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Feature Charities

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Each season the Nashville Predators Foundation spotlights four grant recipients that do tremendous work in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community. This year the Foundation board selected four unique and devoted organizations to partner with –Against the Grain, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee, Martha O’Bryan Center and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville. These organizations will receive exclusive opportunities throughout the season including in-arena drives, Predators participation in events, tickets to home games, recognition in team publications as well as other unique opportunities.

The Nashville Predators will host collection drives at the Sommet Center for each charity during the season. Against the Grain and Martha O’Bryan Center will be collecting baby supplies. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville will accept household products and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee have a ‘Spare Some Change to Make Some Change’ at their information table.

The featured charities for the 2009-10 season are:

Against the Grain
WEBSITE: www.atghope.org

March 20, 2010 vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of Against the Grain is to empower single mothers to become self-sufficient, knowledgeable, productive members of society.

COUNTIES/STATES SERVED: Against the Grain primarily serves Williamson County, TN. but is expanding into Davidson and other surrounding Counties.

ABOUT AGAINST THE GRAIN: Against the Grain was founded in 2003 to empower single mothers in poverty to independently provide for the needs of their family. Through the 180 program, each mother receives educational training in the core curriculum; budgeting, parenting, self-esteem, leadership skills, character development and a jobs program, but AtG provides a holistic approach. The staff, volunteers and a mentor walks with the mother to fulfill her individualized plan to overcome her specific challenges. This comprehensive process is much more demanding, but results in a sustainable plan for independence.

While the mothers are in class, their children take part in the Kids 180 Program, where they receive homework assistance, play educational games and receive social skills training. Children are also given the opportunity to be paired with a mentor and have a caring adult speak into their lives. AtG believes that training the child alone and returning them to their unstable home environment is insufficient. Therefore, AtG trains the mother to train her children, to set them on the right path and allow them to become self-sufficient, knowledgeable, contributing members of society.

DID YOU KNOW?  AtG is unique in its system of training and accountability. The women become accountable to AtG staff and volunteers, as well as their own mentor and the other women in the program. They begin to see a hope for a different life. They encourage each other, become their own support group and challenge each other to succeed.
A couple of quick facts from the graduates of the 180 program in 2008
  • 84% of the women were unemployed when they enrolled in the program.
  • 100% were employed upon completion of the program
  • 1/3 were attaining additional education.
In 2009, AtG has an expected enrollment of 119 women in Williamson and Davidson Counties.

HOW THE PREDATORS FOUNDATION’S GRANT MONEY WILL BE USED: The Predators Foundation Grant will be used to allow low-income kids to attend summer camp focused on character development and a lot fun. These kids are often at home, unsupervised in neighborhoods marred with drugs and gangs. AtG provides several trips and activities throughout the summer to keep these kids busy and in a safe, nurturing environment where they can learn skills vital to their success.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee
WEB SITE:  www.mentorakid.org

PREDATORS GAME EVENT: Big Brothers Big Sisters Awareness Night
January 9, 2010 vs. Anaheim Ducks

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee is to make a positive difference in the lives of children in need and to assist them in achieving their highest potential by facilitating a professionally supported one-to-one mentoring relationship with a committed volunteer.

COUNTIES WE SERVE: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee serves Davidson County and its contiguous counties: Davidson, Rutherford, Wilson, Cheatham, Sumner, Robertson, Dickson, Hickman, and Williamson.

ABOUT BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS: Big Brothers Big Sisters is changing the way kids grow up in Middle Tennessee. Through one-to-one mentoring services, our volunteers are empowering children with the tools, confidence, and guidance to make decisions that will affect their safety, their well-being, and their potential. It’s a social profit enterprise that requires investment from individuals – whether time, talent, or treasure – to make a powerful community impact.

It takes about $1,000 and one hour per week to mentor one child for one year. Your investment in Big Brothers Big Sisters will help provide the resources needed for volunteer recruitment, the application and screening process, reference checks, background checks, and supporting the match between the "Big" and "Little."

This year Big Brothers Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee is celebrating forty years of successfully serving Middle Tennessee children with a mentor in their lives. Consider an investment in Big Brothers Big Sisters and help change a child's perspective - for the better.

DID YOU KNOW? Changing a child’s perspective costs $1,000 annually and takes about one hour per week to mentor one child for one year.

THANKS TO THE NASHVILLE PREDATORS:  Big Brothers Big Sisters is honored and appreciative for the Nashville Predators support of the Kids Club, a Saturday expressive arts program for youth in our Amachi program serving children of prisoners. These kids are particularly at risk, facing an increased chance of entering prison one day if there is not an effective intervention in their lives. Through Big Brothers Big Sisters, Amachi children are matched with a one-to-one mentor who provides friendship and a positive role model. Through Kids Club, they are given additional support and an outlet for expressing the emotions and confusions that arise from having an incarcerated parent.

