Volunteer Tennessee Announces the 2023 Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards Nonprofit Honorees

Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 03:32pm

(Nashville, TN) — The spirit of volunteerism and community engagement thrives in the State of Tennessee, and the nonprofit community is leading the charge. In recognition of their outstanding commitment to fostering volunteer involvement, Volunteer Tennessee recognized a nonprofit from each of the state’s Grand Divisions at its annual Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards (GVSA) celebration on Feb. 18, 2024.

The Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards, an initiative from Volunteer Tennessee, encourages and promotes volunteerism by recognizing outstanding volunteers. In addition to the Business and Nonprofit categories, the Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards seeks to recognize individual volunteers from each of Tennessee's 95 counties.

To select the nonprofit honorees, Volunteer Tennessee asked the public to submit nominations through its website until December 8, 2023. Independent reviewers then evaluated the nominations and selected the honorees based on the needs addressed, the actions taken, and the impact of their efforts.

“Selecting a winner is very difficult for these awards, because they all are so impressive,” said Jason Scott, Volunteer Tennessee commissioner. “Helping choose the honorees was humbling because each nomination proves how many people are accomplishing great things through volunteerism in Tennessee. Congratulations to the honorees!”

Volunteer Tennessee proudly recognizes the 2023 Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards Nonprofit Honorees!

East Tennessee: United Way of Greater Chattanooga. Since 1922, United Way of Greater Chattanooga (UWGC) has been uniting people and resources to build a stronger, healthier community. Their mission is to unite our community with a shared aspiration for the future - one where every child can thrive, and one where working families can break the cycle of financial hardship. UWGC recently started taking advantage of employee downtime by offering asynchronous volunteer projects at work. They also harness the power of large groups to complete complex projects that would otherwise take far longer and cost much more. For example, in just one day a skilled volunteer group was able to complete a drainage project for a local nonprofit for just the cost of the materials.

Middle Tennessee: Operation Stand Down Tennessee. Operation Stand Down Tennessee (OSDTN) began 30 years ago as a one-weekend-only, volunteer event serving Nashville’s homeless veteran population. The need was so great, and the volunteers so committed to the cause, that within six years of that first event OSDTN was up and running with full-time staff, and they were able to greatly expand the range of services offered. Volunteer slots fill up quickly, and the organization continues to see returning groups of volunteers. Due to the labor involved in assembly, its volunteers are integral to keeping it running. Without volunteers they would not be able to meet the needs of so many military veterans and their families.

West Tennessee: Dyer County Office on Aging. The Dyer County Office on Aging's mission is to provide senior citizens a safe and healthy environment with fun educational, nutritional, and physical programs to improve their mental and physical wellbeing. They engage volunteers to serve senior citizens across Dyer County and some neighboring counties with exercise, line dancing, crafting, meals, and other activities, which promote fellowship, physical strength, and balance, combatting the isolation and inactivity that afflict many older people. They serve many senior citizens who have no other option for help or socialization.

The 2024 Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards Celebration is scheduled for February 16, 2025. If you know a business or nonprofit that does outstanding volunteer and community service work, watch Volunteer Tennessee’s website and social media accounts for the 2024 nominations later this year. To read about all the 2023 honorees, please visit www.volunteertennessee.net.



2/18/24 Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards

Middle Tennessee GVSA Nonprofit Honoree - Operation Stand Down Tennessee

2/18/24 Governor's Volunteer Stars Awards

East Tennessee GVSA Nonprofit Honoree - United Way of Greater Chattanooga


West Tennessee GVSA Nonprofit Honoree - Dyer County Office on Aging

The mission of Volunteer Tennessee is to encourage volunteerism and community service. Volunteer Tennessee is the 25-member, bipartisan citizen commission appointed by the governor to oversee AmeriCorps programs, manage the Tennessee Serves Network, promote service-learning opportunities, and foster community service initiatives and partnerships in which people of all ages and backgrounds engage in addressing the educational, public safety, disaster preparedness, environmental, and other human needs in the Volunteer State. For more information, visit www.volunteertennessee.net, or visit us on FacebookX, LinkedIn, and Instagram.