Julie Hullett - Nashville Cares/Dining Out For Life Blog

Nashville CARES Continues to Grow Through “Dining Out For Life”

The Nashville community once again came to the support of the nonprofit agency Nashville CARES on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Their Dining Out For Life Event is an opportunity to coordinate an annual dining fundraiser to gather money for AIDS service organizations in Middle Tennessee and across North America.

Seventy two area restaurants participated, and a generous percentage of their sales was donated to provide support in the fight against HIV/Aids. Thousands of customers from all over Metro Nashville chose their favorite restaurant(s) throughout Nashville and adjoining counties to dine out for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner in order to do their part to build up those donations. Some of the restaurants served enthusiastic guests more than one meal on the same day! Many dining establishments chose to dedicate higher-than-suggested sales percentages to the cause, while others opted to include alcohol sales.

Groups of friends made it a special dining out occasion, and customers were also encouraged to host their own parties at the participating restaurants on that date or ask friends to join them to further the cause.

Nonprofit Nashville CARES offers its HIV services throughout the year with prevention education to more than 35,000 adults and youth, close to 16,000 free and confidential tests yearly, and support services of various kinds for sufferers and their families. Chief Development Officer Doug Alexander has served in his role for 15 months and reports the organization is in year 3 of its 5 year plan to reduce the progression of HIV in Middle Tennessee. He believes, “good education and outreach” are among the top reasons the group continues to reach their YOY goals. There are also more concrete achievements such as a new My House facility in Antioch “to provide comprehensive health services to the most at-risk population [under one roof]”.

The organization, though making strides, still needs support from the community.

“Every year, the need for financing grows”, Doug explains. Volunteers are essential in order to “expand reach in the community, but also get deeper in the community to get in front of the people who otherwise wouldn’t know who we are. Go to our website and sign up to volunteer or make a donation. Two big slam dunks to directly connect with us!”

If you would like to volunteer your services, some of the needs are:

Reception Desk – Your smiling face can greet clients and guests, and you can answer phones and assist with miscellaneous administrative tasks as needed. Volunteers are asked to commit to a minimum of one shift a week for 12 weeks.

Food Bag Assembly – Put food bags together from 6:00 to 7:00 PM every Tuesday.

Wellness Wednesday – On the first and third Wednesday of each month, set up fresh produce in the multipurpose room and help clients choose from a menu of items

Monthly Delivery – Deliver food bags once a month to clients’ homes in Davidson County.

If you missed the Dining Out For Life Event this year, there are still a few events you can participate in soon to support Nashville CARES:

This year’s Annual Gala will be a belated 30th Anniversary event. The theme is A Modern Social and includes a snazzy cocktail party with food and entertainment. The event takes place Saturday, June 17 at Track One. For more information and tickets, head to amodernsocial.org. Guests include Jack Mackenroth and Leeanne Morgan with musical guests to be announced!

You can also look forward to being involved in 2018. It is one of the most enjoyable fundraisers in town! You can also consider making a donation at any time if you would like to contribute to a great cause. It benefits the community and service organizations to have this ongoing community support in the fight against HIV/Aids.

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