buy 1 for a dollar, or multiple for multiple dollars – all purchases make a difference! We all develop little routines, and this is the simplest add-in to your morning coffee run. If you spot someone selling the paper on your route, we suggest continuing to support that person. It helps form relationships and provides them with a little consistency (we imagine that standing out in the cold near the Starbucks drive-thru gets pretty taxing). As you get to know each other, trust us – you’ll be super blessed by them. Shout out to our girl Denise and her fabulous hair and kindness at the West End Starbucks drive-thru! Find other ways to support them here.

Donate Your Wheels:
ReCycle For Kids With Hands On Nashville



Hands On Nashville does a WHOLE lot! If you wanna zero in on one awesome, unique opportunity to give this month, we suggest their ReCYCLE For Kids benefit. We’ve mentioned it before, but they are collecting all month long! They have a pick-up location for the donated bikes, a bike refurbishment program (they have experts teach you how to help make repairs), and then they have the final reveal right before the summer. They’ll be giving away 400 bikes to children who wouldn’t have them otherwise, bringing them joy and a way to get out and exercise this summer. So great!


Again, you’re in luck! This morning through this afternoon was the Biked & Baked Goods event – donate a bike, get a sweet treat (not that we needed an incentive, but if there’s anything we know: a little dessert goes a long way). You can drop off the bicycle at the offices in the Trolley Barns! So next time you go to Pinewood Social to creep through the windows (it opens on Wednesday – CAN’T contain our excitement), stop by Wal Mart first and pick up a bike. It will make a difference. You can also donate $10 to help buy some bike helmets! So easy.

Bundle Up For A Cause:
Buy A fashionABLE Scarf




Not only are the scarves at fashionABLE impeccably made and super-cute, but they go to a more-than-worthy cause. This is a Nashville-bred idea from none other than Barrett Ward, Nashville local and founder of The Mocha Club (also awesome and worth checking out). After visiting Ethiopia and seeing the women searching the streets for a source of income, Barrett created fashionABLE. The organization works with women to start small businesses and requires manufacturers to provide them with fair wages and work. The scarf is made by women who are becoming a part of a developing economy that is enriching their lives. Woo!


This cheerful challenge is two-fold. Yes, gift season is coming up, and there isn’t a money tree growing in the backyard. Even if it’s just one, what if you sent someone a fashionABLE scarf just to tell them you love them and encourage them to spread the word about what’s going on with the organization? If we are talking about spreading exponential cheerfulness, this is the thing to do. Browse the selection here and maybe get matching ones for you and a friend! Unless you think it’s weird to match. Then, you know…maybe diversify.

Have The MOST Festive Day Ever & Give A Tot A Toy:
The Ugly Sweater Run



This sounds like so much fun we can hardly stand it. Put on the ugliest sweater you you can find (we have a wool vest where sheep are being held together with Christmas lights, and it is vaguely disturbing). Sign up your pals for this run (you can aggressively power walk if that’s your style, no worries). You get hot chocolate, Sam Adams winter lagers, a SANTA HAT and mustache – it just keeps getting better. You’ll already be spreading cheer, because you’ll be running through Nashville dressed in the same sweater your second-grade teacher wore to your elementary school Christmas party, bells and all. But if that wasn’t enough, you can bring a toy for the Toys For Tots program and provide an underserved child with a gift on Christmas Day. Joy all around!


Sign up here, get your ugly sweater on, buy a toy, and show up on Dec. 7th!

So Nashville: why not spread some cheer? Do any of these things, and there is no way the dreary weather will get you down. Nashville is already a beautiful place to be, and we want to give back to the city and all the amazing people in it. Let’s make this December one to remember! Find volunteer opportunities in Wannado, and follow us on Twitter/search #WannaSpreadCheer for your daily cheerful challenge. Let’s DO THIS!

– Your local guide.

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