After the Storm: We Believe in Nashville

In the early hours of March 3, 2020, tornados swept through Middle Tennessee, including our hometown of Nashville. The impact was immediate and devastating, taking 24 lives, damaging or destroying hundreds of buildings, and ripping out trees and telephone poles standing in the way as it ravaged some of the tightest communities in Nashville.

One reason we love being a part of the Nashville community is just that: the community. Take a walk through many commercial districts, and you’ll see a mural beloved by Nashvillians and visitors alike. The “I Believe in Nashville” mural embodies the vitality, persistence and resilience of our city.

Sadly, Nashville has faced natural disasters in the past, including tornados, fires and flooding. But the city has built a reputation of quickly and righteously standing back up after Mother Nature has tried to push us down

In the days following the March tornados, that spirit was evident once again.

As affected communities grappled with the impact of the storms, communities rallied largely through social media. The reality of the storm’s severity spread quickly across social networks, prompting people to connect with loved ones, coworkers and neighbors to check on their safety and offer to lend a hand, both from near and far.

The community of Nashvillians quickly turned to social media to offer help. Because of the accessibility, speed of dissemination, ease of use and shareability of communication on social media, requests for assistance spread like wildfire. Volunteers sprung into action, activating in pockets around town that had been hit hardest. While the path of the tornados was deadly, the path of the helpers was even stronger. All across social media, individuals showed their belief in Nashville by heeding the call for whatever was needed, whether it was canned goods, hugs, chainsaws, flashlights, pet food, monetary donations and more.

But most importantly, Nashville showed up with helping hands. The calls for supplies, funds and volunteers spread, and users were quickly connected via social media to organizations that needed assistance. Social networks connected volunteers to those in need, helpers to jobs, and donations to recipients. The ways in which social communication became real-life activism in such a short amount of time was astounding.

Nashville’s disaster response needs went viral, creating an immediate and overwhelming response of community activism. The response was so comprehensive that on Saturday, March 7, Hands On Nashville (one of the organizations that led the way in meeting community needs through volunteerism) announced on social media that it had surpassed immediate needs for canvassing and clearing. That same day, the Community Resource Center requested via social that people pause—yes, PAUSE—donations and volunteers in order to catch up to the overwhelming support it had received in just four short days. In the same vein, the Nashville Humane Association shared a social post saying it had reached manageable capacity for food and supply donations.

Holy shit, Nashville. You DO believe.

And you will keep believing, because we know this is not the end of the road—this is only the first step on the path to rebuilding. But we also believe that you will come back bigger, better and stronger than ever before—because that’s what the community of Nashville does, time and time again.

And at GS&F, we, too, believe in Nashville.

If you believe in Nashville and want to donate your time and/or resources to the rebuilding efforts, please visit our list of ways to contribute.

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