Hands on Nashville Day has record turn out in 21st year

It's the biggest volunteer event in Nashville and still growing. Thousands fanned out all over Music City to give back to the community on Saturday.

With just a few hours of work, the Buena Vista Elementary School's playground will look completely different.

Hands on Nashville Day
has continued to grow since it first began 21 years ago, and this year was the biggest turnout yet.

“It's always amazing on the Monday after Hands on Nashville Day,” said Brian Williams, CEO of Hands on Nashville.  “The kids come back into the schools and they say, ‘Wow, this looks awesome. It looks so different than when we left it on Friday.'  They take a lot of pride in that.”

At Buena Vista Elementary, the pride was in the volunteer spirit. It could be seen on the newly painted jungle gym or in the new landscaping.

A team from Nashville's News 2 rolled up their sleeves to help.

“When the kids come back on Monday, they're going to see their school looking fresh and clean and they really appreciate it,” said News 2 anchor Bob Mueller.

Besides sprucing up the playground, volunteers also helped build new swing sets and picnic tables.

The hours put in on Saturday will save Metro Schools about 8,000 hours in maintenance.

“Because we have such a large district and a smaller maintenance department, it often takes us a long time to get these kinds of requests fulfilled,” said Michelle McVicker, the principal of Buena Vista Elementary.

Congressman Jim Cooper and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean joined the other 2,000 volunteers that spread across nearly 60 different Metro Schools on Saturday.

“There's a great community spirit here because every citizen,” Congressman Cooper said.

Mayor Dean praised Hands on Nashville's involvement within the community, and said he was just doing his part to say thank you.

“Volunteers are a great part of our city,” he said. “Hands on Nashville is a wonderful organization [and] helping schools is something we all need to be doing, so I'm just doing my small part to say thanks.”

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