Joy of Giving

Joy of Giving

As I sit down to write this 11th version of the “Joy of Giving,” my heart is overflowing with love for my community.

“Jesus loves the little children of the world, red and yellow, black and white, …” sings through my mind. I feel inspired and excited for the future generations. It is just one of those truly good days.

Today, I attended the closing on the purchase of what is referred to as the Merrill-Williams House at 264 Natchez Street in Franklin. The property was purchased from Cassandra and Wilbert Taylor by the African American Heritage Society. The home represents so much more than just a building — it is history, resilience, family and community.

There were people there from all walks of life, races, and economic backgrounds. Folks from neighborhoods near and far joined together in celebration of a single historic event.

My heart is full of gratitude for the abundance present in our community today. We live in a town filled with both great opportunity and great need, and when those two collide, the result is miraculous.

How can we help provide abundance in our community?

What time, talent and gifts can we share to make Franklin a better place to live, work and play for everyone?

Our juvenile court, Franklin Fire Department and Franklin Police Department have put together some lists to get started. These first responders see families firsthand who are in need and are good conduits to providing help and honoring the privacy of the recipients.

Operation Santa is coordinated by the 21st District Juvenile Court and supports families who might fall through the system. These are families that are currently living in situations are that are not traditional, such as children who are living with relatives who are likely not their parents and also are not where they will be living permanently. It is often a time of great uncertainty.

The folks that put together Operation Santa know each of these children individually and work hard to find a little something special for them during the holiday season. Nearly 100 children and more than 40 families were impacted by this wonderful program last year.

Operation Santa also provides a variety of necessities in addition to gifts. Families are chosen through the juvenile court, Williamson County CASA and the Franklin Special School District. The deadline is Dec. 18.

Participants can donate money or new gifts or help shop for gifts, clothes or groceries as needed.

Email Zannie Martin at zannie.martin@williamsoncounty-tn.gov or Lisa Sullivan at lisa.sullivan@williamsoncounty-tn.gov with any questions and to coordinate efforts.

The 21st District Recovery Court

The 21st District Recovery Court, established in 2002, has a mission to provide effective long term treatment for those in this community who suffer from drug and/or alcohol addiction. The focus is to provide resources and training so participants can rejoin the community as active, sober, productive citizens.

A Vintage Affair

A Vintage Affair has one equally gratifying and fun-filled mission: to hold the distinction of being the only nonprofit for women and children in Williamson County that raises awareness and funds for those in most desperate need of help … one glass at a time.

African American Heritage Society of Williamson County

is over 20 years old and works to protect and promote Black history in Williamson County. The organizations owns and operates The McLemore House and has most recently purchased the Merrill-Willliams House. They are the founders of The Black Tie Affair.

Battle of Franklin Trust

tells the story of three historic houses, Carnton, The Carter House, and Rippavilla. The BOFT is dedicated to sharing and learning about the Civil War and how it impacted all citizens.

BrightStone

exists to provide hope for adults with special needs where they can find worth every day. This is accomplished through BrightStone’s educational program which provides opportunities for students to attain job skills, productive work habits, life skills, and personal growth in a God-centered, safe and loving environment.

Build Her a Bridge

Brings together young women through creativity, journaling, and small group/break out sessions. Build Her a Bridge is in existence to build up and bridge out with one another and the community. Its mission is to help young girls spread positivity and achieve greatness.

Community Child Care

serving Franklin for over 40 years, the. Community Child Care Center of Franklin offers early childhood education in a safe and nurturing environment to working families in and around Williamson County, TN who can least afford it.

Davis House Child Advocacy Center

established in 1999, works closely with other nonprofits including CASA, The Path Project and One Generation Away. The Davis House mission is to provide investigative, advocacy, and therapeutic and family support to children who have experienced sexual or significant physical abuse.

Franktown Open Hearts

is a nonprofit organization committed to the success of Franklin’s inner-city youth. Franktown Open Hearts provide Christ-centered mentoring through weekly vocational education and experiences that prepare underserved youth for the future.

GraceWorks

Neighbor serving Neighbor, by the power of God’s grace. By pooling church resources with private and public sectors, GraceWorks has been able to offer wraparound services to a large number of individuals and families in need, closing 2020 having served 16,823 unduplicated Neighbors.

Hard Bargain Association

was established in 2004 to support and preserve Hard Bargain, a historic African American neighborhood, by providing high-quality affordable housing, preserving and renovating existing homes and enriching the lives of its neighbors.

Heimerdinger Foundation

The Heimerdinger Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Kathie Heimerdinger in 2011 in memory of her husband, Mike, delivers nutritious, organic meals free of charge to people facing cancer and their caregivers and they also offer nutrition education.

High Hopes Development Center

was created out of necessity by five families in Middle Tennessee. These community members envisioned a place where children with special needs could receive a jump start in early education with therapeutic interventions on-site.

Land Trust for Tennessee

Since 1999, the Land Trust has conserved more than 130,000 acres across our beautiful state. The Land Trust protects a wide variety of private and public land in both rural and urban areas, including farms, parks, forests, scenic views, and historic lands. Projects range from conserving 4,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau to a ¼ acre garden in downtown Nashville.

Leadership Franklin

was founded in 1996 to develop leaders in Franklin and Williamson County. Leadership Franklin endeavors to provide a class of 20 members with knowledge, network connections, and resources to bring new ideas to the table for Franklin and Williamson County.

Mercy Community Healthcare

exists to reflect the love and compassion of Jesus Christ by providing excellent healthcare to all and support to their families. Staff opens their hearts to every patient and family, and we are committed to treating the whole person – body, mind and spirit. From shots to wellness checks to counseling, Mercy makes long-term, lasting health more possible than ever.

New Hope Academy

is a Christ-centered school that educates children of diverse racial and socio-economic backgrounds. New Hope Academy reaches these goals by establishing a biblical worldview and preparing each child to flourish academically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.

One Generation Away

Great collaborators, these folks collect both perishable and non-perishable goods. They gift the food regularly at publicly announced locations. As long as there is food to share, no one is turned away. One Generation Away works throughout Middle Tennessee.

Studio Tenn

Studio Tenn is a professional regional theatre company and a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Franklin. Its programming centers around innovative, custom-designed presentations of classic plays and musicals as well as an original “Legacy” series of theatrical concerts celebrating the work of time-honored musicians.

Williamson County Animal Center

Making Williamson County better for animals through adoption, education, enforcement and pet population control, WCAC’s goal is to increase the save rate, find a good home for every adoptable pet, slow pet population growth, end animal neglect and abuse and be a positive force in the community.

Williamson County CASA

established in 1993, advocates for the best interest of abused and neglected children. These who have been introduced into the court system as a result of abuse and neglect in the home. CASA works closely with the Juvenile Court, as well as The Davis House and the Department of Children’s Services.

2021 Partners in Nonprofit Collaboration

21st District Recovery Court

A Vintage Affair

African American Heritage Society

Battle of Franklin Trust

Brightstone

Build Her a Bridge

Community Child Care

Davis House Child Advocacy Center

Franklin Firefighters

Franktown Open Hearts

GraceWorks

Hard Bargain Association

Heimerdinger FoundationHigh Hopes Development Center

Juvenile Court

Land Trust for Tennessee

Leadership Franklin

Mercy Community Healthcare

New Hope Academy

One Generation Away

Studio Tenn

Williamson County CASA

Williamson County Animal Center

And many local religious organizations

Stacey Suzanne Watson has lived in Franklin for more than 20 years and loves looking for the miracles in our community. For more information about nonprofits in this area, please reach out to stacey@staceywatson.org.

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