Martha O’Bryan Center
WEB SITE:  www.marthaobryan.org

PREDATORS GAME EVENT: Diapers and Formula Baby Supply Drive
October 15, 2009 vs. Chicago Blackhawks

MISSION STATEMENT: On a foundation of Christian faith, the Martha O’Bryan Center empowers children, youth, and adults in poverty to transform their lives through work, education, employment and fellowship.

COUNTIES WE SERVE: Davidson County

ABOUT MARTHA O'BRYAN CENTER: Martha O’Bryan Center is 115 years old and has always served Nashville’s poorest neighbors. It is located in the center of James A. Cayce Place, where 2000 people are crowded into 720 units on 63 acres of land. It is our city’s largest and poorest public housing development. The average annual income for the families we serve is less than $5000, well under the poverty line. 92% of households are headed by a single parent; 57% of the residents are children under age 18. We also serve youth from the CWA Plaza Apartments, where 29% of the children are Somali or Sudanese.

Martha O’Bryan Center is a community resource center that provides holistic, creative, and replicable solutions to support families and address intergenerational poverty. Our programming covers individual, family, and community needs, serving over 3000 people yearly (unduplicated) through: Young Children-Young Families, THRIVE Youth Development, Adult Education, and Community Organizing (such as emergency need, crisis management, and worship service).

Our approach is both traditional and innovative. We draw resources from the people who are in greatest need of services, while providing a framework that puts emphasis on community outreach and collaboration between staff and client. Our work utilizes a full partnership with all agents involved (organizers, educators, client, community resources), in forging a more positive future for each person served. At Martha O’Bryan Center, we’ve always known that people in at-risk neighborhoods are no different than anyone. They want a better way of life, and they want to be active participants in achieving their goals.

HOW THE PREDATORS FOUNDATION'S GRANT MONEY WILL BE USED: This grant will support our Next Generation Wellness program in THRIVE Youth Development’s Summer Enrichment Camp. It will enlist the services of a registered dietitian and fitness trainer to support positive health behaviors among school-aged children for six weeks this summer. The program will address these 120 participants’ health - physically, nutritionally, and cognitively.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville
WEB SITE: www.rmhnashville.com

PREDATORS GAME EVENT: Household Products Drive
February 6, 2010 vs. San Jose Sharks

MISSION STATEMENT: The mission of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville is to “keep families close” by providing essential resources and a "home away from home" for families of critically ill children receiving inpatient or outpatient medical care at Nashville area hospitals.

COUNTIES SERVED: Have served families from all 95 counties in Tennessee, 65 counties in Kentucky, as well as 39 other states, two U.S. territories and 12 foreign countries.

ABOUT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES OF NASHVILLE: Programs run by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville, the 32-bedroom Ronald McDonald House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room on the 5th Floor of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, both offer a place for parents and family members to relax, refresh and experience the comforts of home while staying close to their sick child.

The House is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and the Family Room is open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. each day. Both are supported by 7 full-time and 6 part-time staff members and more than 200 active volunteers.

The Nashville Ronald McDonald House, open since July 1991, is a home, providing hot meals, laundry facilities and a place to rest. It has all the benefits of a house, such as a playroom, library and kitchen. More importantly, the Ronald McDonald House provides an environment of emotional support from staff members, volunteers and other families, who are going through similar circumstances.

Since the House opened in 1991, over 10,000 families have stayed at the Nashville Ronald McDonald House and in 2008 more than 500 families were served.

In February 2004, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville opened Nashville’s first Ronald McDonald Family Room at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. This room is an extension of the House, a place where families and friends of seriously ill children from far and near can enjoy a quiet respite from corridors and waiting rooms, whether or not they’re staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

The Family Room includes a comfortable seating area, a kitchen stocked with snacks, a children’s play area, a half bath, and the support of caring staff and volunteers. The Family Room has served over 1,600 families since its opening and averages 2,500 visitors per month.

DID YOU KNOW? The Nashville House requests that families pay $15 per night, but our primary goal is to keep families together and never refuse service because a family is unable to pay. In 2008, 67% could not afford to pay anything, and 10% paid only a partial fee. The average monthly occupancy in 2008 was 100%, the average daily waiting list consisted of 6 families and the average length of stay was 19 nights. People in the community can “Share-a-Night” by making donations of $15, $105 or $420 to underwrite the cost for a family to stay for one night, one week or one month in one of the 32 bedrooms in our House.

HOW THE PREDATORS FOUNDATION’S GRANT MONEY WILL BE USED: Ronald McDonald House Charities of Nashville is extremely honored to have been selected to receive grant money from the Nashville Predators Foundation. The grant money will be used to provide 6 new washers and 6 new dryers for our laundry room that families staying in our House are able to use 24 hours a day at no charge.